Lutheran high school teachers from across the Midwest gathered at Concordia for the 2014 Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools Heartland Summit Oct. 16-18. The conference was held in conjunction with the first ever Nebraska Lutheran High Schools’ Teachers’ Conference.
“Our Lutheran identity gives us a unique perspective on a variety of challenging issues, and it is helpful to share ideas with your peers,” said Concordia’s Associate Professor of Education Dr. Bernard Tonjes. “For those of us at Concordia University, it is just one of the ways we seek to maintain real-world connections to educators in the field so that what we teach is meaningful and relevant to our students.”
The theme for the summit was “Being Lutheran” and featured keynote addresses, school updates, an alumni brunch and subject area sectionals for teachers and interested administrators. The conference addressed the challenges that Lutheran secondary schools are facing regarding how to present themselves to the community while holding true to their beliefs.
“Schools want to make sure to hold on to the important, distinctive factors that have blessed Lutheran education for so many years,” Tonjes said. “Lutheran education is Christ-centered and focused on our lives as redeemed people. When children know they are loved by God, education gains a purpose that they may not have known before.”
Jeffrey Beavers, principal of Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine, California, presented the opening keynote address titled “The Reality of Being Lutheran in a 2014 Lutheran High School.”
Two Concordia Nebraska professors addressed attendees throughout the summit. Dr. Russ Moulds, professor of education and psychology, gave an address titled “Table Talk: Luther and Modern Life in the Two Kingdoms.” Dr. Mark Blanke, director of Concordia’s director of Christian education program, gave the final keynote, “Heartland Summit: Blessing or Blarney.”