Community Ed Student Spotlight: Jacob Dancler

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As many of you know, here at Luther House of Study (LHOS), we offer more than just our seminary programs for prospective pastors. We also have a variety of free educational resources for congregations and lay people.

These include our video series, podcasts, and the focus of today’s blog — our monthly community education classes. If you’re local to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you’re welcome to attend these classes which focus on a specific topic over a period of 6-9 months. Currently, we are hosting classes on Paul’s letter to the Romans, with the next two meetings taking place on April 18 and May 23

Whether you’re able to commit to attending every month or can only come to one, anyone is welcome, anytime. To give you a taste of what the classes are like, we sat down with one of our regular attendees, Jacob Dancler, to hear his perspective.

Check out what he had to say below!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Tea and work at CrossFit FC here in Sioux Falls on the east side of town. I was born here and raised in Tea, and I’m just a normal guy with a desire to learn more and be challenged in my faith life. 

How did you hear about Luther House of Study’s community education classes, and how long have you been attending? 

I heard about Luther House a few years back when I was attending college at Augustana here in Sioux Falls. I think the community ed classes were going on back then, but I didn’t start coming consistently until this year, and even then it’s been a bit hit or miss thanks to the weather. 

Why do you attend? What interests you most, and what do you find fulfilling about the classes? 

I attend because it challenges my way of thinking about faith in a way that makes a lot of sense. I like that every answer to our questions is based on passages in the Bible, and very little, if any, of it is ever an opinion of the lecturers.

It’s fulfilling because after a class I sit and reflect on what I learned and often try to explain it to others. It makes so much sense at the time of hearing it, but then when relaying that information sometimes the explanation escapes me and makes me critically think back to what I heard from the class. Going back every month keeps that information fresh in the mind. 

Is there one specific thing you’ve learned that has most impacted you? 

I think the thing that’s impacted me the most is the function of the Law and Gospel. Growing up, it wasn’t clear to me how much I needed to try to stay pure according to the Law before I was just damned to hell or promised heaven. Through this class, I’ve learned that the function of the Law is to show me that I can’t save myself. Introducing the Gospel lets me know that my sins have been forgiven because Jesus came to die for us, so that we may be saved through his righteousness and death on the cross. 

What would you say to someone who was thinking about attending?

I would tell anyone thinking about coming to check out a class that they are more than welcome! It’s fine to sit in the back and soak it all in or to be active and ask questions. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you’re at in life, every single person is welcome, and I encourage them to come hear the conversation we have in that room.

Anything else you’d like to add?

This is the kind of thing that will be hard to understand at first but completely undeniable when and if it’s comprehended. 

We are so grateful to Jacob for sharing his experience with us!

If you have been impacted by any of our free resources, we are always looking for testimonials. Please feel free to email Sarah at if you would be willing to share your thoughts. 

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