Mission and Impact

Our Mission

img_4366The Center for Urban Education Ministries connects and equips Lutheran leaders with resources to develop innovative and effective Christian education ministries that nurture hope for children, youth and families who live in urban areas.

Vision and Impact

The vision of CUEM is to equip and connect Lutheran and faith-based urban leaders to transform education programs to achieve sustainable and evolving excellence. These programs are helping to break the cycle of poverty in urban communities by providing the means to achieve intellectual and social competence, thereby encouraging people to reach their full potential.

The purpose of CUEM is to impact the face of Lutheran urban education by realizing three overall goals:

  1. Improving student educational and social outcomes by acknowledging and effectively implementing new, quality and varied models of urban education.
  2. Inspiring, affirming and supporting the vocation of Lutheran educators in public and faith-supported* educational settings.
  3. Increasing the number of quality, sustainable traditional supported Lutheran or Lutheran related schools in the major cities of the United States.

*We believe that all education is intended for the public good and although we are supported by a faith community in a traditional Lutheran school, we too impact the public. We believe that teachers, whether they teach in a public or faith-supported school, deserve our support and affirmation.

We will achieve these goals by collaborating with agencies, colleges, foundations, and schools of the church to build partnerships focused on achieving desired changes in urban education and by engaging congregations with schools and communities in new and innovative ways.


As part of its strategic plan, CUEM has outlined several strategies to help us fulfill our mission to connect and equip leaders to develop innovative and effective education ministries.

Strategy One: The Charlie Project will continue to research new models and methods for sustainable Lutheran and Lutheran-supported urban education. Several programs are in place and others will be established under the Charlie Project. They are:

  • The S.M.I.L.E Project (Strategic Minds Innovating Lutheran Education) is implementing change through a blend of online and face-to-face learning.
  • To provide information for and to help initiate new Lutheran-led charter schools.

Strategy Two: CUEM will offer educational opportunities, including best practices summits, workshops, etc., to act as a resource and disseminate knowledge gained. These efforts include:

  • Building curriculum and programs for pastors new to Lutheran education.
  • Planning and executing new venues and formats for the Kieschnick Lecture Series.
  • Establishing a program for team leadership training in urban Lutheran schools.
  • Developing a national network of workshop presenters.

Strategy Three: CUEM will offer support and encouragement to those serving in Lutheran urban education. This will be accomplished by offering programs and opportunities for recognition of outstanding educators and programs.

Strategy Four: CUEM will interact with Lutheran urban leaders through consultations, presentations and strategic partnerships.


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