Meet the Team Working Hard to Support the Goals of WLI and Christ

Executive Committee Chair

Linda lives in Woodridge, Illinois with her husband. Their family speaker-badge-400pxincludes three adult children, four grandchildren, and two dogs. She completed a BS in nursing at Lewis University and Master of Science in nursing education at Northern Illinois University. In addition, she completed the Parish Nurse Distance Learning program and Lay Minister certificate at Concordia University Wisconsin. Linda is employed by Lewis University in the College of Nursing and Health Professions in Romeoville, Illinois. As a full time faculty member, she prepares nursing students for their career as a professional nurse. She especially enjoys expanding their understanding of their role in meeting the needs of the under-served through service learning opportunities.

With a busy schedule, Linda intentionally builds in time for the things she enjoys. These activities include spending time in the Word, and with her husband, children, and grandchildren, cooking and baking, and riding her Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Volunteering is a way of life for Linda. She has used her leadership skills in LWML on several levels, most recently as the VP for Communication. Linda is currently serving as the Chairman of the LWML BOD Structure Task Force. She sees a tremendous opportunity in communication technology to share the love of Jesus in ways that would have been unimaginable to our grandparents. Linda also serves on the WLI Board of Directors as the Vice-Chair.

2017 WLI National Conference Topic:

Volunteers: Cared For and Connected

WLI Director

Darcy has seventeen years of experience working with youth and young adults in high school, youth group, and campus ministry settings.  Serving as a High School English and Theology Teacher, a D.C.E. and Campus Ministry Assistant, Darcy has a clear passion for developing young adults in faith and leadership skills for service to the church and the world.  She is currently serving as Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) at Concordia University Wisconsin and continues as a member of the Campus Ministry Leadership Staff.     Darcy is in the final stages of completing her Masters in Organizational Leadership Administration from Concordia University Wisconsin and lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband Adam and their two beautiful girls.

Her great joy in serving as Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute has been the opportunity to connect faith and leadership and connect great women to one another.  WLI’s programming focuses on providing Christian women opportunities to connect with Christ-centered, servant-hearted, leaders in their community.

Resource Development

George McAllan is the International Managing Director at Dunkin’ Brands and has a BBA and MBA from Northwood University and a speaker-badge-400pxbackground in business management and marketing. George hails from Frankenmuth, Michigan. He and his wife Kristin live in Sanford, Florida.


2017 WLI Pressure Points Topic:

Conflict – Something Happened, Now What?

Education Committee

Dr. Stoehr earned her PharmD from the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Pharmacyspeaker-badge-400px in 2006 and is currently enrolled in the Master of Education – Teaching and Learning program at Concordia University Wisconsin. Nancy has been carrying out her vocation as an Assistant Professor at Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy since 2012 where her teaching focus centers on pharmaceutical dosage forms and pharmaceutical compounding for the community patient. She is a Fellow of the American College of Apothecaries since spring of 2016 and is an active member of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International both at a national and university level. Nancy has made WLI a primary focus for her service to Christ and the church. She is a WLI board member and serves as chair of the education committee and member of the national planning committee. Nancy is also the director for the WLI Academy and is humbled to have been part of the online Academy launch in fall of 2016.

2017 WLI National Conference Topic:

When to Say, YES!

Education Committee

Sharla Fritz is a Christian author, musician, and speaker who hopes that her words will help other women discover their beauty in God’s eyes. Author of Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover and Bless These Lips: 40 Days of Spiritual Transformation (CPH), Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace.

Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Rev. John Fritz, pastor of Hope Lutheran church. They are the parents of two grown children and three grandchildren.

Besides writing and speaking, Sharla keeps busy as church musician and piano teacher. She loves traveling, going out to lunch with friends, and reading. And if she’s not sitting at the piano or her computer you might find her at the resale store stalking fabulous fashion finds.

Governance Committee Chair

Jackie Homann is a wife, a mom and a lawyer in South Bend, Indiana.

As a lawyer, Jackie was the first female partner in her law firm’s 100-year history.  She’s a commercial litigator but considers it her greatest privilege to counsel her clients so they avoid problems before they lead to litigation. Jackie also serves as a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, a post she’s held since 2002.  She is a 1990 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School.

In addition to her work as a lawyer and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, Jackie is a wife and a mother of three.  She and her husband David love to golf and ballroom dance, but keep very busy with two daughters and a son whose gifts are varied so they move from bleachers to theatre seats and everything in between.  She serves her community as a director of finance for the Michiana Women in Construction, but has served in a variety of roles for other non-profit organizations.  She is active at St. Peter Lutheran Church, serving as president of the congregation, chair of the Liturgical Arts Committee and a member of the Liturgical Dance Team.

