Fall is here and cooler weather is in the forecast; however, there is still a reason to think back to summer and thank God for over 100 pastors who participated in Summer Quarter either online, in person, or on location through satellite courses.

Though these numbers are indeed something to celebrate, there is no way to truly know exactly how many of God’s people benefit from their pastor’s participation in a Summer Quarter course as pastors return to their home congregations with a renewed zeal for proclaiming the gospel.

For over 45 years, Summer Quarter courses have been offered to WELS pastors on the Mequon campus.

Pastor Noah Headrick shares, “At Summer Quarter I enjoy sitting in the classroom and learning from people who know more than I do. I also enjoy the evening social hour because it gives you an opportunity to talk to people from literally all around the world. Chapel every day is edifying, and singing hymns with all the other pastors is always outstanding.”

Partnering with pastors is the vision of Grow in Grace. One way to relay this vision is offering new and relevant courses. This year, nine new on-campus and online courses were available for enrollment. The most popular course selections included The Doctrine and Practice of Church Fellowship led by Professor John Brug (on campus) and The Principles and Practices of Adult Education led by Professor Tom Kock (online). Both classes were new to Summer Quarter for 2017.

In more recent years, online courses and satellite courses have become a popular alternative for pastors since taking time to travel to Mequon can present a scheduling challenge. Due to the growing demand especially for satellite courses, beginning in the summer of 2019, Grow in Grace will seek to take a “traveling Summer Quarter” to each of the other 11 synodical districts in every odd-numbered year. On-campus Summer Quarter would then be held in Mequon in every even-numbered year. The goal of the traveling Summer Quarter is to make a variety of courses accessible to pastors across the country while still including the intensity and variety of an on-campus experience.

As the planning for traveling Summer Quarter gets underway, we still celebrate and thank God for the blessings of Summer Quarter 2017. Our prayer is that God will continue to grow Summer Quarter enrollment with the hope of reaching more pastors once Summer Quarter is taken “on the road.”