“What are the roles of an alumnus of Concordia Seminary?”
Certainly, the most important “role” of Concordia Seminary alumni is to be full partners with the Lord and His Church in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. His mission is our mission. And together we serve in His Name!
St. Louis is known as the “Gateway City.” For many of us, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, was the gateway through which we passed into our respective ministries and vocations. It was here that we came to know and appreciate, study under and with, and be encouraged and mentored by members of faculty and staff blessed with servant hearts and a genuine love for the Lord and His Word.
In recent years a large number of our alumni have stayed connected or have become reconnected with the ministry of Concordia Seminary in a variety of ways.
- Each year a number of our alumni serve as mentors in our fieldwork and vicarage programs.
- The process of calling an associate/assistant from the Seminary provides a unique connection with faculty, staff, and the ministerial formation process currently in place.
- Getting acquainted with a new graduate who comes to the circuit can provide a fresh perspective on Seminary life.
- This is also true when you have a son or daughter attend the Seminary. (An increasing number of our students (and their spouses) are children of alumni.
- Many of our alumni appreciate and participate in our graduate school and continuing education programs. Then too, there are events such as the Alumni Reunion, the Theological Symposium, and other topical workshops that provide alums with the opportunity for continued personal and professional growth.
- Our Technology Services Department reports that there are thousands of hits each week on our web educational programming. Many of those “hits” come from our alumni making use of the varied and relevant resources available at csl.edu.
One of the key roles that I believe alumni of Concordia Seminary fulfill is that of “ENCOURAGER.” (Remember Barnabas!)
- encouraging young people (our sons and daughters) to prayerfully consider serving Christ as a pastor, teacher, missionary, chaplain, deaconess;
- encouraging the new pastor (and his family) as they arrive in the congregation/circuit upon graduation from the Seminary;
- encouraging our congregation to host a Concordia Seminary Sunday and allow our people to be informed about the important work that takes place here;
- encouraging congregational leadership, as well as fellow pastors and professional church workers to get acquainted with and make use of the quality Seminary resources for ministry;
- encouraging one another; that is re-connecting with classmates and their spouses . . . . . being a blessing to one another.
Another key “role” for an alumnus of Concordia Seminary is that of a “LIFETIME LEARNER.” As alumni of Concordia, we are members of the Concordia family! Concordia’s core values and mission statement apply not just to current faculty, staff, and students, but also to alumni, and even the Church at large. We encourage you to connect with some of the many learning opportunities offered by Concordia. Your ministry will be blessed!
Another (even more important) role is that of providing PRAYER SUPPORT. We are with you on the
front line of the Church Militant. The challenge of maintaining and growing a theologically sound and relevant Lutheran Seminary in this – the 21st century – can be a daunting task. But under God’s grace and with His guidance and blessing, Concordia can fulfill its “role” of serving church and world by providing theological education and leadership centered in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…” That this might be done in faithfulness, we ask for your prayers.
All of this, and I have yet to mention “financial support.” I haven’t mentioned it because I believe that if we as alumni are living lives that reflect our commitment and dedication to the mission of Christ; if we see ourselves living under God’s grace and being encouraging hope providers, lifetime learners, making regular and faithful use of the gift of prayer, a willingness to be part of the financial support of our alma mater will be there.
It is helpful to know that over 98% of our financial support comes from tuition and gifts (less than 2% from church at large offerings); that 100% of our faculty, and three quarters of our staff are actively participating in our “How Will They Hear?” campaign; that the various phases of this campaign have resulted in pledges totaling more than the $77 million goal; that the participation of alumni in this campaign has been a tremendous blessing to the overall success of this campaign; that a major concern of many of our graduates today is educational debt (with the seminary cost of education averaging about $16,000 per year, per student, many couples bear a burden of $50,000 or more in educational debt at graduation).
But the more important issue is that our graduates are well-prepared to join us and our Lord as our partners in ministry to God’s people, in His mission field.
As alumni there are many things in the past, present, and future that we share. While words like “celebrate,” “gratitude,” “courage,” “faithfulness,” come to mind, perhaps it would be a good time to get back to and reflect upon the word “Concordia.” We can’t have “Concordia” in isolation! We are in “Concordia” together!