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Concordia Seminary Newsroom and Press Releases

Students recognized for program completion, calls

Students representing five distinct programs at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis were celebrated Friday, Jan. 16, in the Chapel of St. Timothy and Titus for program completion or call recognition.

Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) students who began their program in Spring 2015 and Fall 2016 were on campus for the week preceding for their winter residential intensive courses.

Spring 2015 Cohort students were recognized for completing the SMP program:

Anthony Arias, Grace Lutheran Church, Arcadia, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Charles Bahn, Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Ill., LCMS Central Illinois District
Matthias Benfey, The Church of St. Mark-Lutheran, Mississauga, Ontario, LCMS English District
William Hale, St. John Lutheran Church, Granite City, Ill., LCMS SELC District
Patrick Hauser, Christ Lutheran Church, Brea, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Jonathan Wayne Kerr, West Portal Lutheran Church, San Francisco, Calif., LCMS English District
Derrick Miliner, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Laurel, Md., LCMS Southeastern District
Benjamin Vineyard, Trinity Lutheran Church, Mission and Shawnee, Kan., LCMS Kansas District

Fall 2016 Cohort students were recognized for receiving calls:

Stanley Allen, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Stuart, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Andrew Apple, First Lutheran Church, Clearwater, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Terry Baughman, Placement Pending
Joseph Bluege, Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Mark Boriack, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Springfield, Va., LCMS Southeastern District
James Cleland, SoulThirst Lutheran Church, The Colony, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Gene Dassow, Christ our Savior Lutheran Church, Roscoe, Ill., LCMS Northern Illinois District
Gary Dittmar, St. John Lutheran Church, South Euclid, Ohio, LCMS Ohio District
Anthony Forgione, Our Saviour Church, Rego Park, N.Y., LCMS Atlantic District
Christopher Futch, Our Savior Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Jason Hamre, SoulThirst Lutheran Church, The Colony, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Thomas (Nathan) Huse, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Tempe, Ariz., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
DeVon Lark, Word of Life Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Neb, LCMS Nebraska District
John Mathis, Christ Lutheran Church, Little Rock, Ark., LCMS Mid-South District
Victor Minetola, Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Carmel, Ind., LCMS Indiana District
Jeffrey Salomon, Trinity Lutheran Church, Fairfield, Texas, LCMS Texas District

“We rejoice with these candidates, their families and the specific ministries in which they serve across the country!” said Dr. W. Mart Thompson, director of the Seminary’s SMP Program. “We celebrate their participation in Concordia Seminary’s training program for Specific Ministry Pastors (SMPs) as we recognize their calls to be ordained into the Holy Ministry.”

In addition to students in the SMP Program, five students from four other programs were acknowledged for their calls.

Two Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students, Wangdoua Chang and Peter Saie were recognized. Chang serves in the LCMS Oklahoma District in Edmond, Okla. Saie serves in two churches in New York, in the LCMS Eastern District: Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Canastota.

Cristian Morales, a Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) student, was recognized for his call to the LCMS Texas District Board of Administration in Austin, Texas.

Corey Grant, a Cross-Cultural Ministry Center (CCMC) student, was acknowledged for his call to St. John Lutheran Church in Ellinwood, Kan., in the LCMS Kansas District.

Tiffany Johnson, a Deaconess Studies Program student, was recognized for her call to Trinity Lutheran Church in Manilla, Iowa, in the LCMS Iowa West District.

The Seminary recognizes and celebrates calls throughout the year for students enrolled in programs such as the SMP Program, EIIT, CHS, CCMC and others. The Seminary’s primary Call Day is held in the spring when students receive their first calls to ministry as well as assignments for vicarage and deaconess internships. Call Day is set for May 1, 2019.

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 www.csl.edu.

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