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In this episode of “Under the Fig Tree,” hosts Rev. Micah Glenn and Kati Gaschler sit down with Concordia Seminary alum (’96, ’05) Rev. W. Max Mons, who is pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Chapel and University Center in Iowa City, Iowa, and also chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Regents.

During the episode, Max shares what led him to go into ministry as a pastor, including his time as a student in campus ministry at the University of Michigan. “I consider myself to be a product of campus ministry,” he said.

Today, he serves as a campus pastor of the University of Iowa, and loves sharing the God’s free gift of grace in Christ with the students there.

“In college you’re always being evaluated,” he said. “God isn’t here to weed you out. He’s here to engraft you. He’s already made a decision about you in Jesus. You’re His child. He loves you. He cares about you. Everybody else is saying, ‘You need to measure up to my standard.’ And God says, ‘I’ve just brought you into the fold. And you can’t be plucked out of My hands.’ To have that message in a community and a culture of almost nonstop constant evaluation is a pretty cool thing to be able to do, to tell people about that week to week.”

Max also explained what the Board of Regents is all about, and what it’s like for him to be able to serve on the board. “To have an opportunity to give back to a place that puts so much into you, that invested in you, it’s really just an honor and a joy to turn back and do that,” he said. “I really am so very grateful for the professors that I had and the time that I had at Seminary. I still look back and some of the most joyous days of my life were spent on this campus.”

In the recurring segment, “Ripe for the picking or leave it on the tree,” hear how he feels about pineapple on pizza, “Cats: The Musical,” flying in small airplanes and carrot cake.

“Under the Fig Tree” is a video and audio podcast of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. New video and audio episodes are added weekly each Monday during the academic year. “Under the Fig Tree” can be found on YouTube, the Seminary’s Scholar site ( and most podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Those interested in vocational ministry are invited to join the Seminary contact list at Request-Information.... You can learn more about Concordia Seminary at or by contacting the admissions team at [email protected] or 800-822-9545.


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Laity; Ministers; Future Seminarians; Future Deaconesses

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