The beauty of studying at a Lutheran university is that faith is intertwined with teaching, learning, and mentorship. Ten CUWAA School of Education faculty share examples.

Every day, the faculty and staff of the School of Education at Concordia University have a unique opportunity—to invite their students to “Come and See.” This invitation echoes the very words of Jesus as he began his earthly ministry, calling his disciples to witness and experience the transformative power of his presence. Today, as children of God, this invitation remains relevant and compelling in the School of Education.

We approached 10 members of our esteemed School of Education team and asked them to reflect on how they extend this invitation to their students—to come and see Jesus in their classrooms, interactions, and educational journeys. Join us as we delve into their insights and experiences, discovering how faith becomes intertwined with teaching, learning, and mentorship at Concordia University.

Professor Jonathan Balsman

Assistant Professor of Education and Math

Years at Concordia: 2

“My service at Concordia in preparing future educators for the church and the world reflects the relationship we are allowed to have with Christ. In our lives, we have a relationship with Christ by speaking to Him and listening to His Word. At Concordia, we get to encourage students to allow the Spirit in and grow their own relationship through a God-given vocation by saying, ‘Here I am Lord; send me’. By fostering relationships with my students outward, modeled from my relationship upward, we can grow together in the call of the Great Commission to seek disciples. The victory has been won and students will come and see that teaching is a joy and the land is good.”

Professor Laura Adameak

Interim Director of Graduate Counseling

Years at Concordia: 6 months

“God has called me to many vocations in my life. In my vocation as Interim Director of the Graduate Counseling Program, I am called to serve our students as they pursue degrees to serve others in the counseling field. I am called to support their education, make sure they are prepared for the vocation of counselor, and to help them reach their goals. I am called to support our adjuncts who are teaching our students, making sure they are reflecting the love of Christ and providing a godly perspective in our courses.”

“God provides us with a great model of ‘Counselor’ and I hope to encourage our students to look to that model in their own practice. I do this while pointing them back to Christ, to rely on him and the paths he has set for them. We are a Christian institution and students should expect to have content presented from that view. Scripture passages are presented that align with the topics in the courses I teach. In my short time at CUW, I know students are challenged between worldly and godly views in the counseling field. We present things from a godly view, while aligning ourselves ethically in the profession. I pray for our students and the challenges they face as they pursue degrees in our program. I encourage them to trust that the Lord is walking with them in the conversations I have with them.”

Dr. Steven Witt

Professor of Education

Years at Concordia: 16

“As a commissioned minister of the Gospel at Concordia, my vocation is tied to my life with Christ. As Martin Luther once stated, ‘The work of a teacher in the school is a high and holy vocation.’ My service is not merely imparting knowledge and sharing my experiences but also nurturing the spiritual growth of my students. I have embraced Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come and see’ by fostering an environment of Christian faith and discipleship within my relationships, various roles, and during classroom instruction. I try to ‘preach the Gospel, and use words, if necessary.’ I strive to model my faith journey by demonstrating Christ-like love, compassion, and humility.”

Dr. Sara Clemm von Hohenberg

Director, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with Elementary and Secondary Teacher Certification

Years at Concordia: 10

“I share my faith with my students whenever I get the chance. Even in the online environment where I am not face-to-face with my students, I encourage my students to send me their prayer requests. I strive to email back my prayer (and not just respond that I will be praying for them). When a student shares a problem with me, I ask if they have prayed about it or if we can pray about it together. In my weekly announcements, I share how the bible relates to what we are studying that week. A Bible verse related to the weekly theme is included in every course in my program.”

“I let my students know what I am currently studying in my small group bible study. I further encourage them by letting them know I can help them find a church family if they need it. My personal prayer is that my students come and see our Lord and Savior through their interactions with me and that they share that love with others.”

Dr. Chris Scudella

Director of Educational Administration

Years at Concordia: 7

“The essence of our commitment lies in the invitation to ‘Come and see’ our Lord and Savior. This is a call to experience His love and grace through our actions and interactions. We engage students through intentional efforts to foster a Christ-centered community, where spiritual growth is woven into the fabric of academic and personal development. In promoting servant educational leaders, we emphasize the importance of considering a variety of perspectives in leadership. We believe that embracing various viewpoints enhances the richness of our community. This prepares students to be compassionate leaders in a global context. We empower students to approach leadership with a servant’s heart, acknowledging the diverse needs and backgrounds of those they serve.”

