On Thursday, January 24, Concordia Seminary’s second class of Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students graduated. During the morning chapel service, 14 EIIT students, five Master of Divinity (M.Div.) candidates and one Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) candidate for the pastoral ministry received their first calls to serve in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). EIIT graduates include:
- Maxwell Anokwute, call pending
- Mekru Bekele, called to Emmanuel Ethiopian Lutheran, Dallas, Texas
- Haileselassie Gebrewold, call pending
- Jacob Harris, called to Lamb of God Lutheran, Landover Hills, Md.
- Brian Henderson, called to Trinity Lutheran, San Diego, Calif.
- Bernard Julmiste, called to Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- Elias Kao, called to Bethany Lutheran, Baltimore, Md.
- Oslet Maccenat, called to Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- Michel Ovil, call pending
- Jean Parent, call pending
- James Ruey, call pending
- Hyun-Pyo Shin, call pending
- Josue Vilsaint, called to Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- Larry Wong, called to Family of Faith Lutheran, Houston, Texas
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 three classes of students in the EIIT program, with a fourth set to begin in the fall. 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 in their own country.”
For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7374; Communications@csl.edu.