The Charlie Project (“Charlie”) is named for Charles Gundelach, a businessman who cared deeply for children in our cities and believed in the role of Lutheran education in strengthening their lives and preparing them for their futures.

Unfortunately, Lutheran urban schools are in crisis, with their very existence in jeopardy.  Over the course of the past year, in innumerable conversations with educators, community leaders, and church leaders, we have seen the dedication to Lutheran schools in urban areas and recognition of urgency to develop a new model for their schools, committing to change, and doing the hard work of implementation. Through the development of a new kind of school, Charlie aims to provide a measurable difference in sustainable financials and in quality education in urban Lutheran schools. Its schools will be known for excellence in education, for their Christ-centered service, and for building on the assets of their communities.

The Charlie Project’s goals are nothing short of igniting a transformation across Lutheran schools – a movement that will result in a cadre of strong, excellent, flourishing schools, built from the dedicated work of Lutheran school leaders over the years and ensuring that future generations of urban children and their families have access to faith-based education that strengthens their lives and prepares them for their futures.

The Charlie team is composed of individuals from Criterion Ventures, and Wheat Ridge Ministries including their Center for Urban Education Ministries.  The project is generously supported by numerous foundations.


View the latest presentation on Charlie.

Learn more about the concepts driving Charlie’s business model.

For more information about The Charlie Project, contact Joy Anderson by email at anderson [at]

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