Equipping the Saints Campaign exceeds $56 million goal November 16, 2010

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago’s first comprehensive campaign, Equipping the Saints for Ministry, ended June 30, 2010, exceeding its $56 million goal by over $300,000 in realized and planned gifts in a three-year quiet phase and three-year public phase of the campaign.

“LSTC’s board and administration are grateful for the partnership of so many alumni and friends who gave generously to the seminary over the course of the campaign,” said the Rev. Dr. Philip Hougen, acting president of LSTC. Hougen served as co-chair of the campaign with his spouse, Diane, and Larry and Christie Tietjen.

A campaign closing celebration was held on November 12 in Chicago, during the fall Board of Directors meeting.

Annual Fund giving key to campaign success

Sustained growth in giving to LSTC’s Annual Fund, averaging 7 – 7.5% per year, exceeded the $26 million goal for the Fund by almost $290,000. Ninety six percent of Annual Fund gifts have been received.

President James Kenneth Echols said, “Gifts to LSTC’s Annual Fund kept the seminary operating on a daily basis during challenging economic times for our country and our church. I give thanks to God for the faithful saints whose gifts of time and treasure helped LSTC reach its campaign goal and continue to build up the body of Christ by preparing visionary leaders for the church.”

Alumni, donor gifts increased 200% and more

In addition to exceeding the ambitious fundraising goal of $56 million in cash and planned gifts, the total number of donors to LSTC increased 15% during the campaign and gifts from donors increased by nearly 200%.

“The success of this campaign shows how much the church values the type of leaders LSTC forms for ministry,” said Janette Muller, chair of LSTC’s Foundation Board of Trustees. “Good pastors, teachers, and leaders are essential for the future of the church. That was a key message of this campaign.”

The number of alumni making gifts to LSTC increased approximately 10% each year of the six-year Equipping the Saints for Ministry Comprehensive Campaign. Total alumni giving increased by 300% during that same period.

Endowed and planned gifts up significantly

Equipping the Saints for Ministry sought to grow LSTC’s endowment and increase the number of planned gifts made to the seminary.  

Gifts to restricted endowment funds, designated for scholarships or chairs, increased an average of 10% each year of the campaign. The number of planned gifts increased by 25% during the campaign and total amount of planned gifts grew 75% to $35 million.

“Gifts like these significantly strengthen LSTC’s ministry and mission both now and into the future,” said Mark Van Scharrel, vice president for advancement. “We are grateful that so many people value the type of theological education LSTC provides for the future of our church and world.”


Jessica Houston
Assistant Vice President for Advancement

Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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