Action Photo for Joel  Freiberg

Living a Righteous Life

Photo of Joel  Freiberg

Joel Freiberg

Racine, Minnesota
"You can tell that the professors really take an interest in you and want to make you the best you can be."

Joel Freiberg did not have a typical journey to Concordia. He lived in Seward before his family moved out of state, and then made his way back. A considerable influence on Joel’s journey was Paul Soulek, a Concordia alum who teaches music at St. John Lutheran School and directs Concordia’s Male Chorus. “When I first lived in Seward, Paul started teaching me how to play organ and piano. I had been interested before then, but I was trying to play pieces by ear, and I was not really getting anywhere. Since I had certain skills, I started to pick things up more easily, like imitating his playing.”  

The music program was a big draw for Joel to come to Concordia. “I was planning on going to community college for the first two years and then going to Concordia University Wisconsin after that, but Paul got in contact with me and encouraged me to apply. In June, I applied, and soon after that I was accepted.” 

So far, Joel has enjoyed the music program immensely. “All of the professors are so knowledgeable, and they care about the students a great deal.” Joel sees his professors expressing that care in different ways, but he appreciates it all equally. “Dr. Blersch has high standards, but he never makes me feel insecure or like I’m incapable of anything, Dr. Herl is hilarious and Dr. Grimpo exudes a sort of dynamic enthusiasm which makes every class fun.” 

Even though Joel enjoys the environment the music program provides, that is not his ultimate vocational calling. “I’ve always wanted to be a pastor. My dad is a pastor and being with him while in church leading services, teaching classes, or visiting shut-ins, I was instilled with and realized my aptitude for the same values and sense of empathy that need to be present in a pastor.” Joel believes that church music and pre-seminary can tie together quite nicely. “I think it’s particularly important that pastors are able to carry a tune and know how to chant and lead the liturgy. I have been really encouraged by conversations with Dr. Herl and Dr. Blersch on this topic. They’ve both told me that it’s important to them too.” 

Joel may not be a pastor yet, but he believes that living a life according to God’s Word is something that can happen for one’s entire life. “Someone from the Bible who really inspires me is Daniel. Despite everything, Daniel lived a righteous life, and changed people’s lives because of it. I want to do this by being a biblically conservative voice, and ultimately living the same way Daniel did.”