Alumnus Profile: Concordia Nebraska helped alumnus Anne Sorensen Bierling “become the person God created me to be”
Anne Sorensen Bierling MA, MFT ’89 had not attended a Christian school prior to discovering Concordia Nebraska. Seeking a university experience that featured a strong, Christian community, she chose Concordia.
“I wanted to be a teacher and have the opportunity to share my faith in the classroom,” she said.
Bierling graduated with a double major in secondary education focusing on the language arts: literature, composition, speech, and drama. She also earned a Lutheran Teacher Diploma. She said that her time at the university was enriched by the faith-focused community, caring peers and supportive professors.
“I so enjoyed the close friendships with peers and instructors that are still blessing me 34 years later!” she said. “Many of the professors affirmed who I was and gave me the freedom to think, speak, and write honestly, which of course cultivated my personal growth and professional creativity.”
Bierling said her time at Concordia Nebraska was one of both receiving and growth.
“Prior to that point, so much of my life I had been in survival mode, and Concordia’s strong caring community gave me space to discover who I was and wanted to be,” she said. “I was strongly impacted by other peers who also wanted to grow in their faith and understanding of what it meant to follow Jesus.”
Bierling attended Concordia’s Summer Ministry program in 1986 and lived and worked in an under-resourced area in Kansas City at the Lutheran Good Shepherd Mission.
“The summer of 1986 was life changing for me. I gained personal insight into the daunting challenges of living in an under-resourced area and a deep respect for the parents who were working tirelessly to provide for their families against all odds,” she said. “In fact, my deepest passions and calling almost 40 years later has everything to do with my experience in Kansas City at the Good Shepherd Mission.”
After graduation, Bierling served at Los Angeles Lutheran High School for seven years as an AP English instructor, guidance counselor and assistant principal. At the same time, she was also attaining a master of arts in marriage and family counseling. In 1996, she began working at Shepherd’s House, a major trauma center in Los Angeles, and became a licensed marriage and family therapist after accruing 3,000 clinical hours.
In 2000, she and her colleagues co-authored The Life Model: Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You which has been translated into 11 languages. Proceeds were invested into creating training resources now available at Life Model Works. For the past 17 years, Bierling has been the director of LCPC Parent Education, which provides classes in Los Angeles for parents of children from birth to college. She also leads conferences on maturity which are being used worldwide.
“My greatest passion is helping families thrive.” Bierling said. “My colleagues and I are constantly researching how to better equip families through improved maturity, self-regulation, trauma recovery, and racial reconciliation—while strengthening resilience and faith.” Her days are filled with administration, training, fund raising, and supporting under resourced communities.
She is especially passionate about the humanitarian crises in Los Angeles—and supporting those challenged by the foster and homeless crises.
Bierling has been married for 30 years and has three grown children: Jessi, Grant, and Tasha who all reside in the Los Angeles area. When not working, she enjoys swimming, hiking, learning, attending UCLA games, and spending time with family and friends.
“I am grateful for the space Concordia gave me to become the person God created me to be,” she said.
Are you interested in discovering secondary education options at Concordia Nebraska? Learn more here.