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SMP, CMC students receive vicarage assignments

Front row, from left: Director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships Dr. Glenn Nielsen, Matthew Cario, Craig McCourt, Jason Schleicher, Jacob Baumann and Mark Crossman. Back row, from left: SMP Director Dr. Andrew Bartelt, President Dr. Dale A. Meyer, Cory Stallings, Chad Minor, Laird Van Gorder, Joel Dietrich and SMP Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson. Not pictured: Wynn Derong and Muluneh Taye.

Eleven Concordia Seminary, St. Louis [1] students celebrated vicarage assignments in chapel and will serve congregations and ministries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) [2].

Ten Specific Ministry Pastors (SMP) students of the 2017 spring cohort received vicarage assignments:

Jacob Baumann, theCross Mount Dora, Mt. Dora, Fla., LCMS SELC District
Matthew Cario, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Wash., LCMS Northwest District
Mark Crossman, theCross Mount Dora, Mt. Dora, Fla., LCMS SELC District
Wynn Derong, Oikos Church, Houston, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Joel Dietrich, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, Ga., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Craig McCourt, New Creation Lutheran Church, Shakopee, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
Chad Minor, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, North Canton, Ohio, LCMS Ohio District
Jason Schleicher, Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Cory Stallings, The Exchange Communities Lutheran Churches, Jackson, Mo., LCMS Missouri District
Laird Van Gorder, The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, Macon, Ga., LCMS Florida-Georgia District

“We rejoice in God’s gifts with our new Specific Ministry Pastor vicars and their mentors as well as the ministries they serve,” said Dr. W. Mart Thompson, director of the SMP program. “The SMP coursework they are beginning is enriched by this two-year vicarage practicum making ministerial formation an effective ‘hands on’ educational process.”

The SMP program of Concordia Seminary is a four-year distance-education program in which men receive academic training in the setting in which they will continue to serve following ordination. The program is designed to meet the needs of the church for pastors in mission and ministry opportunities where a pastor with a seminary degree may not be available. Local pastor-mentors work with SMP students to provide day-to-day guidance, encouragement and prayer.

In addition, one Cross-Cultural Ministry (CMC) student received his vicarage assignment. Muluneh Taye was assigned to Addis Kidan Ethiopian Church in San Francisco, part of the LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii District.

The CMC was established by Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., in conjunction with Concordia Seminary and the LCMS Pacific Southwest District to provide directed preparation for ordained ministry to men who will serve in the socio-cultural contexts of specific ethnic populations and multicultural communities.

The Seminary celebrates assignment services throughout the year for students enrolled in special programs such as the SMP and the CMC programs. The Seminary’s primary Call Day is held in April when students receive their first calls to ministry, vicarage placements and deaconess internship positions. Call Day is set for April 26, 2017.

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) [2]. To learn more, visit www.csl.edu [1].

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