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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Colleges lead way

Curiosity, faith, discernment, mission are key

When Martin Luther wrote the Small Catechism, he taught parents to teach their children to ask questions. After quoting the content of our faith—the creed, the commandments and the Lord’s Prayer—he taught us to ask, “What does this mean?” As a result, Lutherans believe that faith seeks understanding and that reason—even when infected by sin—does not stand in opposition to it.

When I visit the colleges and universities of the ELCA, students ask questions. They engage my mind and renew my spirit. Along with inspired administrators and faculty, they lead the way as the colleges of this church reach out in mission for the sake of the world. The colleges of this church:

• Nurture unquenchable curiosity: In this culture, lives are too busy and possessions too plentiful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Lutherans were known for our unquenchable curiosity? Luther’s unquenchable curiosity about the meaning of faith for our lives permeated his vocation and mission.

This curiosity has become a critical part of the vocation of our colleges: to plant deep within students a lifelong unquenchable curiosity about God and the centrality of faith, curiosity about themselves, about the vastness of the cosmos and the intricacies of DNA; curiosity about the richness of history, the beauty of the arts, and the complexities of science, math and economics. These colleges believe religion has a contribution to make as we engage life’s large questions. May our colleges encourage such curiosity throughout the denomination.


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