On April 27, 2004, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, will celebrate the placement of its first deaconess student and its first two deaconess interns during two separate worship services in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. During a 4:00 p.m. worship service where approximately 120 seminarians will receive their vicarage (internship) assignments, the Seminary’s
first two deaconess interns will be placed. At a 7:00 p.m. worship service where approximately 104 candidates for the pastoral ministry will receive their first calls, the Seminary’s first deaconess graduate will be placed.
“Our students are proud to follow the many deaconesses who have gone before them,” commented Deaconess Theresa List, assistant to the dean of the Graduate School, for diaconal studies, at Concordia Seminary. “Our interns and graduate will have the honor of the same calling and mission as deaconesses of old – providing mercy to the sick, leading people back to the Shepherd of their souls, teaching and doing mission work.”
The Seminary’s deaconess program began in fall 2002 following approval from the 2001 LCMS Convention. Students enter this graduate-level program after receiving a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Graduates receive a master of arts degree, with a major in diaconal studies.
A deaconess is a woman with theological and practical preparation who is called to serve as a support to a pastor, with special emphases in spiritual care, teaching the Christian faith and works of mercy and encouragement. The deaconess program prepares women to practice diaconal care in parishes, specialized institutions or missions. A diaconal internship is a nine to 12-month period of supervised service. Since the deaconess intern will have finished all of her academic requirements prior to the internship, the deaconess intern will be eligible to receive final placement immediately after her internship. This “convertible internship” allows a student deaconess to remain at her internship site as a called and commissioned deaconess.
For those unable to attend, the services will be Webcast from the Seminary’s Web site (www.csl.edu/Webcast.htm) and disseminated using RealAudio technology. The first service will be joined in progress beginning at 4:15 p.m. (Central Time). The second will be Webcast in its entirety. Those desiring to listen to the services on their computers will need to have audio player software on their computer, and Concordia Seminary will provide a link to RealAudio’s Web site, where the player can be downloaded free of charge. Prior to the services, those wanting to make sure that they have the necessary software on their computer may visit the Webcast page and click on the test link provided there.
The deaconess assignments, vicarage assignments and pastoral ministry calls will be posted on Concordia Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu on April 27 at 9:00 p.m. (CTS). Lists also will be e-mailed at the same time via the Seminary’s e-mail list services, CSLNEWS and CSLPRESEM. Those who desire to subscribe to CSLNEWS prior to the April 27 services in order to receive the lists should contact Rev. Thomas at email@example.com.
A complete listing of all assignments and calls will also be featured in the summer 2004 issue of FOCUS, the Seminary’s magazine. Audio recordings of the sermons for both services will be available for listening on the Seminary’s Web site within 24 hours.
For more information on the Concordia Seminary deaconess program, contact Deaconess Theresa List, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7147; firstname.lastname@example.org.