Colleges With the Least Student Loan Debt Per Borrower In the Midwest

Another ranking that reflects the awesome support our students at MLC receive from so many people! Thank you for your generous gifts which directly benefit our future ministers of the gospel. MLC was blessed to be ranked #18 out of 500 colleges surveyed across the 12 states of the midwest!

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MLC Ranks #49 in the Nation for Least Average Student Debt

According to LendEDU, Martin Luther College was ranked #49 when it came to small private colleges and universities with the lowest average student debt figures in the United States. The data is reflective of the Class of 2016.

Thank you to all who support MLC! It is because of your generosity that we are able to offer low tuition rates to our students.

Click here to view the rankings


CashCourse at MLC

In order to provide important financial information to students on campus, MLC has partnered with CashCourse – a non-profit organization that provides financial education courses. Students have different topics to complete online each year, and the application of these resources helps them make better financial decisions. Last year over 300 students – in small groups or individual consultation – were served with important financial information through the work of MLC’s Financial Literacy Coordinator, JoElyn Krohn.

Each year CashCourse tracks the schools that utilize these resources. Once again, MLC has made the national top 10 list for web engagement and has also been granted the 2018 Reimbursement Program to help promote the CashCourse resources. This spring the financial literacy program will offer monthly drawings to encourage students to increase their financial literacy.

For more information on MLC’s ranking through CashCourse, visit their website.

Books for Africa

Anchor, MLC’s student led, service organization, will host a book drive January 22 through February 10, 2017 to help kids in Africa receive proper reading materials. While at home over Christmas break, please consider bringing some of your lightly used books back to campus for this wonderful cause.

A few of Books for Africa’s guidelines are below:

“We send textbooks, other reference books, and leisure reading (paperback and hardcover novels, picture books, etc.) that are less than 15 years old and in great condition (no “dog ears,” compromised bindings, etc.). Picture/reading books for primary aged children are greatly desired. School supplies (like pens, paper, rulers, etc.) are also desired.

We do not send Spanish or any other foreign language books. As we are interested in sending books that are culturally relevant to an African learner, please do not donate books about American History/ Government/holidays/culture/self-help. We no longer ship academic journals, used encyclopedia sets or National Geographic magazines.”

Archives Going into Hibernation Status

We owe a debt of gratitude to Lois Bode DMLC ’67, Kelly Diersen DMLC ’95, and the volunteers who have done so much to help preserve and present the history of our blessed school. Many of the historical articles featured in InFocus magazine through the years were made possible due to our Archives team.

Lois Bode freely gave many hours each week as our volunteer archivist for several years. In 2016, Kelly Diersen was hired by the MLC Alumni Association as a temporary archives project manager. Kelly’s temporary funding will come to a close December 15.

With the loss of these two key leaders and no funding available, the MLC Archives will go into a hibernation status as of December 15. To prevent loss or damage to items currently in the Archives, access will be prohibited. New items will still be welcomed and safely stored, but they will not be processed or researched. It is our goal that at some point in the future, an archivist will be hired to revive our efforts.

To learn more, visit


Professor Paul Koelpin WLS ’90 and Professors Emeriti Daniel Deutschlander WLS ’68 and Arnold Koelpin WLS ’58 were featured in the Luther documentary, A Return to Grace: Luther’s Life and Legacy. Paul Koelpin (pictured) also appeared in Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World.

As Reformation historians, the professors offered context and commentary on this world-altering movement and its lasting effects. Both films were made by Boettcher + Trinklein Inc, the Emmy Award-winning production company of WELS members Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein. The Idea that Changed the World was featured on PBS in September. It’s available on Netflix and on DVD from PBS. A Return to Grace played in churches and select cinemas. It is available on DVD from Northwestern Publishing House.

Luther’s Christmas Pageant

Adapted by Professor Emeritus Arnold Koelpin

“Luther on Christmas Eve” was painted by Bernhard Plockhurst in 1887.

Martin Luther liked to celebrate Christmas with the freshness and spontaneity of a child. He composed the Christmas hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” to be enacted as a family Christmas pageant. Published in 1535, it may well have been written for the previous Christmas, when his son Hans was 8 and his daughter Lenchen was 5.

