Over 80 participants, including 61 prospective students and their guests, participated in the sixth annual Shepherds of God’s Flock retreat held Jan. 6-8 on the Seminary campus. The event was designed for prospective students who are college age or older and are contemplating service as a pastor, missionary or chaplain in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
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 Office of Holy Ministry. Pastors, missionaries and chaplains spoke about the joys and challenges of their service.
“Besides getting an experience of life on the Seminary campus, participants had the opportunity to look at what the Scriptures and the Confessions have to say about the pastoral office and consider the possibility that the Lord might be leading them in this direction,” commented Dr. Wally Becker, associate director of ministerial recruitment at Concordia Seminary. “Some participants are just beginning to consider these possibilities while others have their applications in for the next school term. Many expressed thanks for providing them such an opportunity. Shepherds of God’s Flock is one of three visitation events that we provide throughout the year. We strongly encourage anyone who may be thinking about attending the Seminary and preparing for pastoral ministry to come and experience a little taste of seminary life.”
Participants also worshiped with the Seminary community in daily chapel services, talked with current students and their spouses, and attended Seminary classes. An optional “nuts and bolts” sessions on the last day of the event covered topics such as financial aid, housing and the admission process. The session was attended by over half of the participants.
One participant commented, “The weekend has been invaluable in furthering my own and my wife’s resolve in affirming my calling and moving forward in the process.” Another participant said, “This was a great informal means of learning and connecting with professors, their families and other prospective students.”
The next structured visitation opportunity at Concordia Seminary is the annual Institute on the Ministry to be held March 11-13. The Institute on the Ministry offers presentations concerning academics, residential field education, vicarage, housing, financial assistance, schools and employment, among other topics. A special feature of this event is an information fair about the Seminary and the St. Louis area. A Women’s Information Session also has been planned. As is the case with all Seminary visitation opportunities, wives, fiancées and girlfriends of prospective students are encouraged to participate.
Prospective students and their guests also are encouraged to visit Concordia Seminary individually, 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 basis is encouraged to contact the Admissions Office of Concordia Seminary at 801 DeMun Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105; 1-800-822-9545; email@example.com.