ECSW Lay School of Ministry is blessed with well respected and knowledgeable instructors. Each love what they do and look forward to walking with you on this journey of faith formation.

Rev. Jenn Collins

Continuing Education Instructor:
Homiletics: Preaching and Practice

Pastor Jenn Collins is a graduate of Wartburg theological seminary and was ordained in 2012. Over the last eight years she has served as the associate pastor and lead pastor at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church in Rib Mountain. She lives on the Rib River with her cats, Denny and Ellie.

Rev. John Czarnota

Continuing Education Instructor:
Liberation Theology

Rev. Czarnota is currently serving his 30th congregation. Twenty plus years as an intentional interim pastor has given him a very broad look at what the church could be. He has taught pastors to be interims since 2008, and has taught for the synod’s lay school since 2013. In lay school circles he’s known as the theology instructor, drawing on the advanced work he did in theology, culminating in a thesis that looked at “the intersection of science/theology dialogs, theodicy, and ecclesiology.” He is thus easily distracted along those lines.

Pastor Cheryl Davis

Core Course Instructor:
Faith and Spirituality

Pastor Cheryl Davis has been the pastor for almost five years at First English Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. She was introduced to Lutheran theology when she was 25 years old and knew her heart had come home in the message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Her passion is to bring other hearts “home” as they learn of Christ’s love for them and grow in relationship to him. She loves solitude, reflection, writing, walking, conversations and nature. Pastor Cheryl is married to Horace. Together they share four adult children and their spouses and 13 grandchildren.

Dr. Ann Fritschel

Core Course Instructor:
New Testament

Continuing Education Instructor:
Christ at the Center

I’m Dr. Ann Fritschel, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Wartburg Theological Seminary, one of the seven seminaries of the ELCA. I grew up in Stevens Point, went to Wartburg Seminary and served as a parish pastor for seven years in western North Dakota. I then went to Emory University in Atlanta for my Ph.D. and am beginning my 24th year of teaching bible at Wartburg. I have been teaching nearly as long at the East Central Wisconsin Lay School. I love reading Scriptures together with people excited about their faith and wanting to grow in their discipleship. I am owned by two cats, love chocolate and the Chicago Cubs and love to do home improvement chores (NOT cleaning) in my free time.

Mr. Mark Granquist

Core Course Instructor:
Church History

Mark A. Granquist is the Lloyd and Annelotte Svendsbye Professor of the History of Christianity at Luther Seminary, a position he has held since 2007. Prior to this he taught in the Religion Department at St Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota (1992-2000) and at Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota (2000-2007).

He serves as the editor of the Luther Seminary journal Word & World and of the Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference, and has been active with the journal Lutheran Quarterly. His publications include A History of Luther Seminary, 1869-2019 (Fortress, 2019), Lutherans in America: A New History (Fortress, 2013), Scandinavian Pietists: Spiritual Writings from 19th-century Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland (Classics of Western Spirituality, 2015), and The Augustana Story: Shaping Lutheran Identity in North America, (Fortress, 2008). He is one of the editors of the Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions (Baker Academic, 2017), and the author of many book chapters, articles and essays, especially on the history of Lutherans in North America.

Pastor John Meachen

Continuing Education Instructor:
A Return From Exile – Marks of the Church in a Pandemic Age

Pastor John has taught as part of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin Lay School of Ministry for all but one year beginning in 2005 until the present. His primary focus has been Martin Luther, Reformation history, and Lutheran confessional theology. Stemming from a deep love of congregational life, his continuing education classes have been focused on exploring and building the health of the local parish and its leaders.

Pastor John served as a parish pastor for 34 years in North Dakota and Wisconsin before accepting the position as the Executive Director of Crossways Camping Ministries in 2011.

Pastor John officially retired in 2017 and lives with his wife Jan in their home south of Rhinelander, WI.

Pastor Mark Ziemer

Core Course Instructor:
Lutheran Confessions

Mark Ziemer brings deep roots in the Lutheran Confessions with 8 years of WELS elementary school, 4 years at LC-MS colleges, graduate of Wartburg Seminary, and family involvement in the same congregation for 300+ years. Ordained in 1979, he served three parishes in Hollandale-Blanchardville, Marion, and Tomahawk. The 1980s Farm Crisis, a relationship with an Historic Black Church in Milwaukee, the ECSW Companion Synod relationship with the Western Diocese, and shared worship with the local Catholic parish are some of the experiences that have deeply formed his life and ministry. He now spends half time as Interim Associate Pastor at Trinity, Waupaca and the other half on an organic dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.

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