Dr. Kathleen Kannass

Director of EdD program, Professor of Leadership and Innovation

Years at Concordia: 6

“The ministry of Jesus was one of teaching, healing, and preaching. In his most well-known parables (Lost Sheep, Good Samaritan, …) and in the Beatitudes, he teaches us about the Kingdom of God. In my role, I have the opportunity to incorporate the values of the Gospel teachings into my daily interactions with students. My hope is that graduates of the program will go forward into their leadership roles mindful of God’s love and the values of God’s Kingdom–peace, mercy, love for neighbor, care for the poor…”

Dr. Sandra Harris

Associate Professor of Education

Years at Concordia: 11

“Whenever I have the opportunity, I am witness for God’s goodness in my life. That is truly a reflection of my life with Christ. Also, I begin my in-person classes with prayer, a scripture, or a short devotional. In this way, I strive to show my students that I am keeping the Lord in my life. In the leadership courses, there is an opportunity to look at leadership through the lens of the Bible.”

Dr. Jim Juergensen

Director of Student Teaching and LCMS Placement, Associate Professor of Education

Years at Concordia: 13

“I teach at 7:30 a.m. and I love the fact that we get to start our day together in prayer! The class is The Profession and Ethics of Teaching. We dive into many case studies and scenarios where we reflect on how our decision-making impacts our students and colleagues.”

“How does our faith influence what we teach, how we teach, and how we lead in Christian love and care? Can I demonstrate my faith and Christian values in a public-school setting, or how can I intentionally integrate my faith into the classes I teach if in a Lutheran or other Christian school setting? How does scripture influence my perspective as a teacher and servant leader? These are the types of questions we consider and discuss throughout the semester, and it brings me great joy to see our students grow in their understanding of how to be a shining light in their schools and communities!”

Dr. Adam Paape

Assistant Dean and Professor of Education

Years at Concordia: 14

“Serving at Concordia within the School of Education is not just a job. It is all about showing our students our Savior. I have the pleasure of serving as the program director for many of our online initial teacher licensure programs for our post-traditional teacher candidates. What does that mean?” I get to support many students who have lots of joys and challenges in their lives. Many are in their late 20s to 50s and working full-time during the day, raising families, and engaging in our programs at the same time. That’s a full life!”

“Interacting with this dedicated group of learners is filled with opportunities to invite them to come and see our loving Lord. When our students are dealing with sick children or the failing health of loved ones, I get to offer them prayer in the moment during our Zoom or phone check-ins. Praying in real-time with our students in times of need allows me to share the love of Jesus in a tangible way. Getting to show our students that I am their advocate allows me to point to our advocate in Jesus.”

“There are many stories within my years at Concordia where we have seen students come to us for our private education experience. They didn’t join us because we are a faith-based institution. However, after having been influenced by my wonderful colleagues in the School of Education and in our other schools at the university, many have left our programs as believers in Christ. That is what we are all about. God is good!”

Dr. Jim Pingel

Dean and Professor of Education

Years at Concordia: 10

“I find great joy in having an opportunity to deliver the BEST education possible to my students. And THE BEST thing anyone can learn is how much Jesus loves them, and how God’s Word can fuel their life today and for eternity. In my doctoral leadership case studies course, I love sharing biblical accounts, or stories, which not only teach leadership lessons, but faith lessons from the Master Teacher. Many students are un-churched or under-churched–they may have never heard of these stories or heard them at one time but have forgotten them. I love seeing the power of the Holy Spirit pouring into a student’s heart and mind. Sharing the faith is not something I HAVE to do, but it’s a privilege I GET to do. I feel the delight of God as stated in Romans 10:15: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

In their diverse roles and interactions, each faculty member at the SOE exemplifies Christ’s love and invites students to deepen their faith journey. Through prayer, scripture, and a commitment to embodying Christian principles, they empower students to embrace their calling and serve as ambassadors of Christ in their professions.

As part of Concordia University Wisconsin’s mission, which is rooted in its identity as a Lutheran higher education community, the faculty of the School of Education not only educates minds but also nurtures spirits. They wholeheartedly engage in the holistic development of students, aiming to help them grow in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world. Through their dedication, they inspire a generation of educators who embody the values of faith, compassion, and servant leadership in their professional endeavors.


Concordia University Wisconsin is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world. Our Education programs focus on optimizing your abilities to serve students, schools, and the community through education. We develop well-rounded educational professionals that can teach and lead in rural and urban communities. With a Christian-centered focus, relevant curriculum, and engaging faculty you can play a meaningful role in the world of education