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


Kristen Carlson Awarded Final MNS LCEF Scholarship


[Kristen] is an excellent example of what we want for the next generation of church and world leaders that are willing to serve others because of the good news of Jesus Christ,” wrote Richard Heuton, Chairman of the Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota.

Kristen is the final 2017 Minnesota South District (MNS) Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 Scholarship winner. She is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota and is a current student at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Kristen is majoring in communication studies, music and philosophy.

In his letter of recommendation for Kristen, Heuton described her active service at church throughout her high school years with the youth group, at Camp Omega — the Minnesota South District Christian camp — and on two mission trips. While at college, she continues to generously share her gift of music with the congregation by playing handbells and violin.

“While at Luther, Kristen has taken up many leadership roles including holding the role of Service Vice President in a service organization, Alpha Phi Omega - Mu Theta. She also sits on the Luther College Hearing Board that oversees student conduct charges, is a member of Launching Luther Leaders, and is a Resident Assistant of her dorm. She continues to excel in the area of music, primarily as a violinist, but is taking organ lessons in hopes of working for the Church later in life.

During the summer of 2016, she was a Lutheran camp counselor for middle/high school youth in remote Montana. Presently, she is traveling in Tanzania with a Luther College program that studies the effects of conservation, tourism, and missionary efforts on the native population of East Africa.

Kristen is very dedicated to all she endeavors, showing maturity, level-headedness, confidence, and humility, all while maintaining a sense of humor. She is especially strong in her faith, sees it as an identifying feature of her life, and is willing and ready to reach out and care for others,” wrote Heuton.

In a second letter of recommendation, Luther College Professor of Music, College Organist and Music Department Head Dr. Gregory Peterson wrote, “Kristen is a person of high intelligence and academic achievement. She is a student who is intellectually curious, and someone with a strong work ethic. Her interests are broad but she also goes deep.

She is a person who will make a difference in the world after she leaves Luther College, regardless of what discipline she ends up in. …Her life of faith is an important motivating factor, which she sees as transformative. Her contributions to the Church through worship, music, camping ministry and Bible study are representative of her Lutheran identity and sense of vocation.”

“As LCMS members, we must embrace faith’s transformative nature and join in God’s calling by investing into organizations such as LCEF that grow the greater Church body,” wrote Kristen in her scholarship essay. “…By taking on the same attitude that LCEF embraces, and extending the Lutheran tradition, one can continually be blessed in seeing the Gospel move beyond earthly boundaries to bring others into the truth and care of God’s love.”

LCEF is blessed to support faith-filled students like Kristen with these annual scholarship awards. Fifteen of the sixteen 2017 upper Midwest district LCEF scholarship winners have been announced. The one remaining Minnesota South District LCEF scholarship will be announced yet this week. Visit our newsfeed and Facebook page to read the scholars’ stories. The 2018 scholarship applications will be available beginning September 1, 2017.

For more information on how you can partner with the ministry of church extension, visit or call 800-843-5233.