Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is a unique ministry-through-investment organization that offers Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod members the opportunity to invest their money, earn interest, and help build LCMS churches and schools at the same time.

LCEF - Central Region serves Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod organizations and members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Learn more about LCEF at


Schulz North Dakota LCEF Scholarship Winner!

Congratulations Katherine Schulz, the 2015 North Dakota District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship award winner. Katherine is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Fargo and a current student at North Dakota State University, Fargo. "In the future, I hope to use my degree in Emergency Management to work for LCMS Mercy Operations,” said Schulz.

In his letter of recommendation for Katherine, her Pastor Bernie Worral, wrote this:

“The gifts I see most evident are music and leadership. Katie receives ministry but also gives ministry in every context I've seen. Katie is majoring in emergency management at NDSU and will, no doubt, find herself in emergency situations lending the care of Christ who lives within her through His Word. And she will continue to have an impact on the church of Christ wherever the Lord leads her. An investment in her education now would be an investment in the church for the future.”

LCEF is blessed to have the funds available to support our youth as they pursue post-secondary education. It is our prayer that they are equipped to become strong, Christian leaders as adults. In a letter of recommendation, NDSU Professor Carol Cwiak, J.D., Ph.D., wrote this about Katherine:

“Katherine's commitment to her faith, helping others, and community activities is unparalleled. She is a young citizen we can feel good about handing over a complex world to. Katherine is the type of student that comes along rarely - the type of student that has a magical combination of skills, qualities, drive, and leadership characteristics that sets them apart from their peers.

I have had the pleasure of working with Katherine on community activities, as a student, as a research team member, and as a board member of the Emergency Management Student Association at North Dakota State University. In my interactions with Katherine I have found her to be compassionate, focused, analytical, charismatic, dependable, highly capable, professional, and passionate. She comes prepared to address whatever the task at hand is with a positive outlook, an unwavering work ethic, and a can-do attitude. In every interaction I have had with her I have been impressed with the depth of her maturity, the breadth of her vision, and the magnitude of her capability.

Having said all the above, I must note that my favorite thing about Katherine is the impact her role modeling has had on those around her. She leads by example and I have watched other students grow into better versions of themselves because of their time and association with her. This is a rare gift for someone so young to possess and one that I know grows out of her faith, upbringing, and sheer determination to create a better world.”

In her application essay, Katherine wrote the following:

"'Witness, Mercy, Life Together'—what do those words look like in action? For Immanuel Lutheran Church on a cold week in November, it looked like rows of air mattresses on the Celebration Center floor, and the friendly faces of Immanuel waiting to welcome the local, overflow homeless population.

These Immanuel members volunteered to work shifts throughout the night. Many of these volunteer teams arrived as mere acquaintances but often left as friends. As a college student coming to Immanuel, I deeply missed my home church. I wasn’t used to going to a church where I didn’t really know anyone. The Sheltering Churches project changed that. When I look around the church now, many of my closest friends are the people with whom I worked sheltering the homeless.

Without LCEF, Immanuel would have been unable to participate in this project. The Welcome Hall and Celebration Center which provided the place for our guests to eat and sleep was funded by LCEF.  Prior to the new addition, Immanuel would have been far too small to extend this act of mercy to these people in desperate need.

LCEF funds not only helped dozens of homeless, but also indirectly eased my transition into college and ignited a passion for helping the homeless that I never knew I had. Across the synod, the money that LCEF provides allows churches to put “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” into action every day. In the future, I hope to use my degree in Emergency Management to work for LCMS Mercy Operations. When LCMS churches around the country and even the world are struck by disaster, LCEF is there to provide loans for congregations to repair, rebuild, and renovate. Without the financial stability LCEF can provide, many of these churches would not be able to get back on their feet and continue their ministry at a time when people need the church the most."

Additional LCEF scholarship winners from around the upper Midwest districts will be announced yet this spring. These $1,000 scholarships are awarded to Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) students in Iowa East & West Districts, Minnesota North and South Districts, North Dakota District, and North and South Wisconsin Districts. Subscribe to LCEF’s upper Midwest districts’ newsfeed or follow our Facebook page for future announcements.