This year’s theme and theme verses challenge us to rely more fully on God and His wisdom—and less on our own.

This year’s campus theme—In Every Way, God’s Path—is based on a familiar pair of verses. They are so familiar, in fact, that the campus ministry team was surprised to discover that they have not been used before in the more than 50 years this has been a tradition at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Proverbs 3:5-6 state:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

English Standard Version (ESV)

Though these verses may seem very familiar, they have perhaps deeper meaning than might be observed at first reading. Rev. Steve Smith, CUW campus pastor, said he likes how the verses break down into four component parts, each with its own depth of meaning.

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart: “The word ‘all’ here is very important. A lot of us are able to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll trust God with the big things,’ the little, day-to-day things are sometimes harder to give to God. God wants us to trust all things to him, with all our hearts.”
  • Do not lean on your own understanding: “There are plenty of times when we think we’re wise enough to see or understand something, but our own understanding will ultimately break down at some point. We’re not going to find the right answer to everything just by looking to our own wisdom and way of looking at things. We need to turn to God for that.”
  • In all your ways acknowledge him: “Again, we see all. Not in some ways, in all our ways. And we all liked how ‘way’ can mean different things. It can be a road or a path, but also the way you do something or think about things.”
  • And he will make your paths straight: “A straight path may seem like a direct line from Point A to Point B, but here ‘straight’ is more about being ‘right with God.’ The path God puts us on isn’t always the easy one, but we can trust that it’s the path that keeps us closest to Him.”

Harrison Hulse (’24), the CMLT (Campus Ministry Leadership Team) president for 2023-24 puts it this way: “Though the ways which we study, serve, and come to know God in our time here at CUW may be numerous, we can find comfort in our common confession and journey along His path for our lives together in Him.”

This year, let’s all make a concerted effort to trust and turn to the Lord in all our ways and see how close He draws us to Himself as a result!

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At CUW you can see and feel a Christian emphasis from how our professors teach in the classroom to how our athletes play on the field. We instill in our students that living a full Christian life is about more than worship. CUW is a Christian university, not because we’re perfect people, but because we’re forgiven sinners who gather together in Christ. The strength of a Christian community rests on an awareness that people need one another and reach out to one another for support and understanding.