Concordia Seminary Newsroom

Concordia Seminary Newsroom and Press Releases

SMP, CMC students receive vicarage assignments

New students in the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program and Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) Program at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis received their vicarage assignments Feb. 6 in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. All of the students serve in congregations and ministries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

“Those in the SMP Program will be adding course work to their already full and busy lives of work, church, activities, family responsibilities and other life vocations God has given to them,” SMP Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson said. “While the program is demanding and requires significant sacrifice and commitment, their hard work will certainly bear fruit for the sake of the Gospel.”

Concordia Seminary’s SMP Program is a four-year distance-education program in which men receive both academic and hands-on pastoral ministry training. Local pastor-mentors work alongside SMP students, providing them with opportunities to serve the various needs of the church.

The SMP students receiving vicarages included:

Jeremy Ashley, Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton Township, Mich., LCMS Michigan District
David Bangert, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Rockwall, Texas, LCMS Texas District
Joseph Eisenbacher, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, LaVista, Neb., LCMS Nebraska District
Corey Harman, Trinity Lutheran Church, Covington, Mich., LCMS North Wisconsin District
Matthew Lee, Messiah Lutheran Church, Plano, Texas, LCMS Texas District
John McCombs, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Riverside, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Richard Parron, Living Water Lutheran Church, Rosedale, Md., LCMS Southeastern District
David Rodgers, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bel Air, Md., LCMS Southeastern District
David Santos, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Middle Island, N.Y., LCMS Atlantic District
Sean Tietze, Christ Lutheran Church, Norfolk, Va., LCMS Southeastern District
David Wray, Unveil Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, LCMS Texas District

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

“The CMC Program approaches everything from a missionary perspective,” said Rev. Jeff Thormodson, assistant director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships. “This program specializes in forming missionary pastors and leaders who are equipped to faithfully bring God’s Word in the increasingly multicultural contexts of 21st century America.”

The following CMC students were recognized in absentia:

James Bowes, Promise Lutheran Church, Murrieta, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Joel Held, Edgewater Lutheran Church, Eastvale, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Nathan Linehan, First Lutheran Church, Yuba City, Calif., LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Gary (Futao) Liu, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hacienda Heights, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Timothy Potthoff, Hephatha Lutheran Church, Anaheim, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
Moises Rodriguez, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hacienda Heights, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District

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