Jun 24, 2022 Print This Article

SMP, M.Div. students celebrate calls, assignments, program completions

Seminary recognizes 32 students

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis celebrated 30 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students and two Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students this week for receiving new calls and vicarage assignments, and completing the SMP Program.

The SMP students were recognized Friday in chapel during a special service in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus at the end of a week-long schedule of intensive courses.

“We rejoice with these SMP students, those celebrating new calls and those completing the program,” said SMP Program Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson. “We give thanks to our Lord for equipping and calling them into the pastoral ministry.  We share in this joy with their families and those they serve in Christ’s church!”

The SMP Program is a four-year program in which men receive theological education in the setting in which they will continue to serve — as pastors of congregations or in other ministries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod — following certification, call and ordination. Local pastor-mentors work with SMP students to provide day-to-day guidance, encouragement and prayer.

Twelve SMP students were recognized for pastoral calls:

  • Jeremy Ashley, Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton Township, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • David Bangert, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Rockwall, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Joseph Eisenbacher, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, La Vista, NE, Nebraska District
  • Arthur Farrow, St. James Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church, Windom, TX, and Commerce, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Corey Harman, Trinity Lutheran Church, Covington, MI, LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Gary Johnson, Zion Lutheran Church, Schulenburg, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Morgan Lane, Bethel Lutheran Church, Claremont, NC, LCMS Southeastern District
  • Matthew Lee, Messiah Lutheran Church, Plano, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Richard Parron, Living Water Lutheran Church, Rossville, MD, LCMS Southeastern District
  • David Rodgers, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bel Air, MD, LCMS Southeastern District
  • David Santos, call pending
  • Sean Tietze, call pending

Eighteen students were recognized for completing the SMP Program:

  • Brian Bocian, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Cabot, PA, LCMS Eastern District
  • Kyle Borcherding, Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Avon, IN, LCMS Indiana District
  • Jason Christ, First Trinity Lutheran Church, Tonawanda, NY, LCMS Eastern District
  • Martin Cornes, Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights, MN, LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Dean Dunavan, Woodbury Lutheran Church, Woodbury, MN, LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Lake Mary, FL, LCMS SELC District
  • Shawn Hecksel, Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Carmel, IN, LCMS Indiana District
  • Danlias Howe, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Lake Mary, FL, LCMS SELC District
  • Erik Johnson, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Yonkers, NY, LCMS Atlantic District
  • Peter Johnson, Faith Lutheran Church, Rochester, NY, LCMS Eastern District
  • Colton LaMay, Saint Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Myers, FL, LCMS Florida-Georgia District
  • Morgan Lane, Bethel Lutheran Church, Claremont, NC, LCMS Southeastern District
  • Daniel Longden, First Lutheran Church, Charlotte, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • Scott Magneson, Light of Christ Lutheran Church, Marysville, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • Mark Payne, Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Flower Mound, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Samuel Troemel, Calvary Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN, LCMS Indiana District
  • Craig Van Pay, St. John Lutheran Church, Luxemburg, WI, LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Jason Wallingsford, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Austin, TX, LCMS Texas District
SMP program completions 2022

Concluding SMP students recognized in chapel June 24, 2022: From left, first row: SMP Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson, Distance Programs Administrative Assistant Caitlin Dinger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brian Bocian, Samuel Troemel, Dean Dunavan and Martin Cornes; second row, Dean of Faculty Dr. David Peter, Daniel Longden, Jason Wallingsford, Scott Magneson, Erik Johnson, Colton LaMay and Jason Christ; third row, Associate Dean of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry Dr. Ely Prieto, Peter Johnson, Shawn Hecksel, Kyle Borcherding, Morgan Lane, Danlias Howe and Craig Van Pay. Not pictured: Mark Payne

The M.Div. students were recognized Wednesday.

One M.Div. student received a call:

  • Alex Smith, Lutheran High South, St. Louis, MO, LCMS Missouri District

One M.Div. student received a vicarage assignment:

  • Idonis King, Saint Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Louis, MO, LCMS Missouri District

M.Div. students receiving a call and vicarage assignment June 22, 2022: From left, Alex Smith and Director of Placement Dr. Glenn Nielsen; and Idonis King and Nielsen.

“In addition to the SMP pastors, these two M.Div. students, along with the other residential students placed during this past spring’s vicarage and call services, show how Concordia Seminary prepares men for diverse contexts,” said Director of Placement and Director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships Dr. Glenn Nielsen. “Alex will teach at a Lutheran high school as an ordained member of the faculty and Idonis will learn more about serving in an urban setting as a vicar. While most of our graduates will be pastors or deaconesses in congregational settings, some also need to be ready for the variety of ministry opportunities that now are present in the world.”

The Seminary recognizes and celebrates calls throughout the year although the campus’ primary Call Day celebration typically is held in April. During call celebrations, students receive their first calls to ministry as well as assignments for vicarages and deaconess internships. The Seminary’s next primary Call Day is set for April 26, 2023.

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 csl.edu.