Gerald “Jerry” Kastens (1947-2006) served his Lord as an elementary school teacher in Weyauwega, Wisconsin; Winona, Minnesota; and Lake Mills, Wisconsin; as the administrator for the WELS Commission on Youth Discipleship; and as a staff minister at Trinity-Goodview, Minnesota, and Trinity-Watertown, Wisconsin. Jerry served his Lord with godly humility and evangelical love, giving himself fully to the work of the Lord, because he knew his work in the Lord was not in vain. A strong leader, he was instrumental in establishing the WELS Conference of Staff Ministers, where he served as president for two terms. He was also a kind and thoughtful mentor, quick to encourage new staff ministers in their callings. The WELS Conference of Staff Ministers established this scholarship in 2009 in Jerry’s honor to encourage and assist students who pursue staff ministry at Martin Luther College.
Scholarship winners are juniors, seniors, or fulltime on-campus certification students enrolled in the staff ministry program. They are chosen by the staff ministry students themselves based on their love for Christ and others, enthusiasm for staff ministry, ability to encourage others, servant leadership, confident humility, willingness to pioneer new ministry methods, and dedication to the advancement of staff ministry.