Communications Comm. Chair

Tara Kuhl serves as Director of Communications for LUMIN Schools, a thriving LCMS school network serving nearly 1,600 students in the urban communities of Milwaukee and Racine. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration from St. Norbert College and has previously worked in sports marketing, mutual fund accounting and the travel industry. Tara has held volunteer leadership roles in Vacation Bible School, family ministry, nursery ministry, event planning, and most recently school marketing and leading a women’s Bible study. Tara is married to Jon and has two young children. They reside in Germantown and attend Brookfield Lutheran Church.

Resource Development

Bethany Linscott graduated from Valparaiso University with a Business degree and worked for 11 years as a specialty pharmaceutical representative. Originally from Carmel, Indiana, Bethany and her husband John, a family practitioner, live in Mequon with a son and a daughter. They attend First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg.

Financial Secretary

Tracy grew up in Carmel, Indiana, were she was confirmed and later married at Carmel Lutheran Church.  She graduated from Ball State University in 1993 with a BS in Accounting. Tracy sat for the CPA exam in 1996, passing all 4 parts on her very 1st attempt.  She enjoyed many years of corporate financial accounting, even serving as Controller for a period of time, until her and her husband moved to South Bend, Indiana, in May 2000.

Since having children, Tracy has enjoyed her time at home with them, but also found a way to use her accounting skills.  She enjoyed serving as Financial Secretary for the Michiana Lutheran Education Association for about 5 years, Treasurer at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church for over 6 years, and currently as Financial Secretary for WLI.  These Lutheran organizations are where Tracy truly feels God is leading her to serve.

Tracy has been married to her husband, Michael, for over 15 years.  They have 3 children: Nicholas, Olivia, and Nathan.  Tracy and her family moved to the Springfield area in Missouri this past year.  Her parents moved there after her father’s retirement in 2007 to fish the Ozark lakes, but her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease shortly after.

The decision Tracy & her husband made to move to Springfield was fairly easy given their love of family, not to mention the scenery and weather.  However, the fact that every aspect of their move just fell into place at the right time (from her husband’s job search, to house selling & buying), made them realize that their decision was also the right one.  Her children are currently enrolled at Springfield Lutheran School, and everyone is attending Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Governance Committee Chair

Marilyn McClure is an educator by profession and has worked alongside her husband in Hispanic ministry in Guatemala and the US. Currently, she resides in Tucson, AZ. She is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a lifelong Lutheran. Marilyn received her B.A. in Education from Concordia University Chicago and her M.ED in bilingual education from the University of Arizona.

Marilyn taught in Lutheran Schools in Hollywood, CA, and Harvester, MO, before helping to establish a Lutheran School in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where she and her husband served as missionaries for 16 years. Upon her return to the U.S., Marilyn taught for two years at Faith Lutheran School, Tucson, and 20 years as a bilingual (Spanish/English) teacher in Tucson Unified School District.

Marilyn spent many years serving in LWML in such positions as English District LWML President; she chaired the Sister to Sister and Gospel Outreach Committees and the H2H Sisters Task Force. Most recently, she served as national Vice President of Gospel Outreach (2009-2013). Marilyn is especially proud of her work to help establish the H2H Sisters program of the LWML, to insure that women of all cultures and ethnicities can participate in LWML and serve the church through the LWML. Marilyn currently edits the Spanish Bible Study for Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly.

Trained as a Mission-Ministry-Vision Consultant, Marilyn served her district LWML for several years in that capacity. Currently, she is Parliamentarian for the English District LWML. In addition, she serves as Chairman of the Board of Christian Day School of Faith Lutheran Church and School in Tucson. She also teaches bilingual Sunday school at Santa Trinidad, a mission of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Tucson, where her husband Garry serves as Pastor.

Marilyn and Garry have been blessed by God to be the parents of three adult married children and six beautiful grandchildren.

Executive Committee Secretary

Linda serves as Ministry Assistant for Living Water Church, a suburban site of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She holds home economics/human ecology degrees from Michigan State University (BS) and Eastern Michigan University (MS) and has taught at both high school and college levels. Linda served as Consumer Services Manager for Michigan Consolidated Gas Company in Ann Arbor and was the first Marketing Home Economist at Hickory Farms of Ohio. She currently serves on the Board of the Council of Lutheran Women in the Detroit/Suburban area and is on the Board of Directors for MOST Ministries, which is located on the campus of Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI.

