Each year, the Admissions Office at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis analyzes the incoming class of Master of Divinity program students in order to assemble a Class Profile. Many aspects of each student’s background are recorded and compared with the same factors in previous classes. The results are helpful in identifying trends and enrollment patterns.
District of Origin
A three-way tie exists in this year’s incoming class with respect to Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod (LCMS) districts in which students held membership at the time of enrollment. Michigan, Minnesota South and Texas tied for first place with nine students each. Fourth place went to the Florida/Georgia District and fifth place went to Missouri. Of particular note is the fact that nearly 40% of the new students came from these five districts.
This information is consistent with recent years. In fact, the Michigan district sent the largest number of students in the previous two years as well. Likewise, Texas placed second last year and third in 1997.
The average age of the new students is higher (28.8 years old) than the previous two years (28.1 and 28.3 years old respectively). Nearly half (47%) of the students are 25 years old or younger. Yet, 32% of the students were 32 years of age or older and 12% were 40 years old or older.
In contrast, the average age of the new students in the Alternate Route (Certificate) program this year is 46.9 years. This program is available only to men who are second-career students and meet certain admission criteria.
A somewhat higher percentage (69%) of the students were married at the time of enrollment this year versus 60% last year and 57 % the previous year.
Of the married students, the average number of children was 1.03/couple. Yet, six percent had three children and another six percent had four children.
Echoing the trend in recent years, 52% of this year’s incoming students are considered “second-career,” meaning that they worked full-time in an occupation other than “student” for at least the two years prior to enrollment. Computer programmer and teacher were the two most popular previous occupations.
A significant percentage (69%) of the in-coming class holds lifelong LCMS membership. An additional 10% are not lifelong members, but have been members for 15 years or more.
Many students indicated that one person or a number of people were very influential in their decision to begin seminary preparation. Students named their pastors by an overwhelming percentage (83%) as the person who influenced them. The next person in order of percentage was their wife (mentioned by 34% of the class) and parents (mentioned by 31% of the class)
An equal percentage of incoming students graduated from Concordia University System schools (41%) and public colleges and universities. These numbers are also consistent with the trend in recent years regarding the percentage of new students who have graduated from a Concordia University System school (42% last year and 39% in 1997). The remaining 18% of new students this year graduated from non-LCMS private colleges and universities.
In terms of academic performance, the incoming class had a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.096 on a four-point scale. This is up just slightly from the 3.089 average last year and down slightly from the 3.163 average two years ago.
The humanities proved to be the most popular overall category of undergraduate major areas of study. Nine students majored in history, eight in religion, seven in theology and five majored in each of the categories of art and music, English, and communication.
“While it is interesting to calculate averages and percentages for our new students, we dare not forget that each is an individual and has many unique circumstances that have led him to prepare to serve as a pastor,” commented Rev. Jeffery Moore, director of ministerial recruitment at Concordia Seminary. “We are delighted that God has led a significantly higher number of students here this year to begin their seminary preparation and we look forward to having them as members of our Seminary community in the coming years.”
For more information, contact Rev. Jeffery Moore, Admissions Office, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 1-800-822-9545; firstname.lastname@example.org.