Wartburg College has received a $7,500 Siebert Lutheran Foundation grant that will help continue a strategic planning initiative in spiritual life and ministry on campus.

The strategic planning process began in early 2017 and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year. Through the discernment process, the college seeks to better understand how Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry can more effectively serve its increasingly ethnically and religiously diverse population.

“This is a vital part of the college’s mission, but the program has not been reviewed since 2007,” said Brian Beckstrom, campus pastor. “Since that time, our students have become more diverse and the patterns of young adult faith participation have changed. We can longer assume that even Lutheran students understand their theological tradition and practice.”

The strategic planning process has included gathering existing research on religion and spiritual life and developing an awareness of stakeholders’ perception of Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry.

Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to share their input and ideas at table talk conversations Tuesday, Oct. 31, as the college celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The groups will engage in guided discussions about the college’s mission of faith and learning and the future of Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry.

“This is an exciting time in our history as Wartburg embraces its mission of faith and learning in new ways,” said the Rev. Ramona Bouzard, dean of the chapel. “Students are quite interested in talking about their spiritual lives and figuring out how their beliefs are connected to their work, relationships and commitment to make the world a move livable place for everyone. We hope the table talks will not only provide valuable information for the program review, but will be the first of more regular community conversations about faith and life in the months and years to come.”

The Siebert Lutheran Foundation is an independent, private foundation established by the late Albert F. Siebert to advance the Lutheran church and its ministries. Pan-Lutheran in nature, the Foundation accepts funding requests from ministry programs associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.