Linda and her husband Frank have a home in Ann Arbor while he commutes for work as Senior Process Engineer for Plymouth Tube Company in West Monroe, Louisiana. Their children Robert, Donald, and Katrin are young adults with careers in Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, and Phoenix respectively. The Murdocks make it a point to get together for family vacations twice a year!

Linda participates in her small group and enjoys studying family life, leadership styles, and church growth principles. As Ministry Assistant and church member, her focus is on LWML, Mothers of Preschoolers, Women’s Ministry, Small Groups, Volunteerism, Equipping, and Community Outreach.

Pastoral Counselor

Dr. Jason Soenksen serves a divine call as associate professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin. He earned a B.A. in Theological Languages at what was then Concordia University, River Forest, an M.A. in classics from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary.

As part of his seminary work, Dr. Soenksen studied at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in the History of Biblical Interpretation through a joint program between Hebrew Union College and the University of Cincinnati Classics Department in 2010. Since 2005 he has taught courses in Hebrew, Greek, and Bible. Dr. Soenksen is writing the Micah commentary for the Concordia Commentary Series and is working on a translation of Jerome’s Latin commentary on Amos for InterVarsity Press. His wife Michelle serves the church as a deaconess and organist. They have two girls, Emma and Rachel, and reside in Grafton, WI.


Debra D. Albers has served Valparaiso University since 1997 in the Center for Church Relations. She is currently interim director. Her varied responsibilities include representing Valparaiso University at various Lutheran church functions around the country and arranging opportunities on campus for visitors through workshops, visits and special events. In addition, she is the mentor for students in the Lutheran Leader Program on Valpo’s campus. Debra serves as a wedding coordinator for couples who get married in the Chapel of the Resurrection.

She earned her bachelor of science in education from Valparaiso University in 1986 and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a history concentration in 2013. Debra is married to Rev. John M. Albers and they are blessed with four children and a daughter-in-law: Sarah, Paul, David (Emma) and Hannah. She is also actively engaged in a variety of ways at her home congregation; First Immanuel Lutheran in Chicago, Ill.


Born and raised in St. Louis, Gerald Brunworth attended Mt. Calvary Lutheran School and graduated from Lutheran High School (Central) before attending Concordia University Chicago.  He holds a M.A. from New York University in New York City and was awarded a Doctorate in Education by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

He served for ten years at his placement call as an original member of the staff at Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, New York.  In addition to a variety of teaching and coaching duties, he served as their first Athletic Director and Dean of Students.  He was responsible for the organization and development of the Lutheran High (LuHi) Summer Programs which have provided support for this ministry for over 40 years.

During an eight year tenure as Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University in Seward he developed the secondary pre-professional experience program.  Called to Dallas in 1978 to serve as the first Headmaster of the school, he guided the development of the school for over twenty-two years.  Under his leadership, the school developed from a student body (grades 7-9) of 55 to a full junior/senior high school program which served nearly 275 students when he retired in 2000.  He came back to Concordia Chicago as a summer professor and in retirement has served as an adjunct professor at Concordia Mequon and currently teaches in the graduate program at Concordia Texas.

In 1998 the Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools presented their Paul Lang Award to Dr. Brunworth for “being a creative and positive role model for Lutheran Secondary Education”.  The Texas District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, named Dr. Brunworth as “Educator of the Year” in 1999.  Concordia University Chicago presented the Spiritus Christi medallion to Dr. Brunworth in May, 2011 (For “performance of his responsibilities with unusual effectiveness and influence with the highest quality of service to the Church”).

Dr. Brunworth has been blessed through his fifty year marriage to Barbara Schwieger and the gift of four children:  Elizabeth (Krause), teacher at Dallas Lutheran School; Matthew, graphic arts; Lynne, marketing and Mark (Lt. Col. USAF pilot) and six grandchildren.  Barbara attended Concordia Chicago, earned both Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of Nebraska, was President of Lutheran Counseling Services in Dallas, and served the church in a wide variety of leadership roles until her sudden passing in November, 2010.

Dr. Brunworth is an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas.


Location: Columbus, Nebraska. Willing to drive in a 500-mile radius; and fly throughout the U.S.speaker-badge-400px

Deb Burma has a passion for sharing Christ’s redeeming love in a creative, engaging style, touching the hearts of women, meeting them in the moments of their everyday lives, and engaging them in God’s Word. She travels extensively as a leader and guest speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and other ministry events.

Deb is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas. She has directed women’s, children’s, and family ministries in multiple churches across the Midwest, and she has received additional training with courses in writing, speaking, and doctrine through Concordia Publishing House (CPH), Concordia Seminary, and the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI), under the direction of noted authors, editors, and theologians.

