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246 Pastoral Calls and Vicarages Issued, First Three Deaconess Assignments Celebrated at Concordia Seminary

On Tuesday, April 27, calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) were issued to 108 students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In addition, 138 students received assignments to serve as vicars. Vicarage is a one-year internship that students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry must complete. This is the largest vicarage/call placement in Concordia Seminary’s recent history.

“These students are the answers to prayers by God’s people imploring Him to send laborers into His harvest field,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “It is exciting to witness the Lord of the Church working as Concordia Seminary fulfills its mission to form and present to the Church pastors who possess biblical and confessional fidelity, missionary zeal, and a an attitude of compassionate servanthood. The Seminary’s dramatic increase in enrollment also means that each year, a new ‘recent record’ number of pastoral candidates and vicars will be presented to the church.”

The pastoral calls included one to serve in a mission field outside of the continental United States, arranged by the LCMS Board for Mission Services, for service in Kenya. One call was to serve a congregation in the Lutheran Church of England. In addition, three of the calls were to serve as a missionary-at-large or mission developer in LCMS districts in the United States, beginning new congregations. One call was to serve as a professor at a Concordia University System school.

One of the vicarage assignments was arranged through the LCMS Board for Mission Services for work in Macau in the Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod.

In addition to the 108 pastoral candidate calls issued, three students are awaiting calls that are in-process at this time. In each of these cases, the details of calls to specific sites are being finalized and should be completed very soon. Great care is exercised in both the candidate call and the vicarage placement processes to ensure that the best possible match is realized between the seminarian and the ministry site. As a result, there were seven pastoral calls and 22 vicarage requests submitted that went unfilled.

In addition, Concordia Seminary celebrated the presentation of its first three deaconess students to the LCMS for placement and internship assignment. One deaconess student, ready for assignment, has a placement which is in process and should be completed soon. Two deaconess students were assigned internships, both in the Southern Illinois District of the LCMS. The deaconess program at Concordia Seminary began in the fall of 2002.

The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with 16 vicars assigned, followed by the South Wisconsin District with eight and the English, Southeastern and Texas Districts, each with seven. Of the 108 calls issued to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, students, the Missouri District issued the most with 14, followed by the Florida-Georgia and Michigan Districts, each with 11, and the Pacific Southwest District with eight.

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. James Keurulainen, president of the New England District of the LCMS, 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 Service of Praise and Assignment of Calls, also held in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, took place at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Robert Newton, president of the 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 Rev. C. William Hoesman, president of the Michigan District and chairman of the Council of Presidents.

A complete listing of the calls and vicarages issued is available on the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu.