On Wednesday, April 25, Concordia Seminary’s first class of Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students is expected to graduate. During a 7:00 p.m. worship service, the 15 EIIT students, together with approximately 168 candidates for the pastoral ministry and one deaconess candidate, will receive their first calls to serve in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
EIIT is a collaborative effort between Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Board for Mission Services, the students and the mentors, as well as members of the ethnic communities being served and the students’ LCMS districts. It is a specialized program leading to ordination for men engaged in pastoral missionary contexts in ethnic immigrant and urban cultures. Students are preferably first-generation immigrants leading immigrant-based churches. The program consists of distance education, contextual mentoring and regular on-campus (Seminary) modules.
Composed primarily of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American students, the classes of EIIT students represent 16 nations from around the world. Currently, there are four classes of students in the EIIT program. Students are required to take 15 courses before becoming ordained. After their fifth course, students are officially designated as vicars, a title they will keep until they finish the program. Upon completion of the courses, the students become synodically rostered and usually remain at the churches where they currently serve.
“We have seen much dedication on behalf of these students, and I pray that this commitment will continue in their ministries,” commented Rev. John Loum, director of the EIIT program. “My hope is that these men will influence the second generation of ethnic people and inspire them to become pastors and missionaries, not only in America, but back to their own country.”
Audio and video webcasts of the service will be available on the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu. For more information, visit the Resources section of the Seminary’s Web site.
For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7374; Communications@csl.edu