On Wednesday, April 25, calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) were issued to 150 students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In addition, 124 students received assignments to serve as vicars. Vicarage is a one-year internship that students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry must complete.
Of the 150 Concordia Seminary students called to serve as pastors in the LCMS, one is from the Seminary’s Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) and eleven are from the Seminary’s Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT). This is the first group of EIIT students to receive calls to serve as pastors in the LCMS, and this announcement during the worship service by Dr. David Wollenburg, the Seminary’s director of distance education was met with prolonged and enthusiastic applause.
Of the 124 students who received vicarage assignments, six are from the EIIT and two are from the CHS. The vicarage assignments included one to serve in a mission field outside of the continental United States in Asia and Vietnam, which was arranged through the LCMS World Mission.
In addition to the 274 calls and vicarage assignments, four residential students, one CHS student, six Cross-Cultural Ministry Center students and four EIIT students are awaiting calls; and one residential student is awaiting a vicarage placement that is in process at this time. In each of these cases, the details of calls to specific sites are being finalized and should be completed 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.
Concordia Seminary also celebrated the presentation of six deaconess students who were assigned internships, and one deaconess candidate who has a call pending that should be completed soon. The deaconess internship assignments included one to serve in a mission field outside of the continental United States in Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina, which was arranged through the LCMS World Mission. The deaconess program at Concordia Seminary began in the fall of 2002.
The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary, with 16 vicars assigned, followed by the Nebraska District with nine. The Missouri District issued the most calls with 16, followed by the Minnesota South District with 11.
The Office of Vespers and Assignment of Vicarages took place at 3:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Rev. Dan P. Gilbert, president of the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS, served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary; Dr. Glenn A. Nielsen, director of the Seminary’s vicarage program; and Dr. William G. 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. Kenneth Hennings, president of the Texas District of the LCMS, served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. Dale A. Meyer; Dr. David J. Peter, the Seminary’s acting director of placement; and Dr. Timothy E. Saleska, the Seminary’s acting placement counselor. LCMS President Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick greeted the candidates immediately after they received their calls. The calls were presented to the students by Dr. C. William Hoesman, president of the Michigan District of the LCMS.
A complete listing of the calls and vicarages issued is available on the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu/Resources_CallDay2007.aspx.