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 (source). 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!

Mission

Trinity Education Foundation supports individuals and organizations engaged in educational programs cultivating Christian values that make known the Gospel’s call for peace, justice, and healing throughout the world.

Vision

Our vision is to see successful college graduates entering the world filled with God’s purpose, fulfilling his highest calling, transforming their world through lives of service.

Values

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)

  • Why Scholarships?

    The cost of college escalates with each passing year whether it’s a public state university, non-profit or for-profit college. As these costs increase, it becomes more challenging for those in marginalized communities to find the funds to fulfill their college and career dreams. One of the fastest declining college student groups is the lower middle class. Though the “Effective Family Contribution”calculations indicate parents in this demographic should be able to pay for school, the costs associated with attendance are simply beyond the family’s ability to pay. Trinity Education Foundation provides scholarships with significant financial commitment, opening doors for students who would not otherwise be able to attend college.

  • Why Vocational Guidance?

    It is estimated that at least one third of college students will change their degree at least once after starting school. Changing a degree mid-stream can increase the cost of college due to additional classes required by the new degree. At Trinity Education Foundation we utilize an award-winning validated assessment, PathwayU, to help students understand their unique gifts and vocational interests as they start their Freshman year. If a student realizes they want to change their degree focus, we want to help them make this decision sooner than later to ensure a beneficial college experience and little to no financial impact.

  • Why Professional Coaching?

    Studies show that college students with support systems in place will have greater success at finishing college on time and transitioning to their preferred career. Many students find their first year of college to be daunting and feel overwhelmed by the sudden “freedom”of being on their own and having to navigate a new environment. Our coaches provide a place for students to get input, direction, and develop critical thinking skills. From freshman year to senior year, the coach will guide the student in areas like leadership development, time management, relationship building, resume preparation, mock interviewing, networking, internships to support their career goals, and development of a job search action plan.

Our Staff

Maren Diamond

Maren Diamond

Data Base Manager & Knower of All
Sandy Tennant

Sandy Tennant

Office Manager & Master of All
Jenny Lockwald-Stewart

Jenny Lockwald-Stewart

Executive Director

Our History

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.

Our Governance

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 spirit,tradition, and legacy of Trinity Lutheran College and Lutheran Bible Institute Seattle.

Tom Lucas

Tom Lucas

Trustee, President

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 Swartling

David Swartling

Trustee, Vice-President

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 Fosse

Ernie Fosse

Trustee, Secretary, Treasurer

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.

Jenny Lockwald-Stewart

Jenny Lockwald-Stewart

Executive Director

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 Dondja

Bello Dondja

Trustee

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 Lindus

Jim Lindus

Trustee

Jim Lindus is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, Washington on beautiful Whidbey Island. Pastor Lindus has served in this position for the past 30 years. Pastor Lindus also served for 15 years on the Board of Directors of Luther Seminary. He was the Chair of the Board for two years. Jim Lindus was the Executive Director at Trinity College in Everett, Washington. In this capacity he worked with the Board, the Faculty and Staff as the college moved toward closure. Pastor Lindus has been married for 37 years to Felicia Lindus and together they have three grown daughters and two grandsons.

Dr. Jim Steele, Ed.D., GPHR, SPHR

Dr. Jim Steele, Ed.D., GPHR, SPHR

Trustee

Since 2004, Jim has taught graduate courses in management at George Fox University, where he also serves on the Faculty Senate. Previously, Jim held executive positions in HR Management at companies that included Intel and Matsushita. Jim was on the HR Certification Institute board from 2012-2017 and was Secretary-Treasurer from 2015-2016; he also served on board committees for Light Speed 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. His doctorate is from George Fox University and he holds a Master of Science in Management from Marylhurst University.

Ben Richards

Ben Richards

Investment Adviser

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.

1944

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.

1979

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.

1982

LBIS was formally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

2007

Trinity Education Foundation was established as a supporting organization to Trinity Lutheran College to provide scholarships to students attending the college.

2008

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.

2019

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.