Deb has spoken for Lutheran Hour Ministries at both national and regional conferences and for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) as keynote speaker for National Convention, in addition to, several district conventions. She has led workshops and sectionals for Best Practices for Ministry (BPM) Conferences, Concordia University System’s Beautiful Feet Conference, the Nebraska District LEA Conference, and WLI’s National Conferences. Her ministry travels have taken her to 25 states and Canada, and also lead her down the street to her home church!

Deb authors women’s Bible studies, Christian-living books, retreat kits, and devotionals, all published by CPH. Her work has appeared in several periodicals, such as the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly and Today’s Christian Living. She is a contributor to the CPH blog, The Word Endures, and writes devotions for her personal blog, Fragrant Offerings.

Deb was born and raised on a ranch in western South Dakota. She and her family have shared adventures residing in Texas, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and now live in Columbus, Nebraska, where Deb’s husband, Cory, serves as pastor at Peace Lutheran Church. They’re blessed with three children, Chris, Courtney, and Cameron, and a new son-in-law, Aaron.

2017 WLI National Conference Topic:

Gifted with Gratitude!

Speaking Topics:

“Stepping Out: To a Life on the Edge!” 
Are you stuck in your struggles with your past or your pride, your fears, worries, or more? God calls you to STEP OUT of your struggles to a life lived on the EDGE! How is this possible? Find encouragement in your spring-board to edgy living, rejoicing in the Savior’s work in your life. He steps in so you can step out!

“Coffee Break: My Cup Overflows” 
Take a break from the daily grind for a real pick-me-up! You will be filled-to-the-brim as you’re grounded in God’s Word, sipping and savoring His Good News in Christ! Sessions include: (1) My Cup (2) My Portion & My Cup (3) My Overflowing Cup! Rejoice, learning that your cup truly does overflow in Christ!

“Living a Chocolate Life: Savoring God’s Sweet Grace”
Living a Chocolate Life, we sample everything from bitter nuggets of pain to sweet morsels of joy.  Whatever the flavor of our days and however our lives are packaged, we can savor the riches of God’s sweet grace in Christ!  He wraps us in His love and fills us with the sweet filling of faith in our Savior.  

What could be more precious than diamonds? YOU! You are the precious, treasured possession of your heavenly Father, who sought you and claimed you as His own in Christ! From coal to diamond, you are continually being transformed in Christ, reflecting His glory and light to a dark world.

“Beautiful Feet” 

Are your feet running in all directions, aching to be put up, or longing to walk alongside others? No matter where you are in your walk, the Lord has equipped you with uniquely Beautiful Feet! What is your “shoe size?” What makes truly Beautiful Feet? And what has the Lord called those feet to do?   

Contact Deb Burma:

Email: burmashavers@msn.com
Website: debburma.blogspot.com

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Articles Written by Deb Burma:

An Attitude of Gratitude – In Leadership and In Life


Peggy Kuethe is the Senior Editor of Women’s Resources and speaker-badge-400pxChildren’s Books, Concordia Publishing House. Peggy has worked in the publishing industry since high school (if you count the yearbook and student newspaper, that is). In the years since, she has worked as a newspaper reporter, periodicals editor and writer, marketing copywriter, and book editor. She has served at Stephen Ministries and, for the last twenty years, at CPH. Peggy graduated from Illinois State University with a double major in Journalism and English, and earned a Master’s Degree in English from Southern Illinois University. She and her husband, Kevin, live in Staunton, Illinois, and are members of Zion Lutheran Church.



Article Written by Peggy Kuethe

Intentional Influence through Writing


Ruth Koch is a mental health educator and National Certified speaker-badge-400pxCounselor. Trained in both social work and counseling, she specializes in conflict management, grief education, and everyday mental health issues that impact personal and family relations. For over 40 years, Ruth has conducted workshops and classes for mental health professionals, church professionals and their families, parents, caregivers, and others who are looking for practical and effective coping strategies for the ordinary as well as the complex problems of everyday life.

An author, speaker and consultant, Ruth is the author of Prepare to Serve! a video study series on various mental health issues and leadership. She designed the family conflict workshop, booklet, and tapes, Now You’re Talking! and Taking Control: Saying Yes! to Healthy Personal Boundaries for Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Ruth co-authored Lutheran Special Education’s Let’s Teach the Way they Learn! and Stephen Ministries’ Speaking the Truth in Love: How to Be An Assertive Christian. Ruth is a regular contributor to the LWML Quarterly and other publications. Ruth authored Grace Notes, a book of meditations for women in the church and is a contributor to A New Song: Planted by Streams of Water, a woman’s bible study devotional published by Concordia Publishing House.

