Aaron Hartwig, MS Ed

First MLC “Master”

Aaron Hartwig St. Paul-North Fond du Lac WIAaron Hartwig was the first student to enroll in MLC’s Master of Science in Education program. A decade later, we caught up with him. Did the degree make a difference in his ministry?


“There’s no doubt in my mind,” he says, “that I’m a significantly better principal and classroom teacher as a result of it.”

Aaron Hartwig MLC ’02 had been out of school only a couple years when he wanted back in. “I was eager to earn my master’s degree because, as a novice teacher, I realized I was far from mastery. The master’s program was a means to invest in myself, so that I could better serve those with whom I was called to share the gospel.”

He could have gone almost anywhere for that advanced degree, but he chose MLC. “Since there’s nothing I do that’s more important than sharing the gospel, MLC’s program seemed a natural fit. I was comfortable knowing I’d be instructed by individuals who were experts in their fields and who understood WELS ministry. It also appealed to me to study alongside my WELS peers.”

He graduated with his MS-Ed (Leadership emphasis) in 2008, along withBrett Kriese DMLC ’95—the first two to wear the MLC master’s hood. Since then, 71 have worn the hood, and another 134 are currently enrolled.

Looking back, Aaron says: “The program met and exceeded my expectations. I left the program comfortably immersed in the latest educational trends and terminology. Now I thoroughly enjoy my role as my school’s administrator, continuing to evaluate educational trends and determining how they can best be used to achieve academic excellence at my school.”

In 2009, Aaron accepted a call to serve as principal and grade 7-8 teacher at St. Paul-North Fond du Lac WI. Although he works with a significantly larger faculty and student body, the heart of his ministry remains the same, he says: “sharing the gospel with souls who desperately need to hear it.”

And he carries his education with him. “Without a doubt, I apply the things I learned at MLC each and every day, during both my classroom and my administrative time.” He also pays it forward. “I’ve discovered that I enjoy incorporating professional development components into my faculty meetings, so I can continue the beneficial dialogue found in a professional learning community.

“Undeniably,” he concludes, “the education I received at MLC has been a daily blessing for me and those I serve.”

And just to put the icing on the cake, he explains that he recently signed up for another MLC graduate course, Google Technologies in Education. “I suppose that’s evidence of me ‘putting my money where my mouth is’ as I advocate the blessings of MLC’s program to others!”