Concordia Seminary’s Specific Ministry Pastor Program (SMP) is featured in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch. To read the story, please follow this link.
SMP is a four-year distance education program, established by the 2007 Lutheran Church Missouri—Synod (LCMS) convention, that prepares men for pastoral ministry in the LCMS.
Students in the SMP program receive their academic training in the setting where they will continue to serve following ordination. They work with local pastor-mentors who support and guide them in the program and who provide day-to-day guidance, encouragement, and prayer.
The courses of the Specific Ministry Pastor Program are supported by state-of-the art technology which engages the students with their instructors and with fellow students while building an interactive learning community. Each course includes a blend of Internet-based instruction, mentor interaction, practical ministry application, and two hours each week of live instruction by the instructor and interaction with fellow students.
SMP is designed to meet the needs of the church for pastors in mission and ministry opportunities where a pastor with a seminary degree may not be available. In order to be eligible for the SMP program, men must be serving in a ministry of an LCMS congregation which desires their service as a pastor and prevents their coming into the full residential program. They must be nominated for the program by their District President. Based upon this nomination and their previous ministry experiences, the students begin their academic work as concurrent-deferred vicars.
After two years of vicarage and nine classes they become eligible for ordination in the specific ministry where they are serving following certification as a “specific ministry pastor” by the faculty of Concordia Seminary. They are then required to take two more years of classes in order to complete the basic Specific Ministry Pastor program. After program completion, they have the option of continuing seminary education toward certification as a general pastor, eligible to serve in a variety of pastoral contexts.
Concordia Seminary magazine, the official magazine of Concordia Seminary, features SMP in its winter issue. To read the story, please go to: http://www.csl.edu/resources/publications/concordia-seminary-magazine.