Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord!
As I write this, I fully realize that the world has changed. The worldwide response to the threat of the coronavirus has eventuated in millions of people losing their jobs and a strong contraction of the gross domestic product. People have lost their livelihoods, their businesses, and significant parts of their retirement portfolios. Medical care has diminished, and hunger has increased. I realize all this as I send you our annual end-of-the-academic and fiscal institutional needs appeal.
It has been a very bad year for the business of higher education. Large institutions are announcing losses in the hundreds of millions and many smaller institutions will struggle to open again. Enrollments will be down sharply nationwide this summer and fall, with one in six students that were planning to enroll in undergraduate programming reconsidering their options. Some universities and colleges have already announced plans to be mostly online this fall.
In all the economic and social dislocation, there is one constant: God’s love. This love that manifested itself concretely in Jesus the Christ is the reason why ILT exists. God has brought ILT into being, and through God’s Spirit, we continue to grow and develop, teaching the Good News of the universal significance of the Cross of Christ. God has richly blessed us in the past and continues to do so today.
I am excited to report that new students are flocking to ILT. We have had a banner year recruiting new Ph.D., D. Min., and Master of Military Chaplaincy students. Enrollments remain brisk in other programs as well, particularly in our M.Div. program. We are also seeing the beginnings of student applications for our new undergraduate degree. While it is too early to tell what our fall numbers will be, I think it likely student headcount and FTEs will increase 25-40% this fall.
At this time when the economies of the world are collapsing, I must come to you for help. ILT has done everything possible to limit expenses, but we need your financial support to continue to deliver
quality programming. We must pay faculty and staff, and we must fund our digital library collection and online course delivery platforms.
We can finish 2019-20 in the black if we can raise $80,000 in June donations. Can you help us with a fiscal year-end check of $5,000, $1,000, $500, $100, $50, $20 or $10? Every gift helps us so much! If you want to specify that your donations be used only for student scholarships, we can do so. Also, please remember to refer possible students to us. With your prayers and support we shall continue to build an institution that will educate faithful, effective Lutheran pastors and teachers into the twenty-second century. May God’s blessings be with each of you!
President Dennis Bielfeldt, Ph. D.