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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ben Wink Reflects on the Martin Luther College (WELS) Graduation and Calls

Hello sir!

I hope you are doing well.  I have enjoyed the creation gardening blog posts and wish I had the patience and time to do something to our greenery other than mowing it.  I've attached something regarding things I've noticed regarding the MLC Call list for 2015 grads.  Feel free to publish it if you'd like as I have no problem having my name attached.  Once again a flood of temporary calls and the school can go "Look at how many graduates we placed!  Yay!"  What a load of baloney.  Why some still insist on going to that school is beyond me.  Be a well-rounded and employed layman instead.  It is far more rewarding in the long eternal run.

Take care and as always In Christ,

Ben Wink

Straight out of the MLC Commencement Service bulletin, here is the breakdown of graduates in the May 2015 class:

Bachelor of Arts                                                                                                          25

Seminary Certifications                                                                                              5         

Bachelor of Science: Early Childhood Education                                                      18

Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education                                                             34
Bachelor of Science: Secondary Education                                                              6

Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education                 5

Bachelor of Science: Elementary and Secondary Education                                   18

Bachelor of Science: Educational Studies                                                                 10

Bachelor of Science: Staff Ministry                                                                           2

Bachelor of Science: Staff Ministry/Educational Studies                                          1

Completing Certification Program: Teaching Online                                                 1

Masters of Science In Education                                                                               10

This is the total of 135 names that were mentioned in the program.  As I am going to compare the numbers from the program to the call list, I will immediately take out the 30 graduates going the seminary because they will not be on the call list.  Also I will remove the 10 Masters graduates and the 1 teaching online program certification because chances are they have calls already and were pursuing further education.  (However, this leaves a bigger question: Why did they choose MLC for such further education when there are so many programs in the country that are better?  Many of these programs are a better bang for your buck as well.)  There were also 9 graduates that elected to do international service instead, so their names will be dropped as well.  Finally according to the MLC website, the Educational Studies graduates are “not eligible for a license or an assignment into the public ministry”.  This takes 10 others off the list.

Before going any further, I just want to elaborate on the Educational Studies degree.  Here is the description verbatim from the MLC website: “To meet individual needs and to ensure dedication to a plan of lifelong ministry service, a formal application process is required.  Students can apply for this degree plan any time after completing the EFE I experience.  The application includes the reason for entering the major, a plan for completion, a statement of goals that includes lifelong service to the church, and a focused area of study.  The application is reviewed by the Vice President for Academics, the Education Dean, and the student’s advisor.  Students may appeal to modify the plan.  Appeals are heard by the same committee.  Students graduating with a major in educational studies are not eligible for a license or an assignment into the public ministry.
I think I am more confused after reading that previous paragraph than I was before reading it.  So this degree is for someone that has absolutely no plans to teach because they cannot get a license or an assignment into the public ministry?  I never thought there would be a degree that would be more of a cul-de-sac than getting a sheepskin in staff ministry, but then this comes bouncing along.  Why would the school offer such a degree path if the goal of MLC is to provide training for future called workers in the church and in the school?  Is this a consolation prize for the student that just couldn’t get through student teaching or is such a screw-up that the college has to give them something other than their money back?  What would possess a student to go for this degree?  Just leave and go to a better college for education.  What is the ultimate point of a ministerial college offering a degree for someone that won’t be allowed into public ministry?  Furthermore how could one of those graduates who received this degree this year decalre that they want to be considered for international service?  Is public ministry suddenly only valid when it occurs in the United States? 

This leaves 75 graduates that are presumably available for full time divine calls into the teaching ministry.  Granted I am looking only at the two lists with the names provided on them and not beyond.  I don’t know if some graduates deferred because they are following their boyfriends/fianc├ęs/husbands to the seminary or for other reasons that were closeted during their time as a student there.  But let’s just take a raw look at the call list.

There were 86 calls that I counted on the list that was provided from MLC.  Now that is 86 calls for 75 graduates, which shows one the kind of math skills that Martin Luther College provides.  Surely every 2015 graduate then received a full time call, correct?  Actually, no.  Of the 86 calls, 10 of them were prior graduates whose calls were made permanent.  This then drops the list of available calls from 86 to 76.   So that would mean 76 calls for the 75 graduates.  Ah, but 13 of those remaining 76 calls were for graduates from 2014 and even 2013 that were reassigned for a 2nd or even a 3rd year as a tutor or dormitory supervisor.  So that means that there were 63 calls left for the remaining 75 graduates.  But even then, those 63 aren’t all full time calls and careers in ministry.

            Let’s look at it another way.  Out of the 86 calls listed, 39 of them were one-year calls.  This means that just under half of them were temporary divine calls.  Of the 39 one-year calls, 3 were for principal training, 1 was for being a MLC admissions counselor, 9 were for tutors, and 15 were for dormitory supervisors with token classes attached.  (I don’t know how that temporary admissions counselor can convince a high schooler that MLC is a great career path.  The synod couldn’t even find a permanent call for him.  How exactly will they find one for the high school graduates looking for employment after college?)

            39 one-year calls?  That means that there are going to be 39 prior graduates that need actual full-time positions in ministry in 2016.  Doesn’t this cut into the possibilities for the available calls for next year’s graduating class?  Perhaps they could refresh some of these tutors for a 4th year.

            Again the idea that there is a tremendous shortage of called workers is a fallacy.  There is a tremendous shortage of tuition dollars however.  Therefore, there is a “need” for called workers.  Look at the blatant tuition grab that the aforementioned Educational Studies bachelor degree is.  Apparently there is such an overflow of students coming that instead of finding them all permanent full time calls when they graduate, they can just give some of them a degree, a handshake, no license, no call and say “Thanks for the check!”  How could they announce the names and have them walk across the stage and keep a straight face?

This is how to get a call, kids.
Steal a gay video, add your own screen grabs, and post to YouTube.
100% calls for this bunch of degenerates.

Michigan Lutheran Seminary - WELS - cheerleaders.
How many will be trans-Jennered at graduation?