On Tuesday, April 23, calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) were issued to 81 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.
The calls included four to service in a mission field outside the continental United States. They were arranged by the LCMS Board for Mission Services and included service in Russia, Thailand, Puerto Rico and Togo, West Africa. In addition, six of the calls were to serve as a “missionary-at-large” or “mission developer” in LCMS districts in the United States to begin new congregations.
Two of the vicarage assignments were arranged through the LCMS Board for Mission Services for work in Hanoi, Vietnam and in Nairobi, Kenya.
“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 143 seminary students at the two LCMS seminaries received calls in this year’s spring placement. A total of 213 calls were issued for these 143 candidates, leaving 70 calls for pastors unfilled.
The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with 17 vicars assigned, followed by the Texas District with six and the Pacific Southwest District and Florida-Georgia District with five each. Of the 95 calls issued to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis students, the Nebraska District issued the most with seven, followed by the Missouri District with six and the Texas District with five.
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. Herbert C. Mueller Jr., president of the Synod’s Southern Illinois District, served as preacher. Rev. Mueller’s son, Herbert C. Mueller III, is a Concordia Seminary student and received a vicarage assignment during this service. 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 81 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. Walter C. Tietjen, president of the Synod’s California-Nevada-Hawaii 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. LCMS President, Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick greeted the candidates immediately after they received their calls. 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 e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete listing of the calls and vicarages issued is available on the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu.