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Patrick Ernst was born to David and Sharon Ernst and raised in Shakopee, Minnesota. He attended Shakopee High School, Martin Luther College, and Normandale Community College before beginning study at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. He studies English and will graduate in December 2015. At Bethany College, he was active in organ playing, choir, and PAMA student mentors. In addition, he was editor at the College’s literary magazine, Inkwell, a member of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, and on staff in the English and German departments. He enrolled at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in 2015.
Joseph Lundsten was born in Watertown, WI on November 21st, 1991. There he attended St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and School (WELS). Joseph went on to Watertown High School where he spent his time mixing school work and soccer and graduated in 2010. He continued this model throughout his time at Bethany Lutheran College and graduated in 2014 in Liberal Arts with a concentration in philosophy. Joseph now splits his time between seminary, work, and playing with his nephews Roman and Emmett.
Noah Thompson is the son of Rev. David and Jenna Thompson. He was born on December 4, 1990 in Mankato, MN. Noah attended High School in Detroit Lakes, MN and was involved in soccer, track, and basketball. He attended college at Bethany Lutheran College and continued his athletic career playing socccer for four more years holding the responsibility of captian his final year. Noah graduated from Bethany in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. During his time at Bethany, Noah met Courtney Nelson. They were married in November of 2013 and were blessed with the birth of their first child Elliott David Thompson on September 4th.
Christian J. Walz was born in Lisbon, North Dakota. During his childhood, his family moved to the Kansas City area. Christian was confirmed in a WELS church. After finishing high school, Christian furthered his education at North Dakota State University. In 1995 Christian graduated college with a degree in biology. Christian worked a number of jobs living in Minnesota then moving back to his hometown in Kansas. Christian became very active in his church, teaching Sunday school and serving on various boards. He became interested in becoming a Lutheran pastor. He attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota and completed their seminary certification program. Christian continued his education at Bethany Lutheran Seminary. He completed two years of seminary training. He returned to the work force. After some time he returned to seminary in 2015. He plans to graduate in 2017. In his free time Christian enjoys riding his bike, fishing, and nature. He wants to become a pastor so that he can share the love of Jesus with all souls, bought with the blood of Christ.
Aaron is the oldest son of Rev. Craig and Teresa Ferkenstad, born in 1980. He graduated from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in New Ulm, MN in 1998 and from Bethany Lutheran College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, concentrating in Ancient and Medieval History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Music. Following graduation he moved to Virginia Beach, VA and was married there in 2010 to Djemelyn; their first son Adam was born in 2012.
Matthew Behmer was born in 1990 to Mark and Linda Behmer. He has three younger siblings. He graduated from West Lutheran High School in Plymouth, MN and from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN. Matt married Elizabeth Boche on July 14, 2012. Matt and Beth have a passion for mission work and cross cultural ministry. They have been involved with missions in Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Matt currently works for Bethany Lutheran College and Beth is an anatomy instructor at Minnesota State University. Matt is very thankful for the opportunity to study at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Jeff is the son of James and Jackie Hendrix. He was born and baptized the same day. He attended Michigan Lutheran High School in St. Joseph, Michigan, and became interested in video production. This led him to Bethany Lutheran College with a goal to graduate with a degree in communication, but thanks to great faculty at the college, he decided to add a Masters of Divinity onto his education goals. After Hebrew was dropped at the college, he had to attend Martin Luther College concurrently to complete his pre-seminary requirements, and also had to take time off before returning to Seminary for classes to line up. But while at MLC he met his, now wife, Carla Hendrix (Carmichael), and in the meantime between college and seminary, Jeff attended Ball State University and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Telecommunications/Digital Storytelling. Jeff currently is working on a number of digital ventures to assist churches and pastors, works as the Digital Media Director for Radio Mankato, serves on a few city committees, and is the Superintendent for the ELS camp in Michigan, Camp Lor-Ray.
Josh Mayer was born in Bellevue, Nebraska, to parents Ken and Patty Mayer. He attended high school at Nebraska Lutheran and received his higher education from Bethany Lutheran College. While there, he pursued interests in acting, singing in the concert choir, and serving as a campus residential assistant. Josh graduated from Bethany in the spring of 2011 with a major in the Liberal Arts and a minor in Sociology. On June 21st 2014, Josh was united in marriage to Jonnica Norell, a 2012 Bethany Lutheran graduate, who is currently teaching 2nd grade at Sibley East Public Schools in Arlington MN. They both enjoy spending evenings together cooking in their St. Peter apartment.
Daniel Ruiz was born October 11 in Naples, Florida. His congregation in Naples was Our Savior Lutheran Church. He grew up there until the age of 18 and graduated from Gulf Coast High School. He went to Bethany Lutheran College and studied Sociology under Dr. William Kessel and received a minor for Religion and Theology. He also met his future wife Katie there. He graduated in May of 2012 and soon after he married Katie M. Anderson. He and Katie both now live in Mankato still where Daniel continues with his studies at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. Katie teaches in Gibbon, Minnesota, grades K-4. Recently they had a baby girl on the 18th of December and named her Adrianna LeAnn Ruiz. Daniel is now finishing up his senior year of seminary and awaits the exciting future.
Andrew Soule was born to Erik and Lori Soule in Princeton, Minnesota. He attended high school in Princeton. Soon after, he attended Bethany Lutheran College, and graduated with a B.A. in History. At Bethany Andrew was active in choir, student senate, as well as being a member of the history research advisory committee. He did research on the history of Norwegian-American worship (hymnody and liturgy) from the nineteenth century up to the present. Andrew has always had a passion for history, as well as music. In general, he loves all studies that deal with people, the arts and humanities. Above all he hopes to serve God and others in whatever he does in life.