It's National Lutheran Schools Week, an opportunity to celebrate the gift of the 1,900-plus schools throughout the U.S. that exist to raise up the next generation of faithful Christian disciples.

As an affiliate of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, CUW is proud to join in the celebration. Our university boldly nurtures lifelong learners’ faith in all variety of vocational pursuits. Today, Concordia offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate offerings in areas including business, health care, and science—a far cry from the university’s inception when its express function was solely to train up the next generation of Lutheran pastors, teachers, and all other ministers of the Gospel.   

Even with its growth, however, Concordia’s original mission remains strong. The good work of preparing called workers for the LCMS continues today through four main routes: 

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

Church Work Tracks

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

In late 2020, Synod 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 provides a better understanding as to where CUW’s strengths lie in terms of its church work offerings.  

Out of the eight 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 a 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 here. 



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 or 262-243-2149.

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