Welcome Back Health and Social Care Students: IPE @ CUW 2016-17

Full length portrait of confident doctors holding blank billboard over white background

As students embark on another year of learning and training in the health and social care professions here at CUW, the time is right to remind the campus community of the goals of IPE @ CUW. Interprofessional education, or IPE, as it is most often referred to, is an opportunity for students to learn, train and ultimately work together as they care for patients and clients.

Around 10 years ago the major accrediting bodies and healthcare and public health created a set of competencies, or educational goals, for students to achieve. In short, the goals for students here at CUW is to learn how to 1. Create a culture of mutual respect and shared values, 2. To fully understand their role and the roles of others when assessing patient/client needs, 3. To be able to communicate effectively with other health and social care professionals, and 4. The ability to understand team dynamics and to work in teams to deliver quality patient/client care.

The Office of IPE @ CUW is committed to these goals as well the ‘end game’ of preparing students for IPC: interprofessional collaboration, out there, in the real world of health and social care practice.  It may take a while for new students to “see” IPE in action – but eventually the “ah ha” moment will arrive.  For those interested in reading about the impact of IPE and IPC on healthcare please see the following New Yorker article from 2011. (Thanks to professor Mike McKinnis, IPE Rep/Occupational Therapy Department for sharing.)

For more information on IPE @ CUW please see our website and/or contact the Campus Coordinator of IPE, professor Michael J. Oldani at michael.oldani@cuw.edu, or phone at 262-243-2779 (or stop by his office in the School of Pharmacy, #299/top floor).

Office of IPE @ CUW

Rejoicing in His Gifts

Education has a deep and strong tradition within Lutheranism and nowhere more so than in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. From elementary to secondary schools, from preschools to universities and seminaries, by God’s grace we have done together what we could never do alone. For nearly 170 years, Lutheran schools have helped prepare men and women for service to Christ in the Church and the world.

Many of these men and women have become pastors and teachers, organists and youth workers. But even more of them, especially today, are living out their vocational calling by serving in fields as diverse as health care and business.

Funding for our schools has always required an extraordinary commitment from God’s people, but it is a commitment that has been enthusiastically embraced by generations. Together, we can express our gratitude and thanks for the generosity and vision of the past while looking ahead optimistically to the future. And what does the future hold for Lutheran education, especially at the university level?

The mission of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor has been, and remains “helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world.” As the Church’s school, we stand with the Church to help every student discover their unique vocational calling that God has placed upon their heart. As your Concordia continues to grow and serve an ever-increasing number of students, the students’ impact grows dramatically.

This continued growth requires more resources with each passing year. As we look to the future, this trend will continue as we serve more students, and they, in turn, serve the Lord’s Church. And this is where we have the greatest reason to rejoice. With hearts together (the very meaning of “Concordia”), we have been blessed through the gifts that flow from God through His people. For this, we give thanks to God and rejoice in the generosity of His people who continue to support the Church’s school.

Rev. Dr. Roy Peterson
Vice President of Advancement

Universities in Service to the Father

Alma mater,” derived from Latin, means “nourishing mother.” This likens the university to a mother providing nourishment for her children. It is no surprise, then, that the graduate of a university is an alumnus or alumna, “one who is nourished.” Universities nourish graduates with truth and knowledge, wisdom and discernment.

I speak as one nourished by a Concordia University System school. My alma mater, Concordia University Ann Arbor, carried me from adolescence to adulthood. This school was a nourishing mother to me both spiritually and academically.

Like a mother, this university provided me with a home. Warm classrooms were safe spaces to ask questions and grow in knowledge. Chapel was a hearth of divine truth and Gospel promise centered on Christ Jesus. Cheerful dormitories offered authentic community with just a dash of mischief to refresh our studies.
Dining halls provided nourishment for the body and collegial conversation for the mind.

Like a mother, this University provided me with accountability. I once skipped a Greek class to finish a paper for my literature class. I explained to the professor of the Greek class why I had missed class. And while I was formulating my excuse, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was my literature professor. He kindly explained that he had assigned that paper two months ago, and this was no reason for missing a class. It was at that moment I realized that this nourishing mother would not let me get away with much.

