The recent cold temperatures and snow are an obvious reminder of the winter months; however, Grow in Grace has been looking ahead (and looking forward) to Summer Quarter 2019 for many months.
For over 45 years, Summer Quarter courses have been offered to WELS pastors on campus in Mequon. In recent years, satellite courses, or on-location courses, have become a popular alternative for a pastor’s continuing education. So often pastors remark that they are interested in participating in a continuing education course through WLS, but taking time to travel to Mequon can present a challenge. As a response, Grow in Grace was eager to find a way to bring more continuing education classes to pastors in their area.
Beginning this year and continuing during odd numbered years, Summer Quarter will travel to outlying synodical districts. On-campus Summer Quarter will still be held in Mequon in even numbered years. 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 the on- campus experience.
Beginning this new pattern is the South Central District. The district is hosting two courses through Grow in Grace. Seminary Professors Rich Gurgel and John Brug will be traveling to Texas in early spring to offer the courses, Preaching Sanctification in Ways that Honor Gospel Predominance and Archaeology and Geography of the Gospels respectively. Throughout the remainder of 2019, the traveling Summer Quarter is going to various districts offering from two to five course choices for the pastors attending.
Although Summer Quarter is traveling to different districts throughout the year, pastors are not limited to participate in courses only in their district. All Summer Quarter 2019 courses remain open to any pastor in any district, no matter where the traveling Summer Quarter courses are taking place. Summer Quarter on campus will return in 2020 and all subsequent even numbered years.
While this is the inaugural year for the traveling Summer Quarter, we anticipate a rise in pastor participation in formal continuing education from previous Summer Quarter years. It has been our prayer that more pastors are able to participate in continuing education from WLS, and this is the year to see how this new Summer Quarter pattern will bless those pastors and their congregations.