Timothy Mueller MS
MS Ed Graduate
Like most WELS principals, Tim Mueller (MLC BS ’06, MSEd ’11) is a busy man. But he feels privileged - overjoyed, in fact - to be so. “My joy is in serving my God to the fullest of my abilities out of thanks and praise for all that has been done for me,” he says.
His day at Star of Bethlehem in New Berlin, Wisconsin, starts early: “Up before the sun, a cup of coffee, me and my inbox,” he says. “Then I begin the school day in God’s Word with my faculty. I greet students and parents with a smile, handshake, or fist bump. I get into God’s Word with my upper graders and just talk about life as Christians in this world. I communicate with the secretaries and enter the office for all things principal.”
The afternoon is spent with students: lunch, recess, math, and English class; and after school he talks with faculty and staff. “I say my faculty and staff because I love them much; they are near and dear to me,” he says.
More office time follows: “emails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings with any and all stake holders of the school.” Then it’s home briefly for supper and play time with his boys, and back to school to meet with school and church committees—lay people also busy serving the Lord. And finally, he says, “I end the day with my dear wife, without whom my service to the church would not be possible.”
Yes, a busy day, but every conversation, every effort, it seems, is laced with love and joy. “My joy,” he says, “is in knowing there is nothing I have to do, because it has all been done for me. And what’s more, I am given the privilege of telling this to others. Each day I get to tell our Savior’s little lambs about how much Jesus loves them. Each day I get to sit around a table with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and as a team, go and tell the good news of Jesus’ love. And, even more, we get to collaborate and offer an outstanding education as we prepare our students for this life and for eternity. Does it get better?”
In a way, Tim’s choice to enter a master’s program was inevitable. “Growing up,” he says, “my father always told me I could be a garbage man, McDonald’s worker, teacher, pastor, or anything I wanted, as long as I used my abilities to their absolute fullest to give glory to our God.” As he began teaching, he realized how much he didn’t know. To use his abilities to the fullest, he says, “I knew I needed to keep learning.”
Many master’s programs were available, online and right in La Crosse, Wisconsin, but Tim knew it had to be MLC. “I went into teaching to teach kids about the love of Jesus. I wanted to know how specifically to do that. I knew that at MLC I would learn practical knowledge based in best practices, and it would be centered on the love of Jesus. At MLC I’d learn from experts as instructors and with extremely knowledgeable individuals as peers.”
While Tim was working on his program from 2007 to 2011, he was principal at St. John-Sparta, Wisconsin. “My dear St. John in Sparta took great ownership in helping me financially with master’s program costs,” he says. “They gave freely that I might learn how to serve them and their children to the fullest of my ability. I then took a call to New Berlin. It may be easy to think they’d have negative feelings over the fact that they supported the learning financially and then I went to serve in another location. However, I’m confident that they know it’s not just about the ministry in Sparta, but rather our Lord’s ministry everywhere. I pray that we all, across the United States, might share this perspective.”
Principal Mueller urges other teachers to consider pursuing their master’s degrees, remembering their high calling as Christ’s ambassadors. “Let us ‘use whatever gift [we have] received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in various forms.’ May the love of our Savior and our God’s grace motivate us to continue growing in our faith and in our abilities serving in our various callings - not because we have to, but purely out of love and thankfulness for all that has been done for us.”
Tim is quick to encapsulate the goal of further education: it’s the goal of ministry itself. “It’s all about love,” he says. “Jesus loved us so much he died to save us. It’s as simple as that: faith like a child. Now we go and serve. We serve to the fullest of our abilities out of glory and thanks to him.
“The graduate program at MLC helped me do this. It helped me expand the knowledge and improve the skills God has given me, which he allows me to use daily as I teach his little lambs about this love. Thank you, MLC. Thank you, Lord. To God be the glory.”
Tim Mueller at a Glance
Family: Wife, Megan, and two sons, Timothy III (2) and William (5 weeks)
Hobbies: Being outdoors, golfing, playing with the kids, having a glass of wine with his wife
Media: Books on leadership, communication, teambuilding, and faith; the music his middle school students listen to; kids’ movies (for his sons) and chick flicks (for his wife)
Biographical tidbit: Teaching is his second career. Before MLC, he first earned degrees in business administration and management and worked in resort management.
(Article written by Laurie Gauger)