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Concordia Seminary Hosts Listening Post on Outcomes and Delivery of Pastoral Education

On March 16-17, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, welcomed 22 Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastors, church planters, ethnic mission leaders, mission staff and district presidents from across the country to participate in a listening post as part of the current work of the Seminary’s distance education task force.

The identification of pastoral formation outcomes included examination of new cross-cultural opportunities and the incorporation of new technologically-enhanced models for delivering theological education. Rev. Michael Ruhl, director of the Center for United States Missions at Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., served as the facilitator.

“We are thankful to the Seminary for inviting us to give input to the curriculum being utilized,” commented Rev. William Marler, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Springfield, Mo. “Hopefully, we can offer thoughts and perceptions that can help them today.”

The process identified pastoral formation core values, described the post-modern mission field and sought to provide a profile of the “well-formed” pastor as he ministers effectively in today’s mission field. The discussion went on to project what impact such ministry will have on Christ’s mission today, and specific content was identified as critical to the formation process. Finally, the entire discussion was evaluated in light of its biblical alignment, anchored in Lutheran doctrine, including our understanding of church and ministry.

“This was a significant meeting of many minds from across the spectrum of pastoral contexts, all sharing the commonalities of our theological integrity applied to the mission challenges of today’s world,” said Dr. Andrew Bartelt, the Seminary’s executive vice president for academic affairs. “Many themes are similar and coming through loud and clear, as various entities within the Synod are addressing the same challenges and opportunities. It is an exciting time to be about our Lord’s mission, and Concordia Seminary truly seeks to serve church and world through theological education and leadership, as our mission statement affirms.”

For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7374; communications@csl.edu.