Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation initiates new Association of Congregations
More than 70 Lutheran bishops, pastors, and church delegates assembled at Waldorf College on September 21, 2010 to receive an update regarding all the exciting things happening at Waldorf and to discuss the possible formation of a new association of congregations. Historically, the college had been owned by an Association of Congregations until Mayes Education, Inc. purchased Waldorf in January of 2010. For more than 100 years, the congregations played a vital role in the prayer and financial support of the college. Association churches also encouraged their young members to consider attending Waldorf.
The new Association of Congregations will fall under the umbrella of the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation – the link between the colleges past and its future. The Foundation is a separate, nonprofit entity from the college and is the vehicle for all tax-deductible donations. The Foundation funds scholarships, campus ministry programs, and alumni relations events /publications that directly benefit Waldorf students and alumni.
“Forming a new Association of Congregations not only brings us back to our roots, but also allows an exciting opportunity for the Foundation and the churches to build on their existing relationship while mutually benefitting each other at the same time, ” said Ray Beebe, Chair of the Foundation.
A round-table brainstorming session was held at the September meeting to help determine what role the new association would serve. It was suggested that those interested in joining a new association complete and sign a covenant agreement form that would benefit both the congregation and the Foundation. The terms of the covenant agreement are as follows:
The Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation’s Commitment to Association Congregations
1. To share its Learning Partner Status with Waldorf College and Columbia Southern University (CSU) with their congregation at no charge. This includes:
- Providing all church members, their spouses and children with a 10% discount for all distance education/hybrid courses taken at Waldorf College: waiving the application fee; and not charging a fee for textbooks.
- Providing a one- time $500 scholarship toward the first year tuition cost for all church members, their spouses, and children who enroll in Waldorf’s regular on-campus program and waiving the application fee.
- Providing all church members, their spouses and children who choose to take online courses at Columbia Southern University a 10% discount on tuition rates; waiving the application fee; and not charging a fee for textbooks.
2. To offer all Association Churches, 10 free tickets to Waldorf College athletic events and 10 free tickets to Waldorf College fine arts events. All members of Association Congregations and their immediate families will also receive a 10% discount on clothing and imprinted items at the Waldorf Bookstore.
3. To offer joining congregations access to College and Foundation news immediately through an insider email blast which can then be shared with the entire congregation via their weekly church bulletin.
Association Congregation’s Commitment to the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation
- To pray for Waldorf College, its leadership, faculty, staff, and students.
- To support the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation with an annual monetary gift.
- To encourage students to consider attending Waldorf College whenever possible.
- To speak well of the College and the Foundation and promote them whenever possible.
The Covenant is then signed and dated by a congregational representative and the Foundation Chair.
A second meeting of congregational representatives interested in the new Association of Congregations was held on March 1, 2011. More than 50 people attended, representing 25 congregations. Some of the churches represented had signed their covenant agreements and some had not. As of the date of the meeting, 16 covenant agreements had been signed – some from ELCA congregations, and some from LCMC congregations.
Some lively discussion and good suggestions came about as a result of the meeting. A volunteer committee of six was formed to draft a constitution for the Association, propose a formal name for the Association, and address suggestions regarding membership eligibility. The committee presented their suggestions on August 25, 2011. Officers were also elected at that meeting.