Behind the Name

Who is Michael Sattler?

At Sattler College, we prize the ideal of living example: Men and women who have lived out the teachings of Jesus and left shining examples that we can follow. This is important because the entire Christian faith is based on that premise, that Jesus Christ came to show us how to live as God would have us to, therefore it is fitting that his followers should also leave examples as signposts of Godly living. As Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” This played a role in deciding Sattler College’s name.

We chose Michael Sattler as our namesake because he exemplifies what we are looking for in students: a mixture of academic rigor coupled with an adamantine devotion to doing the will of God regardless of the cost.

Michael Sattler was a martyr who lived in the 1500’s. He was a leader of the early Anabaptist churches and was put on trial for his beliefs. Sattler gave an incredibly able defense of his position, but still the authorities decided to condemn both him and his wife, and about 20 others that he was captured with. He died with such joy and tranquility, loving and blessing his enemies, that it inspired hundreds, maybe even thousands more to join this nascent movement.

Michael Sattler was a man who was compelling because he embodied the three virtues found in 2 Timothy 1:7 – power, love, and a sound mind. These three virtues when brought together represent the goal of what discipleship should be and certainly education. Sattler was an excellent scholar, he knew Hebrew, Greek, and Latin and was committed to understand the scriptures. He was a man who loved the church, who was willing to bleed and die with the church. He was a man of great power as well, he was a tremendous leader, he knew how to organize people and is credited as being one of the leaders of the radical reformation. Michael Sattler represents the best of what we ought to be aspiring to as student and parents.

Sattler’s memory is not the only one that graces our halls. Many of our classrooms bear the names of people of courage and conviction, some of whom gave their lives as martyrs for their faith, while others poured out their lives in service to their fellow man. They are men and women from different countries, socioeconomic backgrounds, and time periods, spanning from the days of the Roman Empire to living memory. While their personalities, backgrounds, cultures, and historical settings may differ, they all have one thing in common: That same full-souled dedication to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ that Sattler College is dedicated to fostering in the heart of every student.

These heroes and heroines include people like Perpetua, a young Roman mother who chose to be cast into the arena with wild beasts, rather than to cast away her faith; Adoniram Judson, the once prodigal son of a minister, who gave his life in ministry to the people of Burma who had never heard the Gospel. He died in that far-off land and was buried at sea; Amy Carmichael, an Irish woman who spent most of her life in India, rescuing young girls from temple prostitution and declared that missionary work was “a chance to die”; and, of course, there’s Margaretha Sattler who followed her husband into a martyr’s death, declaring that “I do not follow my beliefs because of my husband; I follow my husband because of his beliefs.”

We become like the things that we admire. What better way, then, for students to become sacrificial servants of the King of Kings, than to be surrounded each day by the memories of heroes of the Kingdom?

That is where Sattler College got its name.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”