"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few..."

Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 9 are no less true today than when they were first spoken centuries ago. Matthew notes that while Jesus was traveling from town to town—healing, preaching, and proclaiming the good news as He went—Christ saw the crowds of distraught and desperate people who flocked to see Him and had compassion on them. 

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field,” was Jesus’ response.

At CUW, we echo that prayer. Ever since the university’s inception in 1881, it’s been the goal to train highly competent workers for the field. And what more noble way to serve the Lord than within the Church, as a called worker?

Concordia University Wisconsin offers four main routes to become a called worker within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod:

  • Pre-seminary  
  • Lutheran Teacher Diploma
  • Director of Church Ministries (DCM)/Pre-deaconness
  • Parish Music


CUW also offers the sole parish nursing certificate within the Concordia University System. While not a rostered position within the LCMS, many nurses who have graduated from CUW’s program have gone on to serve within a congregational setting. 

2019-20 Church Work Enrollment

Concordia University Wisconsin recently released the 2019-20 Concordia University System Enrollment report. This is only the second year that system-wide data has been reported using a consistent, 12-month enrollment count (as opposed to the traditional fall census snapshot).

The data gives an understanding of where CUW’s strengths lie in terms of its church work offerings.  

Out of the nine campuses that make up the Concordia University System, the 2019-20 data showed that CUW has:

  • The most pre-seminary students. CUW’s 56-student total was nearly double that of any other Concordia.
  • The second-largest LTD program. Sixteen of CUW’s 92 Lutheran Teacher Diploma candidates graduated in May 2020 and received calls to Lutheran schools.  
  • The only Director of Church Ministries program. The DCM program designation officially became a recognized office within the LCMS in spring 2020, and already there is an called alumna in the field. 
  • The only parish nursing certificate offered. While not a commissioned position within the LCMS, the parish nursing route is an excellent option for anyone who feels a pull toward caregiving but also yearns to serve in a ministerial vocation within the Church.
  • The only Master of Church Music program with on-campus requirements conveniently scheduled over the summer. For called workers looking to continue to grow in their vocation, CUW offers the Christian Community Scholarship—$200 toward any three-credit adult accelerated undergraduate courses or $500 toward eligible graduate courses.
  • The most graduate-level learners who identify as LCMS. A little over 300 graduate students identified as LCMS, with an additional 362 identifying as WELS or ELCA. Nearly 70 percent of CUW’s total graduate population identified as Christian.
  • The most undergraduates who identify as Lutheran (any denomination). 1,377 undergraduate students identified as Lutheran, and 82% of the total undergraduate population identified as Christian.  

Meet a few of CUW’s Church Workers

Matt Machemer (’22)

Master of Church Music

Read Matt’s story here. 





Morgan (Marnholtz) Zunker (’19)

Lutheran Teacher 

Read Morgan’s story here. 





Hannah Gillrup (’20)

Director of Church Ministries

Read Hannah’s story on the front page of the November issue of the LCMS Reporter

(Digital link to the story coming soon!)



SilasSilas Hasselbrook (’18)

Pre-Seminary, Parish Music

Read Silas’ story here.  





— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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