MLC President Zarling retiring


NEW ULM — Rev. Mark Zarling, President of Martin Luther College (MLC) from 2007 to 2020, is retiring this summer.

During Zarling’s tenure, the campus saw the construction of the Chapel of the Christ, the Early Childhood Learning Center, a baseball field and a soccer pitch.

The academic catalog expanded to include majors in early childhood education and special education, many four-year secondary education majors and minors in urban ministry and Chinese. The graduate program added two new degrees, Master of Science in Educational Administration and Master of Arts in Theological Studies. Continuing education offerings expanded to include new teacher induction, new certifications and many on-campus, online and on-location professional development options.

Zarling led the campus through two strategic plans, two accreditations, a master site plan and a master staffing plan. He put a spotlight on lowering student debt, broadening international services, expanding experiential learning and recruiting new students to fill current vacancies and prepare for new ministries still in development. He also traveled extensively, serving as an ambassador for MLC.

Faculty, staff, and synod leaders have called President Zarling a man of faith, a pastor-administrator, a humble visionary, a Christ-like leader, and MLC’s spiritual compass. He spoke God’s promises in the hallways, prayed with colleagues in their offices, and uplifted the college family with his “Letters from Home” chapel messages.

“President Zarling has left an impression on Martin Luther College,” said WELS President Mark Schroeder. “He has worked tirelessly to ensure that our WELS College of Ministry faithfully carries out its purpose. He has personally guided and shaped hundreds if not thousands of students. And through his leadership he has instilled in our synod’s members a love for and a confidence in Martin Luther College.”

Zarling and his wife, Colette, are moving to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, this summer and are planning road trips to the East and West Coasts to see their children and grandchildren.

Communications to Zarling may be mailed to 2631 College St., Manitowoc, WI 54220.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today