The Pastor William K. Hein Chaplaincy Endowed Scholarship was established in 2022 in memory of Pastor William K. Hein (1928-2014) by his family: his wife, Ruth (nee Nordlie), and his sons, David, Richard, Stephen, and Robert, and their families.
Pastor Hein served several congregations during his ministry: St. Paul-Faith SD and First English-Dupree SD (1954-1956), Trinity-Minocqua WI and First-Woodruff WI (1956-1966), Trinity-Caledonia WI (1966-1976), and Grace-Muskegon MI (1976 to 1990). In semi-retirement (1990-1993), he served various ministries connected to Michigan Lutheran Seminary, St. Paul-Saginaw MI, and Saginaw nursing homes. Following retirement in 1993, he and Ruth moved to Watertown WI, where he taught weekly Bible classes and baptized prisoners at Jefferson County Jail for 20 years, until his health failed.
The family established this endowed scholarship to recognize Pastor Hein’s 20 years of dedication sharing the gospel with these prisoners. God’s efforts through Pastor Hein led to the baptism of more than 60 prisoners who might not otherwise have received the gospel, sacraments, and eternal life. Since sharing the gospel in institutional settings now usually requires chaplaincy certification, the family hopes that this scholarship will inspire and assist both pastors and laypeople to obtain such certification through Martin Luther College.
Noting Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison and you came to visit me,” the family wishes to honor the memory of Pastor Hein and the gospel ministry God allowed him to do. “He was so grateful for the undeserved love and forgiveness he enjoyed in Christ,” his family said, “that he was eager to share that same undeserved love and forgiveness with people who were hurting, struggling, and in need of healing, hope, and pardon. He knew how much Jesus loved people who were hurting, so he was committed to making the most of every opportunity to share with them the precious truths of the Bible. He would be delighted that this scholarship makes it possible for more Christians to be trained to share the love of Jesus with precious souls in jails, prisons, and assisted living facilities.”
Scholarship recipients are students enrolled in the WELS Chaplaincy Certification Program who demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to new students and laypeople in the program.