Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Giving to LSTC: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about giving to LSTC

Why should I give to LSTC?

LSTC graduates serve in every type of ministry in the ELCA and beyond, bearing witness to the gospel in a world in need of grace and healing.

Tuition covers just a fraction (13%) of the cost of seminary education. Gifts from the ELCA and supporting synods contribute another 21%. Over one third of funding for LSTC’s mission comes from Annual Gifts. That’s gifts from individuals like you and from congregations. Without your gifts, the church would be without the hundreds of visionary leaders being formed at LSTC each year.

Where is my gift needed most?

Gifts to the Annual Fund support all of LSTC’s ministries. To encourage giving to the Annual Fund, two generous donors have agreed to match all new, renewed and increased gifts through June 30, 2014. Learn more.

How will my gift be used?

That depends on the type of gift you make. A gift to the Annual Fund will be used to support the day-to-day operations of the seminary, an essential part of fulfilling LSTC’s ministry of teaching and learning.

Annual gifts may also be designated to fund current year scholarships or programs such as the Pero Multicultural Center or Zygon Center for Religion and Science.

Endowed gifts may be made to the unrestricted endowment. Earnings on those funds are used for operations.

Restricted endowed gifts may be made for scholarships, fund a position or fund a program. Only the earnings from an endowed gift will be used to fund the scholarship, position or program.

How much does alumni support really matter?

Strong alumni support signals to other donors the value alumni place on their LSTC experience. Strong alumni support is an endorsement of LSTC’s mission and instills confidence in others to give. It’s extremely important! Even if you can give only a small amount, the fact that you support your seminary can make a huge difference in LSTC’s fundraising efforts.

How can alumni support LSTC in addition to donating funds?

There are many ways listed at Give of your time.

Here are a few other suggestions:

  • invite an LSTC faculty member to be an adult forum leader at your congregation or synod conference group
  • identify people you know who would like to support LSTC
  • participate in LSTC’s Lifelong Learning programs
  • bring your youth group to Chicago for a week with Youth in Mission’s Beyond Belief program
  • recommend high school sophomores and juniors for Youth in Mission’s Serving Christ in the World program
  • contribute your story to the E.pistle monthly e-newsletter
  • stay in touch with what’s happening at LSTC (and share that with others) through LSTC’s Facebook page

How can I remember LSTC in my will or make a planned gift?

You’ll find more information at Estate and Planned Gifts or simply call one of the LSTC gift officers.

I’d like to get my congregation to support LSTC, can you help me do that?

Absolutely! Just call 773-256-0697 or email Jessica Houston at and we will work with you on the best way to invite support for LSTC from your congregation.

What is the amount of the LSTC endowment?

The amount of LSTC’s endowment shifts with market conditions, but, in late 2011, it was approximately $20 million.

May a donor restrict his or her gift?

Yes, a donor may determine exactly how his or her gift will be used by LSTC. If there are stringent restrictions placed on the gift (e.g., particular requirements for scholarships or program), LSTC may not be able to use or accept the gift if we are not able to meet the requirements attached to a restricted gift.

Page last modified Mar 24, 2016