MinistryFOCUS is a grassroots volunteer organization within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) that strives to help alleviate the burdensome educational debt of pastors and other called workers.

Fact is, many new pastors and called workers routinely begin their ministry with educational debt. When personal debt distracts pastors and called workers from their work, congregations suffer, and the result is that people don’t hear about Jesus.

“We don’t believe that educational debt in and of itself is the problem; the problem is the financial stress that is caused by the inability to repay this debt given certain income realities. High debt-to-income realities place our dedicated church workers in positions in which they can’t provide for their families and money becomes a focal point. As empirical evidence indicates, the resulting stress negatively impacts their ministries, their families and their own lives.”

Rev. Tom Schlund


“My thanks to God for extending His grace through your grant!  I am not deserving, and did not expect to receive such a generous gift. It has come at a very opportune time for my family, and we are extremely grateful. On behalf of my wife and myself, God’s blessings as you continue to do the good works He has prepared in advance for you to do.”

“Thank you to MinistryFocus for the generous grant. I am beyond grateful and appreciate the support you are providing to those in the ministry. Please pass my thanks on to your staff, your board, and those who review the grants. Your commitment to serving those who serve is truly a blessing.

“Wow! Praise the Lord! This is amazing news! You all at MinistryFocus are such a tremendous blessing to our family. This is truly humbling and so needed! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

“Dear faithful servants of God:
Thank you for your incredible generosity, devotion, and support of the clergy of our beloved Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. It is a special thing to see and experience the hand of the Lord coming down and providing exactly what we need, freeing up some of the budget to pay down debt and also have some room to breathe.This extra room in our budget will be incredibly helpful as we watch our children grow through clothes, pass through sizes of diapers, and wear out their boots and sneakers. Thank you for this blessing to help cover needed costs of student indebtedness for another year! The clarity it provides me opens up opportunity and understanding of ministry rather than the burden and weight that bears down. Thank you, God bless you, and may our Lord continue to work through your kind and generous organization to care for our church’s clergy and their families. May the Peace of Christ Dwell with you always!”

“Thank you for your kind consideration and decision of awarding me a grant to assist in student loan repayment. This could not have come at a better time. It never ceases to amaze me that when my wife and I sit down to discuss our budget situation, that God finds a way to answer our prayers for shortfalls and difficult times. This happens to be one of those times and the giving hand of God is evident in your generosity.”

“Thank you so much for the grant toward my student loans.  I am currently teaching full-time and working a second job to help pay back my student loans and some life expectancies. This grant will allow me to use Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Plan, helping me get out of debt sooner and eventually quitting my second job. That will “snowball” into having more time for re-energizing for ministry. Know that you have been in my prayers of thanksgiving, and I appreciate this very much.”


Board of Directors

Rev. Ken Krueger
President and Chair

Rev. Dr. Kevin Golden

Rev. Jeff Nickel

James Dankenbring

Rev. Eric Longman

Rev. Tom Schlund

Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola

Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick


In 2011, the Holy Spirit brought a group of second-career seminarians together at Concordia Seminary.

These individuals had left successful careers in law, higher education administration, marketing, and fundraising to become pastors. As they came to understand the great financial sacrifices others had made to become pastors, they also understood from their previous careers that a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) was a proven model that could make a considerable difference to the Church.

So, they began to introduce the LRAP model to an ever-wider audience, and in 2012, MinistryFOCUS was incorporated (originally under the name “The Foundation for Called Workers”) and secured funding.

In April 2013, the organization was designated a 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the IRS.

In 2015, MinistryFOCUS awarded its first series of LRAP grants, to 15 called workers of LCMS. Increased financial support over the years has allowed for additional grants in subsequent years.

“Each year when I read the applications, I am struck by the dedicated servant leadership of so many of our called workers, even in the face of challenging financial realities. We pray that the grants we are able award help rostered church workers focus on ministry, so that faith is strengthened and more people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”  

Rev. Ken Krueger

I want to help

Donations made in 2024 will go to funding 2025 grants. Donate now through December 31, 2024, to determine how much funding will be available to help servants of Christ focus more on ministry in 2025. Every amount helps, and we make donating easy.

I need help

If you currently are a rostered church worker of the LCMS and carry at least $20,000 in educational loans, see our easy and confidential application process when it reopens for 2025 grants on October 31, 2024. Applications for 2024 are closed. Applications for 2025 grants will open on October 31 and will be due by the end of 2024.