Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, began its 166th academic year by welcoming 154 new pastoral ministry students to its campus to begin the fall quarter, its second-largest incoming class in 32 years. The students processed in the opening worship service held Sunday, Sept. 5, at 4:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary, served as preacher at the service and officially opened the new academic year.
“These numbers are evidence of God answering the prayers of His people to raise up workers for His harvest field,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, the Seminary’s vice president for seminary relations. “I believe these numbers also reflect the confidence the church has in Concordia Seminary’s faculty and pastoral formation program. Faithful, compassionate, mission-minded graduates have been the hallmark of Concordia Seminary, and these same pastors have encouraged many of our incoming students to follow in their footsteps.”
The enrollment of 154 new students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry follows on the heels of last year’s enrollment of 178 new students, the largest class to enroll in 32 years. These numbers include only residential students preparing to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Of the 154 new students, 143 are enrolled in the master of divinity program and 11 are enrolled in the certificate (alternate route) program.
Last year, the Seminary’s total enrollment exceeded 800 students for the first time in over 30 years. This enrollment surge began five years ago when the Seminary’s Board of Regents took the bold step of initiating a partnership utilizing gifts from each student’s home congregation, home district and donors to Concordia Seminary in an attempt to cover tuition costs for each residential student preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry.
“The people of the church also have played a large role in this enrollment increase as they have provided not only their prayers, but also significant financial resources for our future pastors,” commented Thomas. “The incredible enrollment surge has produced a daunting fiscal challenge, and we appeal to congregations, groups and individuals throughout the church to continue their generous support of our future pastors.”
Those contemplating Seminary enrollment and preparation to serve in the pastoral ministry are invited to contact Concordia Seminary’s Admissions Office at 1-800-822-9545 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wishing to offer financial gifts in support of future pastors may contact the Seminary’s Development Office at 1-800-822-5287 or email@example.com. Donors also may utilize the Seminary’s online donation function on its Web site (https://www.csl.edu/donate.htm) using a credit card to make an offering.
For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314.505.7374; firstname.lastname@example.org.