Nov 03, 2023 Print This Article

Students recognized for calls, program completions

Ten students representing five programs

First row, from left: Jorge Gomez, Moises Rodriguez, James Bowes, Elizabeth Melin and Jaron Melin. Second row, from left: Residential Alternate Route Programs Dr. David Lewis, Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger, Director of Placement and Certification Dr. Glenn Nielsen, Associate Dean of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry Dr. Ely Prieto, Dean of Ministerial Formation Dr. Timothy Saleska and Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.

Ten students representing five programs were recognized today in the Chapel of St. Timothy and Titus for receiving their first pastoral and diaconal calls and completing their programs. 

“I am encouraged by the calls that came in for all the candidates in the various programs ,” said Director of Placement and Certification Dr. Glenn Nielsen, who also serves as senior professor of Practical Theology. “Concordia Seminary presented calls to students in ethnically and culturally diverse environments — from missionary pastor to rural ministry to small congregation to urban to Hispanic. Add to that list evangelism for our deaconess candidate. Some of them will be full-time church workers and some bi-vocational. Considering the great diversity of our country, I thank our Lord for providing these new workers to go into so many different ministry settings.”

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

One student completed the M.Div. Program, a residential Ministerial Formation program that prepares men for the pastoral office:

  • Jaron Melin, Our Redeemer, Immanuel and St. John’s Lutheran churches, Herington, Kan., LCMS Kansas District

Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS)

One student was recognized for completing certification through CHS, the Seminary’s Spanish language pastoral and diaconal formation program:

  • Jorge Gomez, New Creation Lutheran Church, Shakopee, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District

Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC)

Four students completed pastoral preparation through the Cross-cultural Ministry Center, established by Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., in conjunction with Concordia Seminary and with the LCMS Pacific Southwest District, for service in the sociocultural contexts of specific ethnic populations and multicultural communities:

  • James Bowes, Peace Lutheran Church of the Desert, Palm Desert, Calif., LCMS English District
  • Yohannes Ghebru, St. Stephanus Lutheran Church, Saint Paul, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Moises Rodriguez, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Montebello, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Luis Morales, Texas District Board of Mission Administration, Round Rock, Texas, LCMS Texas District

Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT)

Three students were recognized for completing certification through EIIT, the Seminary’s immigrant and ethnic minority pastoral and diaconal formation program:

  • Matthew Cephus, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Bennego Kangar, theAlley Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Borbor Zolue, Christ Assembly Lutheran Church, Newark, N.J., LCMS New Jersey District

Deaconess Studies

One student completed the residential Deaconess Studies Program for certification as a commissioned deaconess:

  • Elizabeth Melin, Lutherans in Jewish Evangelism, St. Louis, Mo., LCMS Missouri District

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 23, 2024.

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