The numbers aren’t adding up.
For Trinity, and the rest of the Lutheran schools around the world, it’s been a growing concern.
Lutheran schools are struggling to fill their classrooms with synodically trained teachers.
The Concordia University systems, which is comprised of six colleges and universities affiliated with the LCMS, was established to develop Christian leaders, including teachers who would supply higher education to accomplish the mission of the church.
The pool of synodically trained teaching candidates from the Concordia universities is dwindling.
“We are in need of at least three teachers for next year,” shared Central Lutheran (Newhall, Iowa) principal Frank Parris. “Of the 56 potential synodically trained candidates I have looked through, only two have agreed to an interview.”
Other Iowa District East schools are feeling the same pain.
Trinity Lutheran, which has 11 synodically trained teachers, and two synodically trained administers, and Valley Lutheran both are seeking to fill four teaching positions for the 2024-25 school year, while LIS Williamsburg is seeking to fill its principal position.
The struggle is real.
Last year, there were 33 Concordia University graduates seeking placement in elementary education.
This year – there’s 21.
“As a ministry, I don’t think we’ve encouraged people enough about church work,” shared James Ullman, who is a first-grade teacher at Trinity Lutheran and a Concordia Ann Arbor grad.
LCMS congregations operate more than 800 elementary schools with approximately 78,000 students.
“Teaching – as a profession – is sadly not held in high regard by many in our society,” Trinity principal Bill Meyer shared. “But it’s one of the most powerful. We need to continue to share that message, and the blessings that come with it.”