The third annual “Shepherds of God’s Flock” retreat held for prospective students and their guests at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, was attended by 79 participants, including 49 prospective students. This is largest number of participants to attend this retreat, and it continues the pattern of larger attendance each year for the event.
The Jan. 4-6 event was designed for prospective students who are college age or older and are contemplating service as a pastor, missionary or chaplain. The retreat emphasized the spiritual and personal aspects of the decision-making process. While on campus, participants were led by Seminary faculty members through a study of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions concerning the Holy Ministry. Pastors, missionaries and chaplains were available to speak about the joys and challenges of their service. Participants also worshiped with the Seminary community in daily chapel services, talked with current students and spouses and attended Seminary classes. An additional session was added to this year’s retreat in order to discuss the “nuts and bolts” of Seminary preparation (financial aid, housing, etc.).
“We wanted to emphasize the study of God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions to assist those struggling with the decision of whether or not to prepare for the pastoral ministry,” commented Rev. Jeffery Moore, director of ministerial recruitment at Concordia Seminary. “There is a substantial support network in place here to assist with the physical aspects of Seminary preparation. We wanted to concentrate on the spiritual aspects of the decision-making process.”
Many participants commented on how helpful the retreat proved to be for them.”I really liked the retreat format,” commented one participant. “Each aspect was valuable. I feel encouraged both as a Lutheran Christian and as a prospective pastoral candidate. The Seminary community is wonderful!” Another participant commented, “Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Concordia Seminary, seminary life and the pastoral ministry.”
The next structured visitation opportunity at Concordia Seminary will be the annual “Institute on the Ministry” to be held March 8-10. In contrast to the “Shepherds of God’s Flock” retreat, the Institute will emphasize the “nuts and bolts” of Seminary life to a greater extent and will provide a significant amount of information concerning these matters. As is the case with all Seminary visitation opportunities, wives, fiancees and girlfriends of prospective students are encouraged to participate.
Prospective students and their guests also are encouraged to visit Concordia Seminary for individual visits, at times most convenient for them. On-campus meals and lodging are provided free of charge to guests regardless of the time of the visit.
Anyone interested in registering for the Institute on the Ministry or visiting the Seminary on an individual visit is encouraged to contact the Admissions Office of Concordia Seminary at 801 DeMun Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105; 1.800.822.9545; firstname.lastname@example.org.