Blog by Steven Schroeder - Should I resign or what?

So, do I resign or what?


The more my interest drifted to the military option, the further I felt out of my depth in the events that were going to take place. After all, they didn’t really cover the “What if you want to totally change careers after two years in the Ministry” in my counseling class at the Seminary.

In addition to that were the thoughts and responses of how friends and family were going to react to the news that after eight years of education post-high school, I was now going to hang that all up and join the military.

Trying to answer these questions while still being undecided myself was certainly unnerving.

“Why?” “What is he thinking?” “What a waste of college and post-graduate education” “Way to give it a solid try…” were only a few of the voluminous responses I might get for what some probably figured to be a rash decision.

Whether one admits it or not, there has to be some stigma attached to pursuing a career or calling for such a long time, only to leave that career for polar-opposite profession. Trying to answer these questions while still being undecided myself was certainly unnerving.

And so it was with these thoughts in mind that I drove the fifty-plus miles on a frigid Wisconsin Saturday to meet with the Seminary president, President V. to try to figure out what exactly the options were. I’m not sure President V. knew exactly why I called to ask him to meet. However, he showed no surprise or objection when I laid out my feelings and conflicts of what was to happen.

In only a few short months, my call at Luther Prep was to end and in May I was to receive a “Permanent Call” to a congregation. If I were to change careers, it would probably be the cleanest to do before receiving a call to a congregation following my Tutor call at Prep.

“I think I’m going to pursue this military path. But what does this mean for my ministry career?
Obviously, at this point, I will not continue. So, do I resign or what?”

President V. had always been evangelically low-key and easy to talk to remained so in this uncomfortable discussion. After all, the Synod, the Seminary and the Professors pour their resources into molding ministers for the future. It would have been easy to be dismissive to me or chide me for “not really giving it a try.”

He did neither, informing me that “No. You simply would not present yourself as a candidate for a call into ministry.”

Okay. That makes it a little easier. Let’s see how it plays out with the family…

Chaplain Steve Schroeder, CW4—Retired, served in both Afghanistan and Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, flying many mission in combat situations. A helicopter crash ended his flying career and opened the path for a ministry helping those experiencing severe trauma.