Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke with Concordia student Rachel Gierach.Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke with Concordia student Rachel Gierach.

Editor's Note: This story first appeared in the fall 2017 issue of Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin. View a PDF version of the magazine here.

In his 35 years as a theology professor at Concordia University Wisconsin, Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke has developed a reputation for his tough exams.

Maschke likened his approach to one of his own professor’s at Concordia Ann Arbor. The instructor would drop the needle of a record player in the middle of an album, let it play a moment, and then ask the students to identify the composer.

A Maschke test, likewise, “drops the needle” on a breadth of material and assumes that if students truly know the subject, they’ll know the answer.

“You forget 80 percent of everything you learn, so I’m going to make sure my students have a big 20 percent,” Maschke justifies with a grin.

Some have called his pedagogy nitpicky, but those who understand his methods recognize his true motive.

“He understands the premise: You will get what you expect from your students,” explains one of Maschke’s protégés Rev. Dr. Nathan Meador (’92). “I have no doubt in my mind that I am a better pastor because of Tim.”

Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke engages with students in the Chapel of Christ Triumphant.

After 35 years of impacting students, Rev. Dr. Timothy Maschke will retire in December.

Many more will agree that Maschke has a knack for blending high expectations with genuine care and concern for students—and the right amount of levity sprinkled in.

Most likely that’s why Maschke has earned a spot among numerous CUW alumni’s hearts. Results of a 2016 alumni survey with more than 1,100 respondents put Maschke at the top of the list of individuals at CUW who have had “a special impact” on their experience as a student.

After 35 years of impacting students, and raising up tried and true leaders for the Church—first as campus pastor and later as a fulltime instructor—Maschke will retire from CUW at the end of the 2017 calendar year.

On January 12 at 5:30 p.m., current students, alumni, faculty, and friends will honor him with a retirement celebration at the River Club of Mequon, 12400 N. Ville Du Parc Drive, Mequon.

“I can’t believe I’ve spent over half of my working life at Concordia,” Maschke says. “God has truly blessed me beyond my expectations, and I’m extremely grateful.”

Can’t make it in person? Join the celebration online via Facebook Live (/CUWisconsin), and share your Maschke memories in the comments.

Concordian magazines hit mailboxes the first week of October. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, call 734-995-7317.

— 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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