Kurt Rosenbaum MS
MS Ed Graduate
BS 1984 DMLC
MS 2011 MLC
In 2009, after 25 years of elementary school administration, Kurt Rosenbaum was called to a different kind of ministry: principal of Arizona Lutheran Academy. Fortunately, the change did not interrupt his pursuit of his master’s degree through MLC. And he was pleased to find that the skills and competencies he gained from his coursework in the leadership emphasis transferred seamlessly from a K-8 school to a 9-12 school and from a single-parish ministry to a federation of parishes.
After his graduation in 1984, Kurt served as a principal at three different elementary schools: Good Shepherd - Burnsville MN (1984-1993), King of Kings - Maitland FL (1993-1999), and Ascension – Sarasota FL (1999-2009). “For 25 years,” he says, “I had the pure joy of serving in a parish ministry. I loved the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the congregation’s ministry and the intimate person-to-person interactions that it provided.”
An accreditation team visiting Sarasota told Kurt’s congregation it was essential that he pursue his master’s degree. The congregation agreed. “So I began with their blessing and encouragement, and the rest is history,” he says.
Kurt had actually started his master’s twice before, but the demands of ministry had made it impossible to finish. MLC’s program was a different story. “I liked the online approach for its flexibility. That was probably the main reason I could finish it.”
A move from Florida to Arizona is no small thing, but Kurt was able to continue working on the master’s program. “I love the fact that the work applied so directly to my ministry and that my classmates were like-minded in their backgrounds and ministries. The fact that the instructors were able to relate quickly to our special needs and our unique ministries was a big plus. I’ve taken some graduate courses at other institutions, and I admit that having some ‘outside of the WELS’ paradigms and approaches has great value too, but when it comes right down to it, I think this program offered much more in my ministry. I feel that the instructors made great efforts in keeping our classes pertinent and current.”
He finished his program at Christmas during his second year at Arizona Lutheran Academy. “I have been extremely pleased with the coursework and applications and how easily these things transferred from my LES ministry to the ALHS world. My degree has allowed me to enter a new world of ministry (LES to ALHS) feeling more competent than I would ever have felt otherwise.”
On a personal note, Kurt has eclectic tastes. He loves travel and has visited all 50 states. He likes gardening, landscaping, reading, cooking, baking, and playing and watching tennis. A social studies concentrate back in 1984, he continues to enjoy history and calls himself a bit of a political junkie, especially in an election year like this one. When not tuned to political talk shows, his radio plays swing, Christian contemporary, or Broadway. And church music has always played a big role in his ministry.
When he retires, he may look into a bed-and-breakfast, maybe in a place like Virginia where he could also offer his services as a historical tour guide.
But for right now, he says, “I’m living my career dream! Since first grade I’ve never wavered on being a teacher as a career, and I’ve enjoyed my years immensely. This is coupled with the fact that I always desired to play a role in missions and in ministerial education, and I’ve been blessed to serve on governing boards of three of our ministerial education schools as well as the Board for Ministerial Education, and I served about eight years as school counselor in Antigua. I’m humbled by both experiences.”
To those who may be on the fence about pursuing their master’s degree, Kurt offers his encouragement: “I waited until I was in the ministry 25 years to complete my program. I now wish I would’ve completed it earlier for the benefits I’ve received. I would encourage others to jump at it to gain the maximum benefit. I would encourage congregations and calling bodies to make it possible—both in time and in finances—for called workers to continue their education and pursue advanced degrees. It’s essential for our treasured WELS school system to remain current and our teachers to be experts in the arena in which we serve. I consider it a privilege to have served now for 28 years in this kind of work, where God’s Word and people meet.”
(Article written by Laurie Gauger)