2017 WLI National Conference Topic:

Neither Passive nor Aggressive:  The Assertive Christian Woman



Lyla Buuck is a retired LCMS elementary and early childhood teacher and continues her involvement with the church serving on the WLI Advisory Board.   She resides six months in WI and six months in FL.  Along with her husband, Dr. R. John Buuck, she enjoys their family of four children and eleven grandchildren.

Lyla earned her B.A. degree from Concordia College, Seward and her M.A. in Early Childhood from Concordia University Wisconsin. Areas of service include speaking engagements, promoting events for teachers of young children and women’s ministry. She is a cancer survivor and volunteers for the American Cancer Society. Traveling world-wide, helping set up educational programs in developing countries, has made me very aware of the opportunities and great need to share God’s Word.


Jessica Bordeleau works as a freelance ministry consultant, author, and media producer. She currently coordinates LCMS Lutheran Youth Fellowship and produces monthly webinars for Lutheran Hour Ministry’s Mission U program. Some of her most recent writing projects include a devotional booklet published by Christian Tools of Affirmation entitled: 5 Meaningful Minutes for Moms, a multimedia Bible study curriculum for teens: Teens Reaching Teens in the Digital Age, and a series of workshops for UnPaved Ministries.

Jessica earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Concordia University Wisconsin and a M.A. in Systematic Theology from Concordia Seminary St Louis. She is blessed with opportunities to freelance from home as she and her husband raise their three young children. Ultimately she is a loved and forgiven child of God who is passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others!


Rev. Dr. Wayne Braun, Senior Pastor of Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Flower Mound, TX. I am married to Linda, Director of the Early Childhood Ministry of Lamb of God in Flower Mound. We have three married Children – Benjamin and Anna Braun of Austin, TX, who have two children – Kyah and Dillan, Jon and Dora Braun who live in Jakarta, Indonesia, Bethany and Jason Barnhart of Corinth, TX and Steven Braun (a student at Concordia Wisconsin).

I received my BA in 1980 at Concordia College Milwaukee, my Master of Divinity (1984) and my Doctor of Ministry (1997) at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. I have served at St. Matthew Lutheran in Meadow Grove, NE and St. Paul Lutheran of Rural Tilden, NE (a dual Parish) First Lutheran in Texarkana, TX, as Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of WLI, I have served a term on the Board of Regents of Concordia University Wisconsin and am presently serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Bible Translators.


Dr. Bernard Bull is Assistant Professor of Education, Director of the M.S. in Education – Educational Technology Program and Director of the Instructional Design Center at Concordia University Wisconsin. Dr. Bull has a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Liberal Studies, an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology, a Certificate in Distance Education from UW-Madison, and he is currently working on a MFA in Creative Writing.


As a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church, I have been the benefactor of many blessings; many facilitated by the organized church. Baptized as an infant and confirmed as a young teen, I received my elementary education and bachelor’s and master’s degrees thorough the educational system of the Lutheran church. I taught in Lutheran schools in Kansas and Wisconsin and retired after 25 years in undergraduate and graduate admission at Concordia University Wisconsin. With my husband, I am actively involved in many activities of my Grafton congregation.

Recognizing the wonderful things that can be accomplished as Christians band together to serve our Lord by serving our fellow sojourners on this earth, I have a preview of the many exciting results that will come from Christians banding together to work toward the goals of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Life is changing rapidly in the 21st Century, and the WLI is here to assist women to step up to today’s challenges. I am excited to be part its efforts to equip women for Christian leadership.


TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Dr. Gresley began working in Nursing education in 1969 when she moved from a head nurse position at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis to an instructor position in staff development at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

In 1973, she began teaching at Southern Illinois University and left there after 23 years to come to CUW in 1996 to become the Program Director for the new Master’s of Science in Nursing program. She teaches the Nurse Educator option in the MSN program. In 2005, she was in the National League for Nursing’s first group of Certified Nurse Educators. Her clinical practice is in the area of community health. She is one of the Wellness Advocates for the South Wisconsin LCMS District.

INTERESTS: Ruth and her husband, John, are the owners of the Gresley House Bed and Breakfast in Mequon. She enjoys spending time with her two grown sons.  She also does some flower and vegetable gardening and bead jewelry making.


Dr. Mary Hilgendorf is a Professor of Education at Concordia University Wisconsin. Formerly the director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, she now serves as an Ambassador.  Mary gives numerous presentations to Christian women’s groups throughout the country to encourage and equip women for Christian leadership.  Her presentations are lively, personal, thought-provoking, and motivational with a sound Biblical message and foundation.

