The fifth annual Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE) will be offered for high school youth Aug. 2-5 on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, campus. It will be followed immediately by “Exploring the Pastoral Ministry” (EPM), which is offered for young men in high school. The two events are designed to identify, inform and encourage youth with respect to church work vocations. They will include Bible study, on-site visitation opportunities with those serving in the featured church work vocations, and opportunities for youth to gain college and seminary information pertaining to each of the featured vocations. While the ECCE will include information regarding a wide variety of church work vocations, the EPM will focus exclusively on the pastoral ministry.
“Our brightest and most gifted youth are receiving information and encouragement regarding a lot of non-church work vocations and we want them to receive the same type of information and encouragement regarding church work vocations,” said Rev. Glen Thomas, vice president for seminary relations at Concordia Seminary. “While all Christians serve God in their various vocations, we want youth to hear of the inherent joys and challenges they will face if they serve in church work vocations.”
A $50 registration fee is the only charge youth pay to attend the ECCE, in addition to travel costs. All activities, meals during the event and on-campus lodging are provided at no cost to participants. Travel scholarships are available to ensure that travel costs do not prevent youth from attending, and ECCE registration is limited to 80 high school youth.
The EPM will take place Aug. 6-8 on the Seminary campus and will allow participants the opportunity to study theology with Seminary professors, worship with the Seminary community, hear pastors discuss the joys and challenges of the pastoral ministry, take part in a Servant Event and attend a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.
A $60 registration fee is the only charge for youth to attend the EPM, and all meals and lodging at the event are provided free of charge.
“We are excited about the chance to offer this experience for young men who are starting to feel the desire to serve our Lord in the pastoral ministry,” commented Thomas. “Many young men we encounter in recruitment travel throughout the United States have said they would really enjoy the chance to experience Seminary life for a few days, and we want to encourage them to do so.”
Publicity and nomination forms for the ECCE and EPM will be sent Feb. 10 to all LCMS pastors, youth directors, directors of Christian education, high school principals and high school teachers. “We are not going to register anyone until March 1,” indicated Thomas. “We want to be fair to all who hope to participate. Those who attended a previous ECCE will not be eligible to attend ECCE 2003 so that the largest number of youth possible attend this event over the years. However, those who have attended a previous ECCE or EPM are able to attend this year’s EPM.”
The ECCE is made possible by a $150,000 grant Concordia Seminary received to assist in the process of identifying, informing and encouraging high school youth toward service in church work careers. The grant is from Lilly Endowment Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.
For more information on the ECCE or the EPM, contact the Admissions Office, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; or by e-mail at ECCE@csl.edu . Additional information and a nomination form for both events is also available on the Seminary’s Web site (www.csl.edu ).