2017 NLSA School Shepherd Award Recipient

We are pleased to announce the selection of the 2017-18 NLSA School Shepherd, Pastor Peter A. Schmidt, who serves at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church and School in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Pastor Schmidt has faithfully service this school and congregation since 1995.

The Lutheran School Shepherd Award has been established by National Lutheran School Accreditation to honor a faithful pastor who has provided outstanding encouragement, support and service to his school. This award allows NLSA to honor an outstanding school pastor. In addition, we can identify the practices and tangible means of support that have impacted his school in many positive ways. Through this process, NLSA also recognizes many faithful pastors who were nominated by their district and provide extraordinary support, service and encouragement for Lutheran schools throughout the United States.

Pastors are nominated by accreditation visiting teams during an NLSA site visit and endorsed by their district as candidates for this award. Each nominee must complete an application packet that illustrates the following traits. All pastors who were nominated have demonstrated exemplary support and encouragement for their school and are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Understands and articulates a clear philosophy of Lutheran Education.
  • Provides spiritual encouragement, guidance and support for the school.
  • Engages and participates in school activities.
  • Works well with the school governing body and/or parent advisory associations.
  • Champions the school.

When answering the question “Why do you love your school?” Pastor Schmidt replied, “It is because of the joy of daily seeing the Holy Spirit work in a setting where Jesus is unashamedly welcomed and worshiped, and His love is modeled by teachers, staff, volunteers and students. For me, any education without quality instruction in the Word of God is an incomplete education.”

Pastor Schmidt went on to say, “While at a conference over 20 years ago, I heard former Nebraska District President, Eldor Meyer, make the comment to pastors, A good shepherd smells like his sheep. I have had the joy and privilege of serving in a pasture that includes a Lutheran grade school with many sheep that are not necessarily members of our congregation, but are still a part of the Beautiful Savior family. I am very thankful for the privilege of being able to share Jesus and His love through teaching His Word and, by God’s grace, exemplifying what it means to follow Christ.”

Pastor Schmidt’s service at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church and school exemplifies the traits of a faithful school shepherd. NLSA is pleased to recognize his service and contributions to Lutheran education.