This book ought to be read by all students of Practical Theology, particularly those serving religious schools and/or urban ministry. In this study of ministries under stress, Rev. Dr. Richard Zeile examines the decline of Lutheran Schools in Detroit, Michigan, during the 1990's. Ten Detroit Lutheran schools that closed during the decade 1990 to 1999 (The remaining ten closed by 2010) were examined by comparing statistical data, leader surveys, and the author's participant journal to compare the interplay of theory, fact, and assumption. The failure to acknowledge demographic trends, with an inadequate theology of church growth, led to dysfunctional responses on the part of congregations, staff, and district officials. Theoretical questions, so often neglected by participants in ministry, go to the heart of institutional integrity which requires shared vision and values, as well as a sober cognizance of circumstances. A theology of the Cross, which recognizes that God is with His servants even (or especially) in failure, and thus prizes faithfulness rather than institutional success, is needed to provide an authentic basis for the ministry of Christian schools in times of stress.