Every year, promising students drop out of college because financial obstacles overwhelm them. Others quit because they simply lack proper guidance and become discouraged. As a result, our society is deprived of their best contributions. More tragically, they may never reach their full God-given potential. Many students do graduate—but with crippling debt obligations that can prevent them from fully engaging and contributing their best to their community.
Severe student debt hits underserved and financially challenged students especially hard. In 2018, 69% of college students graduated with an average debt of $29,800. Pell Grant recipient’s graduated with an average debt of $31, 200 . The higher the debt, the greater the chances the student will end up in loan default. This is especially true for those in underserved communities. By helping students avoid excessive debt and giving them guidance along the way, Trinity Education Foundation is making college the springboard to productivity and fulfillment it was meant to be. The need is great. But we know the generosity of the Foundation’s donors is greater!
Trinity Education Foundation provides scholarships and guidance to students at Christian colleges and seminaries to foster academic success and to inspire vocational development reflecting the Gospel’s values of love, justice, and healing for the sake of the world.
To see graduates embark on meaningful vocations and constructively impact their communities in response to Christ’s calling to lives of service and stewardship of God’s creation.
We value the time-honored traditions of Christian service, education, and unconditional love to benefit all of God’s creation.
Our logo expresses our conviction that a life based on biblical truth, when combined with a thirst for understanding, will be dynamic and fruitful. A passage from Jeremiah says it well:
“… Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
-Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)
Trinity Education Foundation is governed by a board of trustees, supported by an executive director and an investment adviser.
The trustees come from a range of professional backgrounds, but all share a passion to see students thrive in their vocations—continuing in the legacy of Trinity Lutheran College and Lutheran Bible Institute Seattle.
Tom has been a Trustee with the foundation since 2009 and has served as President since May, 2015. He had been very active with Trinity Lutheran College with his wife Twyla (where she attended when it was known as LBI-Seattle in the 70’s). He is a retired Marine Engineer from the Washington State Department of Ferries and is active serving with the Village Theater, Josephine Caring Community, and Lutheran Men in Mission.
David is a retired attorney, actively engaged in a number of nonprofit and community activities, including currently serving on the boards of Compass Housing Alliance in Seattle; Lutheran Services in America, headquartered in Washington DC; and here with the Trinity Education Foundation. He attended the University of Washington School of Law, where he was Executive Editor of the Washington Law Review, then practiced law in Seattle for more than 30 years, including 15 years as a named partner in the firm Mills Meyers Swartling. During this time, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He also received the President’s Award from the Washington State Bar Association and the Harrison-Tweed Award from the American Bar Association for his professional activities. David is a life-long Lutheran and has served the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in many capacities and with Bethany Lutheran Church on Bainbridge Island, WA where he and his wife Barbara reside.
Ernie has served with the foundation since its inception in 2007. He has a long history with Trinity Lutheran College and LBI-Seattle, having been a student at LBI-Seattle from 1962 to 1964. Ernie retired as a Data Analyst from the Microsoft Corporation after 15 years there, and has served on the Trinity Lutheran College Board of Directors for 12 of its 72 years, as well as the foundation Board of Trustees.
Patrick is an alumnus of Seattle Pacific University. Six years ago, Patrick was elected by the Union membership as the Financial Secretary / Treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, where he serves as the chief financial officer and labor negotiator. Patrick has answered God’s call to service by taking on many different roles at his church over the years, including youth ministry, interim pastor, business manager, and various committee roles. He currently serves on the board of Compass Housing Alliance.
Jenny Lockwald-Stewart has an extensive background in marketing, fund-raising, and high-profile partnerships working for companies like Capital Christian Music Group (formerly Sparrow Records/EMI Christian Music Group) and World Vision, a global humanitarian organization. Jenny completed her MA in Organizational Leadership in late 2016 and has spent the past four-years consulting with companies and individuals in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, change management, and career development.
Bello A. Dondja is an accomplished Social Entrepreneur who develops funds and implements solutions to social, cultural, and environmental issues. He founded the Hope Mentoring Program while studying Leadership and Organizational Management at Trinity Lutheran College in Seattle, Washington. He recently graduated from Hult International Business School at Cambridge, Massachusetts with a Double Master’s degree in International Business and Marketing. Bello is the proud owner of mxxyu.com, a center for personal and professional development. He began his career as a Greening Youth Public Affairs Fellow at the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. His current occupation as Communication Specialist for the Marysville School District is to generate original content for engagement and outreach. Bello’s primary objective is to enroll into a fulltime Management PhD program in the near future.
Jim taught graduate courses in management at George Fox University from 2004 through 2020, and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. Previously, Jim held executive positions in HR Management at companies that included Intel and Matsushita. Jim served as a director on the HR Certification Institute board from 2012-2017 and was Secretary-Treasurer from 2015-2016; he also served on board committees for LightSpeed Technologies of Tualatin, OR. He graduated from Seattle LBI in 1975 with a diploma in Biblical Studies and 1977 with a Bachelor of Christian Education. He holds a doctorate in education from George Fox University and a Master of Science in Management from Marylhurst University, and multiple professional certifications in Human Resource Management.
Joan loves to see people light up with their passions and gifts in life. Helping students to find their voice and a sense of belonging is her greatest joy. Joan is a 2013 graduate of Trinity Lutheran College and is currently the Mentor Coordinator at Everett High School with HOPE Mentoring and LINCNW. Joan and her husband Dave have two adult children and spend their spare time gardening in Stanwood.
Ben serves the foundation as Investment Adviser, working with the Trustees to provide insights into policy and investment decisions. He has been a Wealth Adviser since 2003. He earned his degree in International Business and Economics from Western Washington University.
Trinity Education Foundation was formed in 2007 as a supporting organization to Trinity Lutheran College. Since then it has continued its mission of providing financial support and guidance for students throughout the Northwest.
Many know Trinity Lutheran College by its former name, Lutheran Bible Institute-Seattle, which was founded in 1944. Like many such institutions, the college experienced declining enrollment in recent years, and saw its final graduating class in 2016. The Foundation then decided to continue and expand its core mission by helping students attending accredited Christian colleges in the region.
The tradition of helping young people acquire a strong Christian education is continuing—through the support of our generous patrons.
Lutheran Bible Institute-Seattle (LBIS) opened downtown, moving soon afterward to the north Seattle neighborhood of Greenwood. Students were offered programs in biblical studies, theology, and missions. Courses in Christian education and youth ministry soon followed.
LBIS moved eastward to the Providence Heights area of Issaquah, Washington. The new campus was situated on 39 wooded acres formerly owned by the Sisters of Providence.
LBIS was formally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Trinity Education Foundation was established as a supporting organization to Trinity Lutheran College to provide scholarships to students attending the college.
Now renamed Trinity Lutheran College (TLC), the school relocated to downtown Everett, Washington. The former Port Gardner building was remodeled, adding to a campus that now included a Campus Center, adjacent parking garage, and two nearby student apartment buildings. TLC offered bachelor’s degrees in 10 majors and 17 minors, as well as two-year associate degrees in biblical studies, one-year certificates in professional studies, and one-year certificates in biblical studies. TLC maintained its distinctiveness as a biblically-centered institution by requiring all bachelor’s students to complete the Trinity Crux Curriculum, which included biblical studies, spiritual formation, and service learning.
Continuing the legacy that inspired the founders of Lutheran Bible Institute and Trinity Lutheran College, Trinity Education Foundation is providing educational opportunities to new generations of promising college and seminary students.