AUSTIN, Texas, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Concordia University Texas announced today that Rev. Dr. Jerry Kieschnick, President Emeritus of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, has been named to the newly created position of Presidential Ambassador for Mission Advancement. Dr. Kieschnick will begin his role on March 1.
"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Kieschnick into the Concordia family," Dr. Tom Cedel, president of Concordia University Texas, said. "Jerry brings a new level of energy and expertise to the University; he also brings a valuable national—and global—perspective on our mission. He is a gifted leader who bridges denominational boundaries."
Kieschnick has experience in multiple facets of ministry and mission and brings an expanded vision for outreach. In his new role, Kieschnick will nurture and expand existing relationships with congregations, organizations, foundations and individuals to support Concordia in its mission of developing Christian leaders while conducting necessary outreach to foster new relationships for the advancement of the University.
"The Lord has given me gifts and experiences to use in the cause for Christ," Kieschnick said. "Coming to Concordia provides opportunity to think creatively and act strategically, influencing younger generations with the Gospel of Christ. I look forward to becoming an integral part of Concordia's ministry and working with various constituents to further the University's mission of developing Christian leaders."
As the 12th president of the LCMS for more than 10 years, Kieschnick helped lead the Lutheran Church into the 21st Century. He began his presidency just three days before the September 11, 2001, terrorism attacks and was responsible for restructuring the church body and guiding its people to express their faith in Christ.
"Jerry is infinitely gifted in translating the mission of the church and will build bridges to communities where Concordia can be most impactful," Matt Berndt, former colleague and Director of Communication Career Services for the University of Texas at Austin, said. "He is creating Christian leaders for the world, not just the church."
Kieschnick had a dream to unite 100 million people to the Gospel of Christ by 2017, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses. During his time as Texas District president for the LCMC, membership grew by approximately 12 percent in the Lutheran church.
"Concordia is a great place for Jerry to use his gifts as a leader. He has a strong doctrinal understanding of the Gospel and a perspective that allows him to listen to and engage people," Ken Hennings, Texas District president, Missouri Synod, said. "He knows what's going on across various religious communities and brings experience and credibility to Concordia's mission."
An alumnus of Texas A&M University, Kieschnick is returning to his native Texas.
"Jerry brings national leadership to Texas and is returning home to a University that he believes in," Berndt said.
Early in his career, Kieschnick taught fourth grade, and he instructed a class on the New Testament at Lamar University in Beaumont.
Kieschnick earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. and holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from Concordia University Texas. He holds an undergraduate degree in animal science from Texas A&M University.
Kieschnick lives in Georgetown with his wife, Terry. His two children and two grandchildren live in Central Texas.
About Concordia University Texas
Concordia University Texas is an award-winning institution of higher education, offering undergraduate, graduate and an Accelerated Degree Program for adult students. The main campus is located in Northwest Austin with four university centers in central Austin, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. A privately-held, accredited, liberal arts university, Concordia is under the auspices of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is a member of the highly respected Concordia University System in which more than 19,000 students are enrolled nationwide. Concordia University Texas ranks 18th on U.S. News & World Report's 2011 "America's Best Colleges" list of regional colleges in the West.
For more information, please visit www.concordia.edu.
Kristin Marcum and Meredith Michelson
Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations
SOURCE Concordia University Texas