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Seminary students celebrate recent calls, vicarage and deaconess assignments

group3Six Concordia Seminary, St. Louis students recently celebrated assignment of first calls to ministry and vicarage and deaconess assignments.

Leticia Sánchez Pierce, a deaconess student with the Seminary’s Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS), celebrated a call in process to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, Texas, during a special service Friday, Nov. 6, in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.

“The mission of CHS at Concordia Seminary is to form Lutheran pastors and deaconesses to make Jesus known in U.S. Hispanic communities,” said CHS Director Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. “We celebrate the many contributions of our CHS deaconess graduates such as Leticia to the church’s work of spiritual care, biblical formation, and mercy and justice among and with the increasing number of Hispanic neighbors in our congregations and communities.

“The generous support of Concordia Seminary donors and partners in the formation of Hispanic deaconesses makes a huge impact for the spread of the Gospel in one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. population and church.”

Earlier this fall, five Master of Divinity students celebrated calls and vicarage assignments. The students will serve as pastors or vicars of congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Missouri and Illinois.

The students receiving divine calls were:

Alfonso “AJ” Espinosa, Messiah Lutheran Church, St. Louis.
Michael Knippa, Lutheran High School Association, St. Louis
James Thomas, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Bridgeton, Mo.


Students receiving vicarage assignments were:

Jason Steffenson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Hoffman, Ill.
Nicholas Price, Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle, Ill.


“We give all thanks and praise to the Lord as He continues to provide workers for the harvest field,” said Rev. Wayne Knolhoff, director of Placement. “We pray God’s richest blessings on the candidates and on the congregations they will serve.”

The Seminary celebrates call and assignment services each quarter and at other times throughout the year for students enrolled in special programs such as CHS and the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology. The Seminary’s primary Call Day is held in April when students receive their first calls to ministry, vicarage placements and deaconess internship positions.

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit

Download hi-res photos here and here.