100 Years of Service – Change is in the Air

Pastor Arnold Krentz

In 1941, Superintendent Kohlmeier retired due to health reasons, and Pr. Arnold Krentz became Superintendent. He had served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada and at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

In 1941, the deaconess training program had increased to two years in length, adding courses in sociology and psychology and a six-month “practical training”. In 1943, the Lutheran Hospital Board gave notice to the LDA that they considered the “Deaconess Home necessary for their own use and that in accordance with the agreement made when the home was placed on the grounds of the hospital, they now wished to buy the Home.” Due to government restrictions in place due to World War II, no building was possible and the LDA suddenly found itself without a home.

Valparaiso University president, O.P. Kretzmann heard about the predicament of the LDA and sent representatives to the Deaconess Board to propose the transfer of the Deaconess Training School to Valparaiso. The Board adopted this plan.

Under Pr. Krentz’s supervision, a residence was rented from Valparaiso University for the deaconess students and served as housing from 1943-1957.

Deaconess Chapter House on Chicago Street in Valparaiso

The Deaconess Chapter House was located on Chicago Street in Valparaiso. In the fall of 1943, the first four deaconess students began their two-year course at Valparaiso. Soon the need for a full, four-year college education became evident, and this was introduced in 1946, with the students majoring in Religion.

With this change, new fields of service were opened up for deaconesses, especially in parish ministry. A program of recruitment was undertaken to

First four students at the new training program in Valparaiso; Jessie Bowers, Irma Gade, Clara Gade, and Malinda Stuckwisch

“secure qualified young women to enter the Deaconess educational program at Valparaiso University.”

A new era had begun.

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