On Wednesday, April 25, calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) were issued to 95 students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In addition, 101 students received assignments to serve as vicars. Vicarage is a one-year internship that students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry must complete.
Three calls were for service in a foreign mission field. Arranged by the Board for Mission Services of the LCMS, they include service in Central Europe, Africa and Russia. In addition, five calls were to serve as a “missionary-at-large” in LCMS districts in the United States and begin new congregations. One of the vicarage assignments was arranged through the Board for Mission Services of the LCMS for work in Russia.
“This day, known as “call day” on our campus, is, in many respects, the most exciting time of the year,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “On this day we witness the fulfillment of long years of education and formation in the lives of our students; but also, years of teaching and work on behalf of our excellent faculty. We are confident that those who have received vicarage assignments and calls into the public ministry of the church have been well prepared for the tasks of proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and administering His life-giving and life-strengthening sacraments.”
A total of 145 seminary students at the two LCMS seminaries received calls in this year’s spring placement. A total of 228 calls were issued for these 145 candidates, leaving 83 calls for pastors unfilled.
The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with 15 vicars assigned, followed by the California-Nevada-Hawaii District with seven and the Pacific Southwest district with six. Of the 95 calls issued, the Missouri District received the most Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, graduates with nine calls, followed by the Minnesota South, Nebraska and Pacific-Southwest Districts with six calls each.
The “Office of Vespers and Assignment of Vicarages” took place at 4:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Rev. Paul Sieveking, president of the Synod’s Iowa West District served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. John F. Johnson; Dr. Glenn A. Nielsen, director of the Seminary’s vicarage program; and Rev. William Utech, director of the Seminary’s resident field education program.
The 95 students received their calls to serve as pastors at a 7:00 p.m. “Service of Praise and Assignment of Calls,” also held in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Rev. Larry Stoterau, president of the Synod’s Pacific Southwest District served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. John F. Johnson; Dr. David J. Peter, placement counselor at Concordia Seminary; and Prof. Larry Rockemann, the Seminary’s director of placement. The calls were presented to the students by Dr. Arleigh Lutz, president of the North Wisconsin District of the LCMS and chairman of the Synod’s Council of Presidents.
For more information, contact the Seminary’s Communications Department at 314-505-7374 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.