Navy Ensign and Luther Seminary student Joseph Pinzel is this year’s ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Fund for Leaders Scholarship recipient for 2017-18. Hailing from the LaCrosse Synod Pinzel will receive a $2,000 award at a gala banquet September 30, in Chicago, along with 48 other scholarship recipients for the coming academic year. All students are from one of seven ELCA seminaries and are able to continue receiving an award contingent on their good standing both in the candidacy process and in their academic program.
Seminarian Pinzel joins two other candidates from the last year to receive this prestigious assistance towards becoming a rostered leader in the ELCA with hopes of also serving as a military chaplain someday. The ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Fund for Leaders Scholarship is continually collecting donations to increase the number and amount of the awards from congregations, individuals, and businesses wanting to supply more pastors and chaplains for God’s work through the ELCA.
Giving is currently over $116,000 with interest from the principle paying each year’s scholarships. A goal of a million dollars is set to provide a full scholarship and more for worthy candidates. ELCA studies show a key help and encouragement to increase more seminarians is to relieve the crushing school debt experienced by students.
Interested supporters for more pastor chaplains may send contributions to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1806, Merrifield, VA, 22116-8000. Make checks payable to: ELCA Fund for Leaders/Chaplaincy and reference E271994 on the check to ensure your gift goes directly to this effort. There are different levels of giving possible. A Leadership Gift is $,1,000; a Cornerstone Gift is $5,000; a Capstone Gift is $10,000; and a Named Scholarship is $25,000 or more. Recently the first named scholarship is being arranged by the generous giving from active duty Navy Chaplain Tom Bingol and his wife Jeannie, currently serving in Hawaii. Their annual gifts of $2,500 over the next 10 years will launch a seminarian each year into ministry and chaplaincy. This is a first for the ELCA Chaplaincy mission.