Board of Directors

Rev. Ron Heins, Executive Director

Rev. Dr. Mark Braun, Chairman

Mr. Cliff Buelow, Director

Mr. Bruce Eberle, Director

Rev. Mark Jeske, Treasurer

Dr. Timothy Kriewall, Director ex officio

Prof. James Rahn, Secretary

Mr. Todd Witte, Director ex officio


The CHARIS Institute, Inc. exists to provide a platform for the study and discussion of issues facing the Church. It seeks to provide forums where scholars from Wisconsin Lutheran College, the Church, and the community can investigate issues of current concern to the Church and the world. It also exists to disseminate the products of such research and investigation to the College’s larger communities. Through all these activities CHARIS will generally seek to provide a means by which the Institute and the College can contribute in distinctively Lutheran Christian academic ways to the evangelical mission of the Church.


The CHARIS Institute, Inc. shall strive to be recognized within the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod as an outstanding source of scholarship and education related to problems and issues confronting the Christian Church, the Church’s relationship to American culture, and the effectiveness of the Church in carrying out its evangelistic mission.

Core Values

  1. The objectives of CHARIS must reflect and enhance the academic reputation of Wisconsin Lutheran College. The vision of CHARIS must be both an extension and amplification of the vision of the College.

  2. Although CHARIS will host a variety of educational and scholarly activities, its projects must be grounded in sound scholarship, thoughtfully and deliberately structured, and intelligently executed.

  3. The ability of CHARIS to humbly serve the Church is dependent upon its credibility as an agency of cooperation, support, and expertise.

  4. The contributions of CHARIS to the mission and ministry of the Church will be positive, edifying, and supportive. CHARIS will strive to avoid perceptions of hubris from being unduly critical, negative, and cynical.

  5. CHARIS will strive to identify those intellectual resources and areas of expertise which can be directed to serve the Church in ways that are not normally within the resources and abilities of the Church.


  1. CHARIS projects should have the potential to influence thinking and actions beyond the walls of WLC. Although some projects will necessarily involve WLC students and faculty, it is imperative that the outcomes of such projects be available to a wider audience.

  2. CHARIS projects should have the potential to affect change in the intellectual culture of the WELS, and eventually in the Christian Church at large.

  3. CHARIS projects should be designed with clearly stated outcomes and measurable objectives.

  4. CHARIS projects should be regularly assessed to measure their relative effectiveness in meeting their objectives.