Apr 26, 2023 Print This Article

Call Day 2023 caps years of ministry preparation

Students sent to serve ministries nationwide

With great anticipation and excitement, 95 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis students took part in Call Day Wednesday, receiving first calls to pastoral and diaconal ministry, or assignments as vicars and deaconess interns. The two Call Day services were held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus and also were livestreamed.

First calls to serve as pastors, deaconesses, chaplains and missionaries for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) were announced at a 7 p.m. worship service in which Rev. Peter Lange, first vice president of the LCMS, preached on John 21:15-19, when Jesus reinstates Simon Peter.

During his sermon, Lange addressed the candidates, beginning with those entering pastoral ministry.

“Your call is to feed the flock entrusted to you, literally, with that very body of Jesus that was nailed to the cross and the very blood of the Lamb of God that was shed there to make atonement for all and to reconcile us to the Father,” he said. “Preaching and teaching. Baptizing and presiding. Binding and loosing. Visiting wherever and whenever the gifts of God need to be taken to those in need of it. This is the ministry to which Jesus is calling you tonight through His church.”

Speaking to the deaconess candidates, Lange continued, “You have an important support role in tending the flock — putting faith into action and equipping and leading those whom you serve in demonstrating those acts of mercy that flow from love.”

The pastoral students receiving calls included 31 Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students, three Residential Alternate Route (RAR) students, one Center for Hispanic Studies student, one Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) student and five students in the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT). One CMC student and one EIIT student are placement pending.

Five deaconess students, including four from the residential Deaconess Studies Program and one in the EIIT Deaconess Program, received calls. One deaconess student is placement pending.

Forty-two M.Div. and RAR students who will serve as vicars and six residential Deaconess Studies students who will serve as deaconess interns received their assignments at a 3 p.m. worship service. One deaconess student has an assignment pending.

During the vicarage and deaconess internship assignment service, Rev. Wally Arp, senior pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Oviedo, Fla., preached a sermon, “A Vision for Vicarage and Deaconess Internship: Abiding and Bearing Fruit,” based on John 15:1-11.

Speaking to the students, Arp said, “The Spirit has directed your placement to exactly the place the Father Vinedresser knows will bring out the best in you. … He knows exactly the amount of nurture and care you will need from your supervisor and the congregation you will be serving. The Father’s goal? That you bear fruit. In fact, that you would bear much fruit.”

All calls and assignments will be served in LCMS congregations, organizations and districts. A complete list of assignments and placements, including an interactive map and photos, can be found at csl.edu/callday or at the links below:

Calls and assignments were shared on Twitter in real time during both services, and many people shared their celebratory comments and photos with the hashtags #CallDay2023 and #CallDayWatchParty on social media.

“It is such a joy to celebrate this Call Day with our students, their families and the whole church! Our Lutheran Confessions declare that God’s Law and Gospel ‘should always be diligently taught in God’s Church forever, even to the end of the world,’” said Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “Concordia Seminary is preparing a new generation of pastors, deaconesses and missionaries to carry out this ever-needed work. We all need Jesus’ mercy — the whole world does. The Lord is providing workers for His harvest!”

Those who are interested in attending the Seminary are encouraged to visit csl.edu/admissions or contact Enrollment at 800-822-9545 or [email protected].

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.