The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Waldorf may partner with for-profit school

Waldorf College, a 106-year-old ELCA-affiliated institution in Forest City, Iowa, is considering selling its assets to a for-profit,online school. According to Waldorf's Web site, the potential sale comes after “economically depressed conditions” impacted the college’s annual fund contributions.

The school’s Web site reported that congregations in the Waldorf Lutheran College Association met Feb. 20 to discuss “a collaborative partnership with an educational entity.” The association is Waldorf’s founding body and elects a board of regents to serve as the school’s decision-making body.

Richard A. Hanson, Waldorf president, told The Des Moines [Iowa] Register in February that the entity is Columbia Southern University, a school based in Orange Beach, Ala. Hanson told the newspaper a potential agreement could be months away and requires approval from the governing bodies and accrediting organizations of both institutions. On Waldorf’s Web site, Hanson said the school intends to remain a residential, liberal-arts institution.

At presstime, school officials would not release terms of the potential partnership “due to confidentiality agreements and applicable laws and regulations.”

The school’s Lutheran identity informs its approach to education, Hanson said. “As our regents have pursued long-term strategies to address the college’s future, we have been clear about remaining open to exploring all options,” he said. “We look forward to identifying ways our Lutheran heritage will continue to be expressed in any future partnership.”


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Embracing diversity