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Tom Naumann


This series profiles the men and women who are preparing for the public teaching and preaching
ministry at our Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

Age: 25  Program: Seminary

Year in School: Senior

Where were you born?
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

Where did you grow up? 

I spent my childhood in Ketchikan, Alaska, until I was nine, then Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, until college.

Married? Unmarried? Tell us about your family.
I married my wife, Ashley (née Elliott), in April of 2016. Ashley was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. We became friends while on a CLC Mission Helper Trip to East Africa in 2012. In 2014, we went on another Mission Helper trip, this time to Nepal, and we began dating soon after. Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas in 2015. She currently works as a Wisconsin state social worker for Jackson County in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. We pray that the Lord will bless our family with children in the near future.

What hobbies, sports or extracurriculars interest you?

I enjoy playing pickup basketball on Tuesday nights in the ILC gym. I have been a lifelong deer hunter and outdoorsman. I root for the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team along with the rest of my Ohlmann relatives. I also enjoy watching NFL football, cheering for the Denver Broncos, my team since my childhood. Ashley and I greatly enjoy the outdoors. This past summer we spent three weeks road-tripping, camping, and hiking through National Parks in Utah, California, and Oregon. We also like to visit friends in Park City, Utah, for snowboarding and skiing each winter.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people don’t know. Many people don’t know that I directed CLC summer youth camps for eight years, from 2009-2016. I co-directed along with Jessica Sydow and Joelle Lentz. We ran two camps: Youth Camp at ILC in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Camp Koyquin in Pillager, Minnesota. Directing camps included everything from appointing/selecting counselors and staff to organizing the daily camp activities and everything in between. I was very blessed to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in this capacity!

Which academic subjects especially interest you?
I very much enjoy our liturgics class with Professor Reim. It is very interesting to learn about how our Christian liturgy and hymnody has developed over the past two thousand years.

I also enjoy homiletics, our class for sermonizing. There is nothing more exciting than digging into the original language of a Bible text and discovering another richly beautiful way in which God reveals His Law and Gospel in His Word and then being able to share that message with a congregation.

How did you first come to consider the public teaching or preaching ministry as a career? Being the son of a CLC pastor, I was exposed to the public ministry life ever since birth. I can remember pretending to preach make-believe sermons when I was just a small child. However, I never felt like I was pressured into the ministry by my family. When I was nearing the end of high school, I applied to many different colleges. Yet, in the back of my mind I knew that I wanted to find a job where I could do the most to help people. That’s a cliché and I know it, but it was true and still is. Eventually, I was led to the conclusion that the best way to help people is to do everything in my power to share the Gospel as best I could. With that in mind and believing that the Lord had blessed me with the spiritual gifts necessary for the public ministry, I entered into the Pre-Theology program at ILC, from which I graduated in 2013. The further that I get in my studies, the more confident I am that serving God as a CLC pastor is indeed my occupational calling.

What have you appreciated most about your time at ILC? The thing that I have most appreciated about my time at ILC are the close friendships that I have developed with my fellow students of God’s Word. Being in Christian fellowship with my best friends is certainly one of the greatest blessings in my life. Knowing at all times that my closest friends have the same faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins that I do is a comfort and blessing. With that largest life priority in common, friends are truly able to encourage and support one another.

What qualities do you think will most be needed by the future leaders of the church?
Writing about the pastoral ministry, the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 that “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” Truly in this world of deteriorating morals and outright rejection of God’s authority, the quality of faithfulness is desperately needed in the church. Faithfulness to God’s inerrant Word, faithfulness to caring for God’s people, and faithfulness to the truth of the Gospel of Christ crucified for sinners.