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Concordia Seminary Newsroom and Press Releases

Students recognized for SMP Program completion, calls

Following a week of residential intensive courses, 22 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis were celebrated Friday, June 28, in the Chapel of St. Timothy and Titus for program completion or call recognition.

“We rejoice with these SMP students, those celebrating new calls and those completing the program,” said Dr. W. Mart Thompson, director of the Seminary’s SMP Program. “For their service in specific ministries across the country, we give thanks to our Lord. We share in this joy with their families and those they serve in the holy ministry!”

The following concluding students were recognized for completing the SMP Program:

Michael Dubé, Light of the Valley Lutheran Church, Elk Grove, Calif., LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Andrew Eddins, Fountain of Life Community Lutheran Church, La Mirada, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Christopher Grant, Trinity Lutheran Church, Walden, N.Y., LCMS Atlantic District
Matthew Hass, Village Lutheran Church, Lanoka Harbor, N.J., LCMS New Jersey District
Seth Hoeppner, Faith Lutheran Church, Watertown, Wis., LCMS English District
Frank Johnson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, Colo., LCMS Rocky Mountain District
Austin Kraft, Grace Fellowship Lutheran Church, Gypsum, Colo., LCMS Rocky Mountain District
Ernest Alan Mercer, Peace Lutheran Church, Galloway, N.J., LCMS SELC District
Troy Miklos, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fort Worth, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Jason Pankau, Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, Ill., LCMS Northern Illinois District
Michael Popp, Grace Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Aaron Staub, Concordia Lutheran Schools, Omaha, Neb., LCMS Nebraska District
Robert Wilson, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monroe, N.Y., LCMS Atlantic District

Additionally, nine students were recognized for recently receiving calls to specific ministries:

Jacob Baumann, theCross Lutheran Church, Mount Dora, Fla., LCMS SELC District
Ricky Black, Trinity Lutheran Church, Amarillo, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Matthew Cario, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Wash., LCMS Northwest District
Mark Crossman, theCross Lutheran Church, Mount Dora, Fla., LCMS SELC District
Joel Dietrich, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, Ga., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Laird Van Gorder, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Macon, Ga., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
Craig McCourt, New Creation Lutheran Church, Shakopee, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
Jason Schleicher, Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Cory Stallings, The Exchange Communities, Jackson, Mo., LCMS Missouri District

In addition, Gregory Rand, a Cross-Cultural Ministry Center (CMC) student, was acknowledged for his call to St. Luke Lutheran Church in Claremont, Calif., in the LCMS Pacific Southwest District.

In addition to the Seminary’s primary Call Day, which is held annually in the spring when the majority of students receive their first calls to ministry as well as assignments for vicarage and deaconess internships, the Seminary also recognizes and celebrates calls throughout the year for students depending on the nature of the programs in which they are enrolled.

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