One could argue that my alma mater is like any other. Every university should provide students with truth and knowledge, hospitality and accountability. However, there is one crucial difference: Concordia University System schools are nourishing mothers in service to Father.

These universities do not malnourish students with fleeting facts, worldly wisdom, and puffed-up pride. Concordia University System schools refuse to feed students a steady diet of temporary truths. Rather, these universities are places where students can “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). The ministry of Jesus is in the marrow of these schools: The Gospel can be found in every campus and classroom, athletic field and academic building.

Concordia University System schools serve the Kingdom of God by nourishing students with the rich wisdom of God, the pure Gospel of Jesus, and the unending power of the Holy Spirit. This nourishment does not satiate for only a moment. It lasts for a lifetime. And, it lasts for all eternity.

By A. Trevor Sutton, contributing writer
Photography by Michael Sapiro

Rev. A. Trevor Sutton is an associate pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Haslett, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2008 and his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2012. He is currently a graduate student in writing and rhetoric at Michigan State University. Sutton has published multiple sermons, Bible studies, and devotional books with various Christian publishers. His most recent book, “Being Lutheran” (Concordia Publishing House), provides a fresh look at how Lutheran theology relates to contemporary culture.

Putting the Promise into Practice

When someone offers a helping hand, Chris Nelson, executive director of Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran High School, says he is quick to take it.

He was especially pleased when, recently, that helping hand was his alma mater, Concordia University Wisconsin, offering free, personal mentoring sessions to its Concordia Promise partner schools.

The opportunity was called Promising Practices, and it was offered as part of the event lineup for the Lutheran Education Association’s National Administrators Conference, which Concordia hosted April 8 on its Mequon campus.

Through Promising Practices, Concordia Promise partner school representatives signed up to attend any of a series of 30-minute sessions, where Concordia experts gave participants a chance to voice challenges or concerns, and receive advice and feedback.

Topics included board and leadership development, enrollment and recruitment, resource development, marketing and branding, and dual-credit. Participants had the chance to interact directly with some of Concordia’s top leaders, including University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D.

“Anytime that Concordia offers their expertise to Lutheran ministries and Lutheran schools, I jump at the chance,” Nelson said. “I found a lot of value in coming today. All of these pieces make up kind of the formula in moving forward.”

It’s just one of the ways Concordia is making good on its Concordia Promise initiative. In 2015, the University unveiled its plan to be “the Church’s school” by addressing the growing financial burden facing many young adults who wish to enroll in higher education and offering itself as a resource and support to Lutheran and Christian high schools around the world.

The first phase of that plan was to bolster dual-credit offerings, where high school students can take classes taught by Concordia professors at a significantly reduced rate and earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Then, students who went on to enroll at Concordia University Wisconsin or Ann Arbor would be eligible to receive a scholarship that could equal the amount they paid for their dual credit classes.

In other words, students could earn the equivalent of a year’s worth of their undergraduate tuition for free. The University is now looking to further the next phase by increasing the ways it offers itself as a resource to its more than 30 Concordia Promise partner high schools. While not the only Phase 2 effort, Promising Practices was one significant way the University is moving forward.

Nelson said the April Promising Practices event was edifying; he received practical advice on enrollment and recruitment software, which he planned to explore further and implement at N.E.W. Lutheran. Beyond that, Nelson said the event offered an invaluable intangible—assurance that he’s not tackling the Church’s mission alone.

“It’s always affirming that there’s a lot of people out there across the globe who care deeply about Lutheran education and just advancing with the times,” said Nelson. “We want to make sure that we’re competitive in this marketplace… because I really believe in the mission of our schools, and the product that we put out is second to none. We need Christian leadership like no other time in the history of the world, and this is where it happens.”

Learn more about the Concordia Promise at: www.concordiapromise.com.

“We need Christian leadership like no other time in the history of the world, and this is where it happens.” —Chris Nelson, Executive Director of Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran High School, a Concordia Promise Partner School

Continuing the Promise

“The heart of our mission is a commitment to help students develop for lives of service to Christ, and that commitment requires us not just to care about the future of Lutheran higher education, but Lutheran education at every age and stage of life.” —Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D., President of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor’

Central to Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor’s identity is its founding purpose: to be the Church’s school. Fulfilling that purpose has been an evolution throughout Concordia’s history: pastoral training, teacher education, professional church worker certifications; and over more recent decades, a growth of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs for more than 70 vocations in the liberal arts, business, education, and health professions. In 2016, Concordia University remains the Church’s school, committed to leading the innovation of better solutions to meet new challenges, so that lifelong Lutheran education is within the reach of more and more students.

We call this commitment the Concordia Promise. And while most prominently the Concordia Promise has taken shape in the introduction of the University’s unprecedented dual-credit program for Lutheran and Christian high school students, more broadly we define the Concordia Promise as a campaign to leverage the vast resources of the Church in support of the mission of Lutheran education.

Concordia University champions lifelong Lutheran education, and supports and partners with congregations, schools, and associations throughout the Church that share this mission passion. Ultimately, we believe that access to Lutheran education impacts the worldview of students, both churched and unchurched, and is a critical means by which to impact the witness, lifelong service, and, certainly, the vocation of the Church’s young people.

The Concordia Promise focuses on elevating the value of Lutheran education at every level, educating those committed to the teaching ministry to help improve their leadership and strengthen their schools, and accelerating the mission of Lutheran schools.

Truth & Love: Living Life Together, the Concordia Way

One of the things I love most about Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor is the opportunity to work alongside wonderful members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (faculty, staff, and students) who are dedicated to helping fulfill the Church’s mission through Lutheran higher education.

Concordia is unambiguously the Church’s school. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Another thing I love most about Concordia is the chance to work together with terrific people (faculty, staff, and students) who aren’t members of the LCMS, but who embrace this University and the blessing that it is in their lives and in the lives of others. Concordia is most certainly their school, too. Together, we wear our colors and together, we proudly proclaim, unabashedly, to the broader community around us, “We are Concordia!”

Our mission statement makes clear what Concordia exists to do. We prepare students “for service to Christ in the Church and the world.” Regrettably, there are too few places where the Church and the world connect or converse well.

By nature of the composition of our community, with Concordians from across the country and around the world learning and often even living together, the chance for such dialogue and discourse is readily presented.

Of course, there are moments on our campuses when cultures collide. Upon occasion, there are situations where lifelong Lutherans and folks who were previously unacquainted with Lutheran, or even Christian, perspectives aren’t exactly on the same page. Some might perceive such situations as a threat to Lutheran identity.

At Concordia, however, this surely represents an opportunity to communicate winsomely what it means to be a Christ-centered, Gospel-oriented Lutheran University. Dialogue and discussion are integral to the learning process. Communication within a community where all members have a sense of belonging fosters the sort of environment that deepens the discourse and enriches the interaction. As the Apostle Paul admonishes, we seek “to speak the truth in love.”

Given the great divide that we observe all around us—a setting where inclusion is framed by truth, spoken in love offers a refreshing change—it’s no secret that 2016 is a political year. Our election cycle will bring Americans to the polls this fall to elect a new president. The campaign has already dragged on for months, and the often unsavory political process will only intensify over the final stretch leading to the first Tuesday in November. We may be left wondering if “United States” is remotely descriptive of our national reality, or merely an aspirational name.

Neither does “Concordia” summarize the political or social points of view of every Concordian. It’s safe to say that not everyone at our University fully agrees on the answer to every controverted question before us.

However, if our University is successful in helping our students to be thoughtful and engaged citizens, attention to civility in the community discourse will behoove us all as we learn from one another.

It happens that this year also marks a national convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Fortunately, most of the excesses of the national political process are generally avoided. Nevertheless, there are inevitably differences of opinion, even within a Confessional Church such as ours. Varying positions are even more pronounced between Christians of assorted denominational affiliations. This only means that there is no shortage of opportunity within Christ’s
Church to speak the truth in love, without compromise either to the truth or to love. If our University is successful in helping our students to be faithful
and endearing witnesses, modeling how we handle our disagreements among ourselves and with others is also essential to the Concordia experience.

Yes, something that I truly love about Concordia is that this Lutheran higher education community is a laboratory for life. The variables of all that we observe in the Church and the world are brought together for inquiry and investigation. We “help students develop in mind, body, and spirit” as they wrestle with differences of perspective. Quoting John Milton, I often say, “Let truth and falsehood grapple.” Truth, of course, really has nothing to fear, and truth, spoken in
love, will have great effect.

At Concordia, the love of God in Christ Jesus—who is the Way, the Truth, and Life, and the Savior of the world—is the reason we exist. The mission to “serve Christ in the Church and the world” places us in the middle of the conversation about all of the big debates of our place and time. How we approach the issues,
and each other, matters. Ours is the privilege of sharing the truth and reflecting the love of Christ with people at Concordia—and beyond—each day. What’s not to love about that?

Starting the Journey: Faith in the Process

“No matter what transpired in the coming year, I grabbed hold of the promise that this experience would be good in a way that was in accordance with God’s own definition.” — Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D. on his feelings while dropping off his son Andrew for school his freshman year of college in “Faith in the Freshman”

I n his book, “Faith in the Freshman,” Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, Ph.D., University president, reflects upon the significance of the first day on campus. As a University president, parent, and once-upon-a-time freshman, Ferry recognizes this rite of passage to be “all at once exhilarating and terrifying, joyful and painful” for students and parents alike. Every year on that first day, Ferry is careful to set the tone. “My goal is to do whatever I can to assure students and their parents that the journey before them, wherever it leads, is almost always worth the next step,” writes Ferry. The joy and responsibility of supporting our students and providing each of them with a positive next step is shared University-wide. The first day is far from the first connection with Concordia University Wisconsin. Choosing the right university is one of the most important and personal decisions a person may ever make. Our admission crew understands that students and their families are facing this rite of passage, and provides careful consideration and individual attention to each applicant to help them make the right decision.

It’s the “personal touch” that gets mentioned the most by students and their parents when asked why they chose CUW. From first campus visits to personal telephone calls to special meetings with professors, the admission counselors are an energetic, passionate, and informative team of individuals who are instrumental in these early consideration steps.

A caring, Christ-centered approach


_N4C1637“The application process to CUW was extremely easy and went very smoothly. The way they have it set up makes it almost impossible to get confused, because they walk you through it step by step.”—Tyler Hass



_N4C1538“I got to meet and talk with some of my fellow pre-seminary students on registration day. It was wonderful to spend time telling each other about our faith and the interest of becoming pastors. That really made my day special.”—Su Reh






_JP15461“When I visited other schools, I was just part of the group, but here, it was more one on one.” —Jake Jurss







“Being that Hannah is the first child in our family to go to college, we wanted to make sure we understood everything. Our admission counselor picks up the phone and answers everything, and it’s been very helpful.” —Anne Elrod

Admission Counselors

“It’s important for students to know that they’re not just a number here on campus. They are a special person created in His likeness whom we care deeply about.” —Joel Bahr

“I remember how ‘cared for’ I felt when visiting campus as a high school student, and I want to ensure that I do the same for every student and family that walks through our doors. There was such a lasting impression that I still remember it to this day, and I truly believe our families get that same experience.” —Sarah Kitterman

An environment that inspires spiritual and academic growth.

The beauty and location of campus are certainly positive reinforcements for those considering CUW, but for most students it was the innovation and rigor of the programs, and the time with professors that moved them from “interested” to “applicant.”


_N4C1716“The professors really care about us in that they want us to succeed. I’m always trying to become the best I can be, and the atmosphere at Concordia really helps me feel like I can accomplish that.” —Rachel Buetow



_N4C1456“I really liked that I got to meet the main professors. It made me more comfortable. They teach using real-world situations that students can relate to.” —Savannah Kassin




_N4C1846“I fell in love with the campus and the mission. It was really warm and inviting. It felt like a really nice home for the next four years.” —Rachel Froehlich





“We looked into the program and it was accredited, but it’s more than just a program. They were kind, warm-hearted, and professional. We knew it wasn’t a mistake or a one-time experience. We knew the root cause of that kindness was Christ and Christianity.” —Dan Argueta

IMG_0027“The campus grounds are incredibly beautiful. I can see Rachel (Buetow) loving it because of the kind and caring people.” —Maryellen Buetow

Every day we hear about the CUW people who made a visit particularly special. Below is just a sampling of the compliments:

“We all have a relationship with Ashley Peichl [admission counselor]. I’ve probably sent her over 50 emails with different questions, and she’s been so helpful in answering them. Who knows if she’s ever had a bad day? She’s always smiling.” —Wally Argueta (mom)

“Dr. [Jane] Bishop introduced herself to me. It was nice that she took the time to talk with students and make a relationship. It was nice to know that teachers wanted to know my name.” —Hannah Elrod

_JP12802“Coach [Shawn] Cassidy, my basketball coach, and Joel Bahr, my admission counselor, are great. I love these guys.” —Jake Jurss

“Amanda Villani [admission counselor] is really great. She’s checking on me all the time.” —Aubrey Netzel

An education that’s accessible and worth it

A private school offers many advantages, like Christian education, small class sizes, personal attention from professors, and, most importantly, university-wide investment in the experience of each student. The financial advisors work hard to make a CUW experience a reality.


Milwaukee Bucks' Jabari Parker makes appearance at James Madison Academic Campus. Jeffrey Phelps photo

“Dr. David Birner [executive director of international education] introduced me to a grant from the LCMS that covers part of my school education. The main reason I’m here is because I received this grant. Dr. Birner and Amanda Reitz [international admission coordinator] also helped me get my Visa and the governmental documents, like F1 student Visas.” —Solomona Rakotonirina


_N4C1481“Talking with the professors about the program, they talk about the students in the program, and students who have graduated from the program and what they’re doing. They know the students by name.” —Aubrey Netzel

“Concordia helped us a lot with the financial aid aspect. They helped us get as much as we needed to get there.” —Rachel Froehlich “CUW makes it possible for students to achieve their degree in four years.” —Tyler Hass

Admission counselors

“At CUW, 99 percent of our students receive financial aid, so we always want families to understand that while the sticker price may be intimidating, there are many ways to help bring the cost down. We take a personal approach to financial aid because each family is different, and there are many different circumstances that affect their finances.” —Mark Adkins

“In working with families, I emphasize the value of the Concordia experience. They are not only paying for a great academic education, but also for the support of a community which helps ensure students’ success. Additionally, Concordia strives to provide access to all who wish to attend CUW. We will do all we can to make Concordia affordable for students who wish to attend.” —Michaela Hanson


Photo 2“Concordia is comprised of many different departments, and they all work very well together. Whether it was our admission counselor, academic advisor, or the office of financial aid, they are all interconnected so well. This is our first experience with someone going away to school, and it was very smooth.” —Wally Argueta

“God really put Concordia right into Hannah’s [Elrod] path. It’s important to her to know how to be a businesswoman with a Christian worldview, and that’s what she wants to portray when she gets into the business world.” —Anne Elrod

_N4C0442The charge of supporting our students, both at the start of their collegiate journeys and along the way, is one shared University wide, but it is also a joyous responsibility that extends beyond. It’s a role inherent to parents and one that can be taken up in other ways, too: by faithful church members who pray for their fellow young congregants; by individuals who provide generous financial support to further students’ academic opportunities; and by alumni who ignite the intrigue of a prospective student by sharing their own most cherished and valued Concordia experiences. The path to and through college isn’t always easy, but an entire community can help to make the journey worth it. And the value of a higher educational experience can endure long after a student’s freshman year. In the words of Ferry, “Part of being a freshman is figuring things out, I suppose. It took me a while. In some ways I am still interpreting that year’s significance. But, the only way possible for me to describe who I am today or why I do what I do is to refer to my freshman year in college.” Learn more about a Concordia University Wisconsin education and how to get the admission process started by visiting www.cuw.edu/admissions.

By the Numbers.

Undergraduate Majors: 70

Graduate Programs: 39

Doctorate Degrees: 4

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1

Student Organizations: 70+

99% of undergraduates receive financial aid

Types of Financial Aid awarded:

  • Grants: 33%
  • Loans: 32%
  • Scholarships: 35%

The average student is awarded $23,022. 68% of student aid awarded does not need to be repaid.

By Lisa Liljegren and Kali Thiel, University Affairs Special Contributor Amanda Villani, Admissions Photography by Jeffrey Phelps