LSTC

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Ryan Gerlach

I wanted to experience the kind of diversity I'd find in Chicago. I also like the school's philosophy. It trains pastors, but accepts people where they're at. When I visited LSTC, I was impressed with how open-minded and open-armed it is. The professors took an interest in me. They are very down-to-earth.

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Student Profile: Ryan Gerlach

Degree: M.Div.

"LSTC has been as challenging as I expected," Ryan Gerlach says. The challenge is balanced with community. "I appreciate the people – there are a lot of pastors here – a lot of good listeners."

Being a good listener, himself, had people asking him when he was going to go to seminary. Ryan has a certificate in Youth and Family Ministry from Wartburg Seminary and had spent six years as a youth minister at a church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Ryan felt that God was pushing him to take that next step.

The diverse community is one of the things that drew Ryan to LSTC. "I wanted to experience the kind of diversity I'd find in Chicago. I also like the school's philosophy. It trains pastors, but accepts people where they're at. When I visited LSTC, I was impressed with how open-minded and open-armed it is. The professors took an interest in me. They are very down-to-earth."

Being back in school has been an adjustment for Ryan, "I never had a theological brain, but I've learned the language I need to make my way in seminary."

He's found ways to use his talents at LSTC. Ryan plays guitar in chapel and was in the 2012 student musical about Katie Luther. He has also used his skills in web and media development to create a video, "Luther Rap," as a final project for one of his Lutheran Confessions class (to watch it on You Tube search "Luther Rap.")

As for what happens after graduation, Ryan says, "I leave that up to God, but I'm hoping for a congregation. I'll go wherever God leads."

Page last modified Aug 12, 2014