Trinity Launches Fund Appeal

for immediate release

December 3, 2015
trinity lutheran seminary launches $12.9 million fund appeal

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Trinity Lutheran Seminary Board of Directors and administration formally launched a five-year, $12.9 million fund appeal under the banner For the Sake of the World, on Dec. 2, 2015. This is the first phase of an eventual $35 million appeal.

This appeal is motivated out of a deep desire to address the leadership crisis in our church and in our world. Funds raised through the appeal will be used to boost enrollment, to enhance the student experience through multiple enhancements and better accessibility, and to create long-term fiscal sustainability for the seminary. Monies raised will help fund student scholarships, the seminary’s new Spanish for Ministry program, and congregations that may need assistance in supporting a two-year intern.

“This appeal will set and reset Trinity on an unprecedented and unparalleled path of excellence in five crucial areas: formation, enrollment, ecumenism, impact, and viability,” said President Rick Barger.

The announcement came after a six-month, national feasibility study conducted by fundraising consultants Gronlund, Sayther, Brunkow determined that an appeal could be successful. At the November meeting of Trinity’s board, members enthusiastically called for the appeal and the formation of a steering team. The Rev. Dr. Allan Sager, professor emeritus of contextual education, and his wife, Erline, were appointed general chairs. Honorary co-chairs include Trinity’s first president, the Rev. Dr. Fred Meuser, and his wife Jeanne, and Meuser’s successor, the Rev. Dr. Dennis Anderson and his wife, Barbara. The steering team also includes alumni, faculty, staff, current and former board members, and congregational representatives.

In this first phase of the appeal, the goal is to raise $10.4 million in cash gifts and $2.5 million in planned gifts through June 30, 2020.

Trinity alumnus, the Rev. Mike Ward, a principal with Gronlund, Sayther, Brunkow, told Trinity’s board that the seminary can raise $35 million or more, but it will need to be done in two phases with distinctly different objectives, said Barger.

“As we introduce this appeal, it is important to know that its purpose will indeed strengthen Trinity; however, the more overarching compelling mission is for the sake of the world. Our world is desperate for courageous and theologically formed leaders who can shape communities, congregations, and the culture in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Barger said.

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