More than just study

‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:11  (NIV)

Visit the Lutheran Churches in Singapore, Malaysia (the mainland Peninsula and Sabah), Thailand, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea and you will see the encouraging influences of the LCA scholarship program.

Scholarship recipients are nominated by their Bishops and the Church Councils of their respective Churches and make application through the LCA to study at Australian Lutheran College (ALC). Some scholarship recipients receive a scholarship for a short-term of 3 months in order to attend lectures at ALC and to gain a greater understanding of the life and work of the congregations, institutions and agencies of the LCA. Some come for sabbaticals from their ministry as seminary lecturers, taking time to study and write articles and prepare manuscripts. Others come to study for longer periods at ALC to attain Masters and Doctoral degrees. And still others receive “in-country” scholarships to study at seminaries in their ‘home’ or a neighbouring country.

Each year approximately 5 scholarships are provided for varying lengths of stay and study in Australia at ALC, together with a varying number of in-country scholarships offered for people applying to study in different seminaries in Asia.

Boarding either at Catherine Court or Graebner Hall at ALC, the overseas scholars also have the opportunity to share life with their fellow students and lecturers of ALC. Through this daily interaction in lecture rooms and living in close proximity the relationships which are formed also help to build stronger connections between our respective Churches.

Many of the scholarship recipients have gone on to become leaders and bishops in their Churches, others to serve as lectures in seminaries and the teaching institutions of their Churches, and others to serve as faithful laypeople in their own contexts.  Their understanding in Lutheran theology which they have the opportunity to develop through their time at ALC continues to be a gift which is highly valued by our overseas partners.

Recent scholarship recipient, Rev Naomi Simarmata commented when thanking the LCA for her scholarship, that she was returning home to Indonesia with a much deeper and far greater appreciation and understanding of what it is to be a Lutheran Christian. She commented that she wanted not just the members of her own Church- the Huria Kristen Indonesia (HKI) church to know about Luther and Lutheran theology, but that all members of all of the 12 Indonesian Lutheran Churches should have a greater understanding of their Lutheran theology.

While here in Australia, scholarship recipients have the opportunity to worship in Lutheran Churches, experience congregational ministry and life, and with the help and support of a group of faithful volunteers, they have the possibility to visit in people’s homes, travel to various locations and experience our own unique Australian culture and hospitality.

However the scholarship program is not a one-way exchange. We are blessed here in the LCA through the life and ministry of these people and through the time which our scholarship recipients spend here. We learn from them, and are built up in faith, and experience the joyful enthusiasm for the gospel which is so evident in their lives.

The scholarship program is an amazing privilege we have as members of the body of Christ to gather in the gospel and to ‘build each other up’, the scholarship program is much more than study!

If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at