Thanks to an endowment started by several Concordia University pre-seminary graduates, today’s pastors-in-training at CUW are able to receive several of their essential language texts for free.

Incoming pre-seminary students will now be equipped with the following four basic language texts required to complete their undergraduate track:

  • Novum Testamentum Graece (the Greek New Testatment)
  • A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
  • A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament
  • Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (the Hebrew Bible)

The books are supported by the Rev. Dr. Victor A. Bartling Memorial Endowment. Twenty years ago, Concordia high school graduates from the Class of 1950 began the endowment in honor of their beloved professor, Dr. Bartling, and in celebration of their 50th reunion.

Class President Rev. Harvey Lange took the initiative to raise funds for the endowment. While many of the donors have now passed on, Lange, age 90, is among those still alive to witness some of the endowment’s most recent beneficiaries. At the time, a $50,000 goal was surpassed. Since 2002, earnings from the endowment have supported theological education at CUW in various ways: theological resources for the library, theological lectures on campus, the Concordia Theological Journal.

Rev. Dr. Victor A. Bartling
Rev. Dr. Victor A. Bartling

Bartling, who is also an alumnus, began teaching the classics at Concordia in 1927. He later went on to teach New Testament Language and Interpretation at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and, in 1952, began his service as Associate Editor of The Lutheran Witness and Associate Editor of the Concordia Theological Monthly. His early years as a graduate-level professor coincided with the Class of 1950’s entry into seminary, much to their delight, recalls Lange.

“We used to call Dr. Bartling ‘Uncle Vic,’” Lange says. “He was just a very kind and compassionate person to all of his students.”

Support needed for pre-seminary students

CUW celebrates the largest pre-seminary enrollment of any of the schools in the Concordia University System. With more than 50 traditional undergraduate and eight non-traditional students who plan to go on to seminary, CUW’s pre-seminary enrollment is nearly double that of any other Concordia, but the demand for church leaders within the LCMS remains prominent.

Through the help of generous donors, Concordia has committed to supporting pre-seminary students in various ways. An effort is currently underway to add $1 million to The Concordia Bible Institute Saleska Scholarship Endowment, which supports students who are entering the pre-seminary program at CUW.

Now, for a limited time, gifts of $2,500 or greater will be matched dollar for dollar, if donated to establish or add to named or general endowments at Concordia (including the Saleska Scholarship Endowment). Please contact Jeff Klocko, Director of Donor Relations, for details about this opportunity to support future Church leaders. He may be reached at or 262-243-2170.

Memories of Dr. Bartling

  • William Bliese (’50) remembers Dr. Bartling as being very patient and wonderfully blessed with the gift to teach young men theological languages. ”He helped me catch up to my classmates, when I needed to pack two years of Greek into one year of study.”
  • John Scheck (’50) credits Dr. Bartling for preparing him well for the Greek needed for his seminary studies. He remembers “Uncle Vic” as being “a very fine Greek instructor and more importantly, a warm and kind-hearted human being.”

Which Concordia professor comes to mind when you think of the instructors who most impacted your life? A wonderful way to pay tribute to an admired professor is to start an endowment. Contact the Office of Advancement,  or 262-243-4333 for details on how to get one started.

— 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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