Mark Wilhelm named executive director of Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities

CHICAGO (Aug. 3, 2017) – The Rev. Mark N. Wilhelm has been named executive director of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities.

Wilhelm previously served as ELCA program director for schools, which included early childhood, elementary, secondary and colleges and universities. He was appointed interim executive director of the network when it was established in 2015.

“The search committee conducted a national search, which yielded a strong pool of candidates,” said Steven C. Bahls, president of Augustana College and chair of the search committee. “Mark’s depth of experience in Lutheran higher education, as well as his clear vision for facilitating a strong network​, made him an easy choice. The presidents of the ELCA colleges (and universities) look forward to working with Mark in making the network central to the ministry of the ELCA in higher education.”

The network was established in collaboration with the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities to promote their shared mission and identity and to continue work previously managed by higher education offices in the ELCA’s churchwide organization. Luther College in Regina, Saskatchewan, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada was recently admitted as the 27th member of the network. The network is overseen by a board of directors composed of the presidents of the 27 institutions and an executive director.

“Presidents and leaders of our ELCA colleges and universities have been on a crucial journey to form an ELCA association, grounded in the faith in which they were planted,” said the Rev. Stephen Bouman, executive director of ELCA Domestic Mission unit. “Mark Wilhelm has faithfully guided this process and is now the first executive director of the association. I salute this remarkable achievement and what it will offer to our church and the world as they form leaders for society grounded in a spiritual vision for vocation.”