Posted by: St. Mark Lutheran Church | July 30, 2009

Wisconsin Synod Makes Major Priority Decisions

One of the major decisions that faced the 2009 Synod Convention of the Wisconsin Synod was how to deal with an $8 million reduction in our operating budget.  Two options were offered before the Convention.

Option A funded the currently existing four-school, three-tiered system of ministerial education (2 prep high schools, one college, one seminary) along with our current home and world mission efforts.

Option B took $1 million from the Ministerial Education budget and divided it between Home and World Mission efforts of our Synod.

Since previous conventions (not to mention the Scriptures) declared that the core work of the Church is preaching and teaching the Gospel to all creation (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15 and others) and preparing workers to do this preaching and teaching (cf. 2 Timothy 2:2), neither of these options were palatable to many in our circles.

Option C was therefore desired by many, an option that would work to preserve our beloved and working-well system of preparing pastors and teachers, as well as maintaining our mission-minded focus on looking for new places here and abroad to send these beautiful-footed (cf. Isaiah 52:7-10) proclaimers of God’s gospel.

That option was presented to the Convention to today and approved by over 80% of the delegates.  From the Michigan Lutheran Seminary website:

Very Good News for MLS

Late this morning the delegates at the WELS 60th Biennial Convention adopted a budget different from the two plans proposed to the convention by the Synodical Council.

The convention had been asked to adopt either Option A, which would continue to fund MLS for the next two years and reduce funding for Home and World Missions, or Option B, which would fund MLS for the 2009-10 school year and assign its funding for 2010-11 to Home and World Missions. Option B would have closed Michigan Lutheran Seminary after the 2009-10 school year.

The convention’s floor committee dealing with the synod’s budget came to the delegates with a resolution that was different from either Option A or Option B. The resolution specifically stated that the synod must maintain its core work of mission outreach, ministerial education, and synod publications. It presented a plan to take the best aspects of the Synodical Council’s two options for our mission programs and for ministerial education and to reduce funding in other areas of the synod’s budget.

The delegates voted 291 (81%) to 69 (19%) in favor of the floor committee’s resolution. This means that MLS is funded beyond the coming school year and will continue to serve our synod as one of its two preparatory schools training students on the high school level for entrance to Martin Luther College and future ministry in our synod’s congregations, schools, and missions.

We at Michigan Lutheran Seminary are very happy and are humbled by the opportunity to continue to serve our synod. We are also pleased that no more missionaries at home and abroad will have to be cut from our synod’s programs that take the gospel of our Savior to the people of our world.

More information on the Budget Resolution can be found at


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