Mary currently teaches in the School of Education at Concordia University Wisconsin.  Before coming to Concordia in 1992, Mary taught in Lutheran schools in Arkansas, Florida, and Wisconsin.  She is married to Duane Hilgendorf, Vice President of Advancement at Concordia, and they have one son and daughter-in-law, and one daughter and son-in-law, and two grandsons.

Mary holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Education from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, and she received a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations from Marquette University.


Lois Hudak lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where she teaches English as a Second Language at the community college. She and her husband, the Rev. David Hudak, are members at Bella Vista Lutheran. Lois had been graphic designer for the LWML Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly for many years. She loves to visit family and friends, quilt and craft in her spare time.


Cheryl Kaufenberg is a teacher, a local leader, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a world traveler. She has been active in her church Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Delavan, Wisconsin. She is grateful to God for the gifts He’s given her to use in His church. She has been involved with both voice and handbell choirs, service as PTL president and Sunday School director, treasurer of the congregation in the years before computers, lector; and with her husband, she has led Bible studies based on their travels to Israel. A new Bible study on their trip to Greece is scheduled for Spring 2011.

A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, Cheryl graduated from UW-Whitewater with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education with an emphasis in business.  She has taught at both the secondary and post-secondary levels.  She also has experience as a legal secretary and as a paralegal assistant. Currently, she serves as a trustee on her local village board, and she has a leadership position with her local Thrivent chapter board as well. She still works as a substitute teacher in her local school district when she is not traveling or volunteering.

She has been married for 32 years to Ed, a teacher. Their two sons are married and they delight in their two young grandchildren.  Retirement has been good to the Kaufenbergs. They have been able to travel both by cruising and by touring to such interesting places as Israel, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Argentina, and most of the Caribbean islands.  Cheryl’s goal is to make it to Antarctica!  While traveling they have also connected with former foreign exchange students who lived with them years ago. Bringing the world into their home in this way has helped their own sons grow to appreciate the size of this planet called Earth.

Besides traveling, she enjoys music, cooking, needlework, quilting, and photography as hobbies.  She volunteers for causes in which she believes.  She brings her discerning eye and governance experience to WLI.


A graduate of the Marquette University School of Journalism, Marlys Taege Moberg has an honorary doctor of letters from Concordia University Wisconsin. In her career, she has taught high school English and Journalism, served as a correspondent for the Lake Country Reporter, edited the Home Section of the Waukesha Freeman, and been editor-in-chief of the Badger Lutheran Newspaper and the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly. During her 20 years on the staff of Bethesda Lutheran Homes and Services, she worked first as Public Relations Director, then as Development Director, and finally as Corporate Affairs Administrator.

A frequent speaker at Christian conference and women’s retreats on encouragement, women in Christian history, disability issues and communication trends, she is the author of six books, including And God Gave Women Talents, Women Through the Bible (both by Concordia Publishing House), two historical volumes for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) and two for Bethesda (its 75th anniversary and 100th anniversary histories).

The author of numerous Bible studies, topic studies and articles, her writing has appeared in the “Lutheran Witness” magazine, “Portals of Prayer,” “The Best of Portals of Prayer” (both Concordia Publishing House), “Special Education Today” (LifeWay), and “Light from the Word” (Wesley Press, Indianapolis).

She was the first public relations director for the international LWML, the first woman to serve as president of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives, the first woman to be named “Key person of the Year” by the CUW Century Club, and the first woman president of the Century Club (now Friends of Concordia). She also was one of the first women to serve on the Editorial Commission for Official Periodicals and the Board for Communication Services of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.


Nancy Graf Peters lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, and works part time an adult education instructor for county-wide bilingual GED classes. She serves as editor-in-chief of the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly magazine for the LWML, and is a member of the board of directors of Atlantic District–LCMS and the Lutheran Care Center nursing home. She has served as Spanish translator on seven MOST Ministries mission trips to Latin America. She and her husband, Richard, attend Our Savior Lutheran Church, Fishkill, New York, where she teaches Sunday school and is a lay reader. They have a married daughter.


Rev. Dr. John W. Saleska is the Director of the Concordia Bible Institute.  He was a professor for 23 years at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN, teaching such courses as Old and New Testament, Bible Psychology, Counseling, and Homiletics.  He was also chairman of the Department of Pastoral Ministry and Missions.  Before that he taught for 23 years at St. John’s College in Winfield, KS.  He has received degrees from St. Paul’s College, Concordia, MO and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  His graduate work in Psychology and Guidance and Counseling was done at Washington University in St. Louis and Wichita State University, Wichita, KS.  He received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University, River Forest, Il.  Dr. Saleska joined the Concordia Bible Institute as Director in December of 2000.  Currently he also serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Concordia University Wisconsin.  He and his wife, Sallie, are the parents of four children and grandparents of thirteen children.


