Wartburg Theological Seminary President, the Rev. Kristin Johnston Largen, Ph.D., is pleased to announce Lead BOLDLY, a concentrated $28 million fundraising effort to grow scholarship resources and expand innovation in order to serve the gospel by providing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with more leaders, including leaders from and for diverse communities.


Faithful supporters to the mission of Wartburg have already provided $20.4 million in support of the Lead BOLDLY effort. President Largen states, “We are so excited to have donors partner with us in this mission of sending out church leaders to grow the church in the world. We at Wartburg are grateful for how God has blessed us in so many ways and we know that we are called to be a blessing to others.”


The seminary’s campaign is built on two funding priorities: scholarships and innovation. In an effort to remove financial barriers that prevent students from entering seminary, Wartburg will significantly increase financial support to future students through building the seminary’s endowment and increasing annual fund student support. In the past five years, this effort has already led to an 80% reduction in educational borrowing for Wartburg students.


The innovation priority seeks to continue the seminary’s incredible growth over the past five years by developing and expanding new tracks for church leadership. The church and the world have changed significantly since Wartburg was founded 170 years ago, and Wartburg is responding by developing innovative educational initiatives to ensure that the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to be proclaimed faithfully throughout the world. Current initiatives include an accelerated 6-year BA/MDiv partnership with Wartburg College of Waverly, IA, a competency-based alternative ordination track taught in the student’s language of origin, and developing alternative internship sites in under-represented communities.


One important component of the innovation priority is the remodel of Fritschel Hall, Wartburg’s main academic building. The creation of a “library of the 21st century” will provide greater accessibility for all students to the largest digital theological library in the world, of which Wartburg is a founding partner. The $6 million project, with expertise provided by Straka Johnson Architects and Conlon Construction, both of Dubuque, will provide greatly improved energy efficiency, larger classrooms, a renovated auditorium, and increased technological integration for Wartburg’s iconic 100-year-old castle.


To learn more, visit the campaign website at wartburgseminary.edu/lead-boldly or contact Paul Erbes.