Jake joins the South Dakota Synod with a variety of outdoor ministry and youth ministry experience. He will continue to serve as the Director of NeSoDak Bible Camp, one of four sites within the Lutherans Outdoors in South Dakota organization. Prior to his time with Lutherans Outdoors, he has served in leadership roles within a variety of Minnesota-based outdoor ministries including Luther Crest Bible Camp, Good Earth Village, Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry, and Pathways Outdoor Ministries. He is a graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead Minnesota, and during his undergraduate studies, he served as a Youth Director at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo, North Dakota.
Jake also serves as the chair of the Member Relations Committee on a national outdoor ministry level with Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM). He has served on the Northwest Minnesota Synod of the ELCA LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization) Board and the Region 3 Camping Network Executive Committee. Jake loves all that is outdoors and spends much of his free time canoeing, hunting, fishing, and of course, Bible camping. He is a member of the Sioux Empire Paddlers Club and the Izaak Walton Conservation League. Jake and his German Shorthaired Pointer, Jep, reside near Waubay, South Dakota.
In addition to serving as the Director of NeSoDak, he will also serve the South Dakota Synod by promoting the call to pastoral care as a profession. In doing so, he will build and maintain relationships with congregations in South Dakota and our ELCA seminaries so he can be a resource to individuals discerning their call for theological education at a seminary, Kairos, TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) or Distance Learning programs. He will also assist congregations and campus ministries with ministry leadership development resources. Jake will be traveling extensively throughout the South Dakota Synod visiting congregations, conference gatherings, youth events, camps, and campuses.
Sawyer Vanden Heuvel
Director of Communications