WTS Welcomes Volunteers for Housing Rehab Project


DUBUQUE, IA – May 15, 2014– A building project known as “Mission Possible – WTS” began on May 5, 2014 at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa and the Northeastern Iowa Synod have teamed up for this project to contribute funds and labor for updates to ten single family housing units located on the Wartburg campus. The volunteers will add insulation and replace the original windows, exterior doors, siding, and soffits on all of these student housing units, built in 1968, to improve their energy efficiency.

An outreach group of Nazareth Lutheran, called the “Naz Builders,” will be coordinating the work of volunteers from congregations in the Northeastern Iowa Synod throughout the summer. Building crews of six to ten people plan to complete one house per week, working Monday through Thursday during scheduled weeks in May, June, and July. Wartburg Seminary is providing workers with free housing and meals. Workers will start each day with devotion in the Wartburg chapel.

The cost for materials to complete these ten homes is estimated at $40,000. Nazareth Lutheran will cover half of this cost and the remaining costs will be covered via matching gifts from individuals and other congregations in the Northeastern Iowa Synod.

President Stanley N. Olson says of the rehab project, “Wartburg is very grateful for the unexpected gift of this project and for this team of skilled and positive volunteers! Not only are they making major and needed improvements to ten student houses, they are also adding a lively presence to the campus. And we are thankful for the financial gifts that are providing the materials. This work has a long-lasting impact–a great benefit to the student families who will live in these homes and a fresh look for the neighborhood.”

Hank Wellnitz of Cedar Falls, Iowa, one of the lead members of the Naz Builders team, says, “What excites me most about this project is seeing how God uses people from different backgrounds to accomplish His purposes. Everyone that comes on these trips (to Wartburg Seminary) feels so blessed to be able to be a blessing to someone else. I see people working together to accomplish something that’s bigger than themselves. I think the project is a living example of what the church can and should bepeople working together trying to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.”

Wartburg Theological Seminary is one of eight theological schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wartburg is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and educates women and men to serve the church’s mission as ordained and lay leaders. Established in Dubuque, Iowa in 1854, Wartburg Seminary is in its 160th academic year.