Amy Scholz has served in Lutheran higher education the past 16 years in recruitment and fundraising working at Concordia University Nebraska, Concordia University – Irvine, CA, Concordia University Wisconsin and Concordia University – St. Paul, MN.

Amy received her Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College – Seward, Nebraska and Masters in Student Personnel Administration from Concordia University Wisconsin. In addition to her professional vocation, she keeps busy with various volunteer and church activities. She is married to the Rev. Michael Scholz and they live in Las Vegas, NV, where he serves as pastor at Lamb of God Lutheran Church and School.


Karol Selle, Rosholt, Wis., is an educator by profession and is involved in ministry among the American and international students in her community. Karol is a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., and a graduate of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Seward, Neb. She has done graduate work at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee; Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee; and Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich. She is employed by International Student Ministry, Inc. as public relations director and the North Wisconsin District as editor of The Lutheran Witness supplement. During the school year, she is employed by the University of Wis. – Stevens Point as an instructor in English-as-a-Second Language programs.

Karol is a member of the Board of Directors the Women’s Leadership Institute of Concordia University Wisconsin. In the past, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Concordia Publishing House, the North Wisconsin District, Board of Regents for Concordia University, Ann Arbor; and on other district and LCMS boards. Within the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, she has served on all levels of the organization. Her last national position was Vice president of Communication. She presently is serving the North Wisconsin District LWML as the Web servant.

Karol is often asked to serve as a retreat leader, presenter and speaker. She last was heard in October 2012 at the “Grace Alive” women’s luncheon for Concordia University Wisconsin.

Her personal mission statement is: “to faithfully search out avenues for deeper spiritual living and serving, so that Jesus touches the lives of others through me.”

Karol and her husband, Carl, have four adult married children and 11 beautiful grandchildren


Karen Soeken lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband Don and they have two children and six grandchildren. She is a graduate of Valparaiso University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Measurement and Statistics. Karen retired from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 2006 and is now Professor Emeritus. Although retired, she continues to serve as a statistical consultant to several organizations. In her congregation, Karen serves as Stephen Ministry Leader and for many years has taught Crossways and other adult classes. In addition, she is involved in the Prayer Shawl ministry and in LWML, most recently at the national level. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern District LCMS and the Pastoral Leadership Institute and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR). Her free time is spent on family history, genealogy, and reading.


Rev. Daniel A. Streufert is co-founder, with his wife, Donna, of the Women’s Leadership Institute. He is a 1966 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO. Pastor Streufert has served parishes in Shawnee, Oklahoma, St. Joseph, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana. After almost 40 years in ministry, Pastor Streufert retired in 2003. During his ministry he served on district boards of education, on community committees and as circuit counselor in Milwaukee. Currently he serves as director of travel ministry with Educational Opportunities, recruiting and hosting travelers to Christian sites throughout the world. With a lifelong interest in Christian education, he is a member of the steering committee helping to establish a new Lutheran school in South Bend.

WLI Founder

Donna Streufert is a teacher and writer. She has written materials for adult Bible classes, Sunday school, devotional books, the Lutheran Day School curriculum, vacation Bible School courses and feature articles for various publications. She authored four LifeLight Bible study courses for adults and served as general editor for the “Heart” books (A Place to Rest Your Heart and In the Mirror of Your Heart) published by CPH/LWML.

For the LWML she has written Mustard Seeds, Bible studies and feature articles. She has served as Bible study editor for Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly. In 1997 she was appointed Editor-in-Chief. She retired after serving for eight years. She served as Bible study leader for the national LWML conventions in 1981 in Milwaukee, in 1999 in Minneapolis, and in Tampa, FL in June 2005.

Donna has a degree in education from Valparaiso University and has taught full or part-time until moving to South Bend, IN in 1993. Most she taught part-time at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, WI where she served on the Board of Regents from 1995-2007. In May of 2002 Concordia awarded her an honorary doctor of letters. The same year she was instrumental in establishing the Women’s Leadership Institute at Concordia.

Currently the Streuferts live in South Bend, IN where Rev. Daniel Streufert is pastor emeritus of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.