Imagine: Near the Christmas tree stood a cradle. Most likely Luther himself, with his fine tenor voice, took the part of the angel and sang stanzas 1-2, where the angel announced: “From heaven above to earth I come to bear good news to every home.” Perhaps his wife, Katie, continued the angel’s announcement in stanzas 3-4, and then together, in stanza 5, they invited the children to come to the cradle.

The Luther children, like shepherds, were probably waiting not far from the cradle: John (Hans), Elizabeth, Magdalena (Lenchen), Martin, Paul, and Margaret. “Look now, you children, at the sign” was their cue. They took up the song at stanza 6: “How glad we’ll be that it is so! With all the shepherds let us go.”

We can imagine them approaching the cradle, individually or together, as they sang each of the subsequent stanzas, marveling at the Christ-child and inviting him into their hearts. And finally, the entire family joined in the closing doxology of stanza 15: “Glory to God in highest heaven!”

You can reenact this inclusive and intimate family Christmas pageant in your home, whether you have just a few people or a large group. Find the pageant, with hymn stanzas and the easy-to-use instructions, at

Note: *Elizabeth died in infancy, but we have included her in the pageant nonetheless.

Let the Children Come!

Trinity Christian Early Childhood Centre – St. Lucia

A Servant Teaches How To Serve

At Trinity Christian Early Childhood Centre-St. Lucia, director and teacher Evodia Cassius-Noel ’16 is a servant of the Word and of her young students. And she makes sure her students are learning to serve others as well. The church and school are in an area of the island that is considered problematic, she says. “Before enrolling in our school, many of the students had not been exposed to books, physical activity, or simple things like shopping in the supermarket or interacting with people beyond their families.”

Donors pay 50-75% of the students’ tuition, allowing them to attend this Christian centre that introduces them to the world—and also to the Word. “Students are learning how much God loves them,” Evodia says.

And then their teacher leads them to share that love in their community. “We do random acts of love—small service projects for the public. To date we have given candy canes and the Christmas message to the staff of the special education unit on our island, donated money to the children’s orphanage, and served tea and coffee to people in the Bisee community on their way to work.”

The preschool is small, with 16 students aged 2-5, but the impact they are making on their community is large. People are noticing, and enrollment is on the rise.

Evodia is grateful. Originally from St. Lucia herself, she gave up a few seasons of St. Lucia sun for Minnesota snow so she could earn her early childhood education degree from MLC and then come back home and make a difference. That’s the kind of servant she is.

Adapted from CLS e-News, a publication of WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools (September 6, 2017).

Crawdads for MLC Grads

Fifty members of Victory of the Lamb-Katy TX added a twist to their annual crawfish boil this year. In addition to the games, Cajun music, and tasty crawfish, they also took a freewill offering for MLC’s Congregational Partner Grant Program (CPGP).

At their spring event, newly dubbed “Crawdads for MLC Grads,” members gave $1,617. Through CPGP, MLC matched $1,000, and a generous donor matched the rest, raising Victory of the Lamb’s gift to $3,234.

Organizer Kevin Begnaud said: “As a congregation we have a lot of respect for ministerial education. This is one of the core values of our congregation. It’s particularly true of the vicar program and how it encourages and develops young men for their roles as pastors. Additionally, we recognize the importance of MLC in fostering a sure foundation for pastors, called workers, and laypeople, a foundation that will lend itself to seeing them appropriately prepared for their (and His) work.”

Several alumni attend the Texas church, including Pastor Nathan Buege WLS ’02, Amy Buege ’98, Charles Buege DMLC ’69, Ruth Buege DMLC ’71, and Vicar Noah Willitz ’14. Several younger members have MLC in their sights.

Begnaud began having the crawfish boils at his house several years ago “because it was an opportunity to have many church and non-church friends hang out together.” When the annual event was moved to the church, Begnaud and several others continued to act as host, donating time and food, so that all proceeds could go to the church. This is the first year they’ve donated the members’ donations to MLC.

As for the crawdads themselves, Begnaud says he’s continuing a family tradition of “providing a repast of high quality and spiciness.” What he throws in the pot includes crawfish, sausage, corn on the cob, red potatoes, yellow onion, garlic cloves, mushrooms, and—we’re quite sure—secret ingredients he refuses to reveal.

“I believe dedicating this gift to MLC was a great idea,” he concludes, “and I look forward to continuing such efforts well into the future, until they bury me with my pot!”