Goal: To support a system of St. Louis area Lutheran schools dedicated to excellence in Christian education.
PLEASE NOTE: Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis does NOT provide direct assistance to individuals. Funding is provided to area organizations who, in turn, work directly with individuals.
More than 7,000 young people attend one of 41 Lutheran elementary, middle, or high schools in the St. Louis region. Lutheran schools are driven by a commitment to the Gospel and focused on a mission of bringing hope and healing to students and their families. Most schools meet or exceed state and national academic standards at all grade levels; all help to develop a minimum of 30 developmental assets in children.
From its inception, Lutheran churches and schools have gone hand-in-hand, with Lutheran schools serving as one of the best tools congregations have to tell the story of Jesus Christ to the next generation. While a majority of students attend a Lutheran church, Lutheran schools are also for the community – nearly 20 percent of students nationally are identified as “unchurched”. This number increases significantly in urban settings.
In the past two decades, Lutheran schools have experienced shifting enrollments and changes in their business model. As recently as ten years ago, church members paid little or no tuition; today the average local elementary tuition is $5,000 for non-church members. These changes have led some schools, particularly those in the urban core, to seek outside financial assistance; some have had close their doors.
Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis has directed a significant portion of our funding over the past 20+ years to ensure that children of our community have an opportunity to attend a Lutheran school of their choice. In the recently approved 2009 – 2013 strategic funding plan, the Board again affirmed its commitment to supporting Lutheran schools of excellence in our community.