Meet Matthew Lang, our latest 5-Year student!
Matthew comes to us from Iowa, where he serves in music ministry at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marion, IA.
What interested you in our 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program?
I first heard about the program from a Facebook group of ELCA youth pastors and leaders. In our busy world, the church needs more accessible and flexible paths to pastoral leadership. I think Emmanuel Academics (EA) is blazing the trail for many people who have felt the call to ministry, but have not had the means, the time, or the mobility that typical education and seminary require. EA is reaching a group of people that are active in their church communities and helping to build them up to serve the church even more.
I think it's ground-breaking and amazing work, of both EA and the churches that
Tell us about your involvement with your church and your current role there.
I serve in the church that my grandparents helped to charter, the church that I was baptized and raised in, and the church I can still call home today. I had been involved in the music ministry and various other aspects at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (LCR) for several years. About 5 years ago I took on the role of the director of the youth bell choir, and about 3 years ago I was brought onto the staff as Evening Song Pianist/Accompanist. LCR has seen many changes over the past few years, and because of those changes I found myself taking on more and more responsibility. I’ve taken on a larger role in music ministry, helping to make each worship service something beautiful. I also plan and lead our quarterly worship committee meetings, help organize our annual Christmas concert, and serve as the worship planning chair. Through the COVID-19 epidemic I have been working with our technical staff and other musicians to record worship services and do live-streams of services as we cannot have in-service worship.
Every step along the way has been a blessing as I have grown in my musical ability and my leadership skills.
Serving at church never seems like a job, it's what I enjoy most!
What has your experience with the program been like so far? What do you like most about it?
I have nothing but good things to say about EA and all of the staff that have helped me along the way so far. As this is a distance learning program for me, I was somewhat concerned about communication, but I had nothing to worry about at all. Almost every week I receive an email just checking in, asking what I need and how things are going. It is incredibly meaningful to know and feel that I have people supporting me in this journey. The integration with Concordia University Chicago is seamless, and the advisers there have been just as helpful in choosing classes, transferring credits, and keeping me on track. I know that the rest of the program will be just as wonderful as I continue down the path.
team at Emmanuel Academies
alongside me makes the program seem much less daunting, and I can see how Christ is working through this program and people to bring about His glory.