Nearly 76% of the delegates at The 63rd Convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Houston passed Resolution 5-01B, titled “To Establish Specific Ministry Pastor Program” (SMP), following its presentation to the convention by representatives from both LCMS Seminaries and the Synod’s Board for Pastoral Education. A copy of the resolution is available at www.csl.edu/img/Res501B.pdf.
The same resolution mandated the establishment of a Specific Ministry Pastor Committee to “develop comprehensive guidelines that are consistent with the theological foundations, educational expectations, rostering process, training of mentors and supervising pastors, and membership limitations intended for this Specific Ministry Pastor Program.” This committee will have its first meeting on September 12.
“I know that there are a lot of questions being raised now concerning the details of the program,” commented Dr. David Wollenburg, associate professor of practical theology and director of distance education at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. “Concordia Seminary has been deeply involved in the initial planning and design of the program proposal. We will have much more we can say with a sense of finality after the September 12 meeting of the SMP Committee.”
At the same time, Wollenburg observed that the answers to some questions being raised are available through a reading of Resolution 5-01B. “Candidates for the SMP must be in a position of service where they will remain throughout their enrollment in the program,” commented Wollenburg. “This means that they are serving in this venue now and they will continue to serve there after ordination. This much is already clearly stated in Resolution 5-01B.”
Questions concerning the path to be followed in the application process are also stated in Resolution 5-01B. “Candidates must be nominated to the seminaries for admission by their home Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod district, the district in which they are and will continue to serve in their specific ministry location,” commented Wollenburg. “The bottom line for those interested in consideration for admission to SMP is to be in contact with your district. We will do everything possible to keep our information updated, but the best source of information will be your district office since the SMP Committee will update them directly.”
Concordia Seminary will also provide updates on the SMP Committee’s work through its e-mail list services and its Web site. Interested individuals may subscribe to the Seminary’s e-mail list services, CSLNEWS for general seminary news and CSLPRESEM for news relevant primarily to prospective students by visiting www.csl.edu/AboutCSL_Subscribe.aspx or by sending an e-mail with a request to be subscribed to either of the services to SemRelations@csl.edu.