The ninth annual Exploring Church Careers Event (ECCE) will be offered for high school youth Aug. 4-7, 2007, on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Immediately following the ECCE will be Exploring the Pastoral Ministry (EPM), offered for young men in high school Aug. 7-10.
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 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, acting 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. I hope pastors, educators, parents and many others in our church will take advantage of the opportunity to nominate young people for these events.”
The EPM will take 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.
“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.”
A $70 registration fee to attend the ECCE or the EPM is the only charge for youth, in addition to travel costs. For those who wish to attend both events, the registration fee is $140. 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. ECCE registration is limited to 80 high school youth, and the EPM is limited to 50.
Publicity posters with response cards for the ECCE and EPM were sent out in September 2006 to all Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) pastors, youth directors, directors of Christian education, high school principals, high school teachers and guidance counselors. Registration will begin on March 1, 2007, and no registrations will be accepted prior to this date. Registration is limited to high school youth entering 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Twelfth graders who will graduate in the spring of 2007 are not eligible. Those who attended a previous ECCE will not be eligible to attend ECCE 2007 so that the largest number of youth possible are able 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 series of grants Concordia Seminary received to assist in the process of identifying, informing and encouraging high school youth toward service in church work careers. The grants are from Lilly Endowment Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.
For more information on the ECCE or the EPM, or to request a registration form, contact the Admissions Office, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; ECCE@csl.edu, or visit the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu.