Wednesday was a day filled with much anticipation and excitement as 116 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis students learned their placement of first calls to pastoral and diaconal ministry, and assignments as vicars and deaconess interns during two special services held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.
First calls to serve as pastors, chaplains, deaconess and missionaries for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) were announced at a 7 p.m. worship service in which LCMS South Dakota President Rev. Scott Sailer preached. The pastoral students included 40 Master of Divinity students, one Residential Alternate Route student and eight Specific Ministry Pastor Program students. One deaconess student also received a call. Two pastoral students have calls or placements pending.
“Ah, this blessed night, wonderful night,” Sailer said, as he concluded his sermon taken from John 21. “The places, the ministries that you are going to, the adventure that’s ahead of you and for your congregations. Well you know what, they are blessings from the Lord of the church and you are His doing and His gifts. And we, members of His church here on earth, we are grateful.”
Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer shared some words of wisdom with the new pastors and one deaconess at the end of the service.
“Life narrows down and crisis comes and suddenly only one thing matters,” Meyer told the students, referencing writings of former LCMS Pacific Southwest District President Rev. Arnold Kuntz. “And there in the narrow place stands Jesus. The sooner we all understand that the sooner we know it is a great time to be the church and it is a great time to be getting into the ministry. As you go on, remember your Seminary. We have for you, a heart.”
Also Wednesday, 63 students who will serve as vicars (pastoral interns) and three deaconess interns received their assignments at a 3 p.m. worship service. The pastoral students included one Center for Hispanic Studies student, three Cross-Cultural Ministry Center students and four Residential Alternate Route students. LCMS Nebraska District President Rev. Richard Snow preached a sermon titled “Opened Minds” from Luke 24.
“As you go out on your internship and as you go out on your vicarage, I hope that you understand that this is not a year to show off what you know but to recognize how much you don’t know and that you have a lot of learning to do,” he told the students. “We all tend to slide back to that sinful part of us that goes, ‘I’m the expert.’
“The very essence of a disciple is to be one that is both teaching and learning.”
A complete list of assignments and placements, including an interactive map and photos, can be found at callday.csl.edu or with the links below.
- Assignment of calls in alphabetical order here
- Assignment of calls by district here
- Vicarage and deaconess internship assignments in alphabetical order here
- Vicarage and deaconess internship assignments by district here
While many LCMS congregations will receive new pastors this year as a result of Call Day at Concordia Seminary and its sister seminary, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., many others will go without pastors because of a shortage of students to fill the positions. Prayers for those congregations are encouraged as are prayers that more students would consider church work vocations. Those who would like to refer a prospective student are encouraged to contact Ministerial Recruitment and Admissions at 800-822-9545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV).
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.