Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


In this study of Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod (LCMS) education graduates teaching in public education, I examined the following research questions: Do the participants identify challenges in living faithfully in public school settings? How have the participants made it possible to express their faith in public school settings? How has the faith of the participants grown as a result of serving in public school settings? How have the participants nurtured faith in others as they have served in public school settings? CUW and the LCMS trained the participants in this study to be teachers within LCMS schools where they would be teachers of faith. In this exploratory, qualitative research, I used phone interviews as the means to collect information related to the attitudes, experiences, and perceptions of five teachers currently working in public education. Analysis of the interviews revealed nine common themes of experience. These themes were the awareness of teacher rights as people of faith in public education, dealing with inappropriate student behavior, interacting with colleagues, Christian modeling, participants' understanding that students must initiate faith talks, making others aware that the teacher attends church, the teacher's desire to nurture faith in others, public education as a calling and ministry, and collegial support for faith. Within these themes, a state of simultaneous contentment and discontent became apparent for the teachers as people of faith in public schools. Through the analysis of the results, it also became evident that this group of teachers requires further support from CUW and the LCMS. I suggest this support should come in the form of increased specificity in the pre-service-LCMS-program at CUW to prepare LCMS-trained teachers for a potential career in public education. The data also showed a need for continuing education opportunities by CUW and the LCMS to support people of faith in public education.

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