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Finlandia Welcomes New University Chaplain

August 24, 2009

Soren SchmidtHANCOCK, MI -  Finlandia University President Philip Johnson is pleased to announce that Soren Schmidt has accepted the call to serve as Finlandia University chaplain.

Soren comes to Finlandia with rich and varied experiences in Christian ministry, including 20 years of achievement in leading, developing, and implementing creative and educational faith-building programs

"Soren will bring a mature energy that will serve our campus community very well. He is very familiar with Lutheran higher education and the 90-plus congregations of the Northern Great Lakes Synod," said President Johnson.

"I believe you will find Soren to be a very good Finlandia fit, able to genuinely and fully embrace our religious diversity while celebrating our distinct Lutheran heritage."

Schmidt, originally from Escanaba, is a Suomi College alumnus ('94). He earned a B.A. in music at Dana College and a M.A. in education administration at Northern Michigan University. Since 2000, Soren has been the Outdoor Ministry program director at Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp near Crystal Falls, Mich. As university chaplain, he will be installed as a Licensed Lay Ministry professional.

René Johnson, who served as interim campus pastor for two years, will continue to serve as a full-time member of the faculty, focusing her attention on the curricular and co-curricular aspects of Servant Leadership and delivering the SCAS Christian Vocation concentration.

Contact Soren Schmidt at 906-487-7239 or


Photo cutline: Finlandia University Campus Chaplain Soren Schmidt

Finlandia University is a baccalaureate degree-granting, co-educational learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service. Founded by Finnish immigrants in 1896 as Suomi College, Finlandia is the only private, not-for-profit institution of higher education in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is one of 28 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Finlandia offers degrees in the disciplines of liberal studies, health sciences, business administration, and fine art and design. Finlandia is a member of NCAA Division III. Visit the university's website at