Sandy Thompson lives with her husband, Jerry, in Carmel, Indiana. She is a mother of five sons and a grandmother of twelve. Currently Sandy is serving on the LCEF Board of Directors, the Lutheran Disabilities Ministry Advisory Board and her congregation’s Mission Task Force to plant another church. She is a Congregational Services Assistant for the Indiana District LCMS particularly assisting schools and congregations in focusing ministry through the planning process. Formerly Sandy was very involved with the LWML and Family Connection of the Lutheran Family Association. Now days she particularly enjoys reading, genealogy, and traveling by boating.


Judy Tang spent three years (2002-2005) in Bangkok Thailand, serving as a volunteer missionary and English teacher, in addition to Consultant of Ministry Development for Southeast Asia.  Prior to working in Thailand, Judy was a Senior Marketing Manager at Concordia Publishing House overseeing product development, advertising, and marketing.  Since August 2005, Judy has been the Director of the International Friendship Center, where she continues building relationships with international students, connecting them to life in the U.S. and life in Jesus Christ, as well as, helping to enhance the ministry at Calvary Lutheran Chapel in Madison, Wisconsin. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending time with her husband Ted.


Allison graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in December of 2004 with a double major in Theology and Lay Ministry with an emphasis in Missions. Mission work has always been a passion of hers since she spend her childhood years in Togo, West Africa where her parents Roger and Alice Buck served as career missionaries till 1994.

Allison serves as a secretary in the office of President Kieschnick at the International Center in St. Louis, MO. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, Zach Zehnder, who is currently serving as a vicar for Christ in the City Lutheran Church/Crave Coffee Shop in St. Louis. They are expecting their first child in October of 2007.

During their years in St. Louis, Allison has been involved in a variety of young adult ministries at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, MO and was part of the leadership team that began Reach 1727, a young adult ministry to the St. Louis area.

Allison enjoys speaking on a variety of topics including her experiences growing up as a missionary kid and ideas to use when attempting to connect with the postmodern generation and get young adults involved in ministry; (those ages 18-30 are the least-churched age group!)

Ex Officio

Dr. William R. Cario earned his B.A. in history and secondary education at Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history at New York University, New York, New York.  Before coming to CUW, he taught social studies at elementary and secondary schools in new York city; he also taught at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Wesley College, Dover, Delaware.  At Concordia he has taught courses in United States and Latin American history while serving as the History Department chair.  In May 1998 he was appointed Assistant Vice President of Academics; in January 2006 he was appointed Vice President of Academics.  He has published several articles and has co-edited, with Dr. Angus Menuge and Dr. Alberto Garcia, and contributed an article to a book, Christ and Culture in Dialog(St Louis:  Concordia Academic Press, 1999).  Bill lives in Mequon with is wife, Cheryl, and two sons, David and Stephen.  Bill also serves on the Women’s Leadership Institute Advisory Board.

Ex Officio

Teresa Fairow is the Ministry Advancement Officer for Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) serving the Western United States. She has been served LHM since 2011 and loves being a part of a ministry that shares Jesus around the world. Teresa is married to Greg and they live in Mesa, Ariz. where he serves as the Campus Pastor at Lutheran Ministry at Arizona State University.

Prior to serving at LHM Teresa was the Gift Planning Counselor for the English District – LCMS. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys hiking, biking and reading. She also serves on the Resource Team for the Association of Lutheran Development Executives.
Teresa grew up on a farm in Northwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University. The Fairows don’t have any children of their own, but after 16 years in campus ministry, there are many great young people in their lives that they think of as “their kids.”

Ex Officio

The Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry was elected the eighth President of Concordia University Wisconsin in July 1997. Along with his duties as University President, Dr. Ferry continues to serve as a Professor of History.  He began his faculty career at Concordia as an Assistant Professor of History in 1991. Dr. Ferry currently serves as a member on numerous community boards.  Among them are appointments to the Wisconsin Foundation of Independent Colleges (WFIC); the Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange (SWITCH); the West Suburban YMCA; and Lutheran Living Services.

Dr. Ferry earned his Ph.D. in European History from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996; his M.A. in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989; his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, in 1987; and his B.A. from St. John’s College, Winfield, KS, in 1981. Prior to coming to Concordia Dr. Ferry served as campus pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Campus Congregation at the University of Wyoming in Laramie from 1989-1991.  He was assistant pastor at Wheat Ridge Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado from 1987-1989.

Dr. Ferry has authored numerous articles, reviews and essays on education, religion, and history.  He has also made numerous presentations at meetings, workshops, and conferences. Dr. Ferry is married to Tamara and they have five children – Peter, Hannah, Andrew, Rachel, and Stephen.  They are members of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.