Carl and Valerie Rausch have deep connections to Wartburg Seminary. Carl’s grandfather, Emil Rausch, was a graduate and served as Wartburg Seminary’s 5th President. Carl also served on the Wartburg Board of Directors for twelve years and the Foundation Board of Trustees for seven years. While board service and family connections have strengthened their relationship to the seminary this isn’t the main reason they choose to support Wartburg Seminary today.

“The seminary’s work is exponential. When you give to the seminary you are helping train people to go out into communities and they will have influence and start programs in that community. Think about all the ways one leader can inspire an entire congregation to serve and make a difference in the world,” shared Carl and Valerie.

The Rausch’s congregation in Ohio has had a number of seminary interns over the years. Each year as the intern comes in they see the transformation in confidence and skill. And each year they are excited for them to go out and serve. Carl shared, “They grow so much in one year’s time. It is amazing and we
can see the impact this person will have when they go out into the world.”

Valerie has spent many years working with kids as a teacher or in a volunteer capacity. She says, “I see kids struggling and I think, what laws can we pass? What curriculum can we do that will fix these challenges? I think change has to come from families and one of the best ways to strengthen families is through the church. The church could have a big role in fixing some of the social problems we have in this world. And to me, it’s all about the impact these pastors and leaders can have in our world. We need more pastors to be out there in churches and communities providing leaders that can change lives, whether that’s through after school programs, programs that serve families, or other ways of reaching out.”

Carl and Valerie take their giving seriously. They want to make the most impact with the resources they’ve been given. For them supporting theological education at Wartburg offers the best “bang-for-your-buck.” Carl said, “There are so many needy organizations that are great organizations. With many you can write a check and the gift is spent and gone. We don’t feel that way about our giving to Wartburg because of the exponential effect. The gift keeps on giving through the impact that pastors and leaders have during their lives of service.”

“A good analogy is throwing a pebble into a lake,” Valerie said, “you throw out the pebble and it is gone but the ripple effect continues almost indefinitely. Pastors and leaders have the ripple effect because of all of the lives they inspire for a different way of living. With a gift to Wartburg you are not just helping the seminary, this is a gift that keeps on giving to our world.”