Center for Hispanic Studies
The Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) of Concordia Seminary offers theological education and leadership in the Lutheran tradition from and for U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities. CHS advances and carries out its mission through ministry formation programs, research and publication initiatives and various continuing education and advanced studies opportunities.
In the CHS programs, instruction is carried out in Spanish and considers the rich diversity of Hispanic cultural contexts in its theological and pastoral reflection. CHS offers instruction through theological education by extension, mostly with online courses and some week long intensive courses.
The CHS Seminary Level Program is a Spanish-language pastoral formation program of Concordia Seminary. Students who satisfactorily complete the 18-course curriculum are eligible to be certified, receive a call and be rostered into the ministerium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Students take online courses as well as week-long intensive courses on the Seminary campus or other approved sites to study under faculty who have experience working with Hispanic/Latino churches and communities. As part of their formation, students are expected to work in a ministry with a local mentor and engage in a concurrent vicarage during the last two years of their program. The program can be completed in approximately four years using a diverse system of instruction.
All candidates must submit the following documentation to be considered for admission:
- Basic competence in Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Doctrine, as determined by passing a written exam or documenting that courses in these areas were passed.
- Completion of an application for admission to the CHS program.
- Satisfactory interview report from the District of the candidate.
- Submission of a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s pastor.
- Submission of a letter of recommendation from the District President.
- Completed Partnership Covenant form with all required signatures as follows:
- Representative of the congregation or mission
- District President or his representative
- Any other funding partner or agency (e.g., mission society)
- Protect My Ministry (background check).
- Application fee of $50, payable to Concordia Seminary.
- Official high school/college transcripts.
The application period closes on Feb. 28.
The student must complete 18 courses. The program is designed to be completed in four years.
PASTORAL FORMATION 18 COURSES EXE421 Exodus and the Torah EXE422 Psalms and Writings or EXE425 EXE423 Isaiah and the Prophets EXE424 The Synoptic Gospels EXE425 John and the Catholic Epistles or EXE422 EXE426 The Pauline Epistles and Acts SYS422 Systematics I SYS423 Systematics II SYS424 Systematics III SYS426 Lutheran Confessions I SYS427 Lutheran Confessions II HIS421 History of the Lutheran Reformation HIS422 Christianity in Latin America and U.S. Latino Contexts PRA421 Pastoral Ministry PRA422 Pastor as Counselor PRA424 Homiletics I PRA425 Homiletics II PRA426 Worship PRA432 Parish and Mission Administration
Students in the CHS ministerial formation programs will be assigned as vicars in their locations of service upon admission to their respective programs.
CHS offers a course of studies with 18 courses designed to prepare women to be approved, consecrated and rostered as deaconesses in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In this capacity, students learn about deaconess service, which prepares women to provide spiritual care, serve in a teaching ministry or work in a mercy ministry in a congregational or institutional setting. Women can apply for admission into the Deaconess Studies Program where they will take some of the same courses alongside pastoral formation students. Other deaconess-specific courses also are taken. Students are required to complete a concurrent two-year internship as part of their deaconess formation.
CHS deaconess candidates must complete the same admission process as candidates in the Pastoral Formation program.
The student must complete 18 courses, which include some courses taken alongside men preparing for the pastoral ministry and other courses specific to deaconess formation. The program is designed to be completed in four years.
DEACONESS FORMATION 16 COURSES EXE421 Exodus and the Torah EXE422 Psalms and Writings or EXE 425 EXE423 Isaiah and the Prophets EXE424 The Synoptic Gospels EXE425 John and the Catholic Epistles or EXE422 EXE426 The Pauline Epistles and Acts SYS422 Systematics I SYS423 Systematics II SYS424 Systematics III SYS426 Lutheran Confessions I SYS427 Lutheran Confessions II HIS421 History of the Lutheran Reformation HIS422 Christianity in Latin America and U.S. Latino Contexts PRA433 Foundations of Deaconess Ministry PRA434 Spiritual Care of Women SYS428 Man and Woman in Christ
Deaconess students may take two electives from the following list, choosing courses in the areas of education, leadership, or missions (PRA423, PRA427, PRA431 or PRA432) or family studies (PRA429, PRA430, PRA435 or PRA436), which are all adapted for deaconess formation:
ELECTIVES 2 COURSES PRA423 Pastor as Educator PRA427 Pastoral Leadership PRA431 Mission and Ministry Seminar PRA429 Family Counseling PRA430 Ministry to the Family PRA432 Parish and Mission Administration PRA435 Missional Leadership PRA436 Youth Ministry CHS DEACONESS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM COURSE TOTAL 18 COURSES
The process for assigning a concurrent internship to deaconess students and for placing deaconess candidates into their office will be carried out in a manner similar to vicarage assignment and final placement of pastoral candidates.
For more information about application deadlines, term dates, class procedures, etc., please see the CHS section of Concordia Seminary’s Academic Catalog.
Students in the CHS ministerial formation programs will be assigned as vicars or deaconess interns in their locations of service upon admission to their respective program.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Taught in Spanish
In partnership with Concordia Seminary’s Graduate School, the Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) offers a M.A. Program to qualified students. Students can major in Practical Theology or Systematic Theology.
Select courses offered through CHS have been approved for master’s-level credit. Upon application and admission to the M.A. Program, such courses can be taken and be applied toward the M.A. degree. This option allows for the completion of the M.A. through courses that are all taught in Spanish.
Resources for Hispanic Ministries
Since Hispanics comprise the fastest-growing ethnic group in the nation, the mission of the CHS is to form future ordained ministers and commissioned deaconesses for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod who will make Jesus Christ known in U.S. Latino communities.CHS Resources
CHS Continuing Education
The CHS partners with Continuing Education to promote and organize its Annual Lecture in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Missions, nationwide summer workshops and Hispanic theological consultations. These events offer workers in Hispanic ministry the opportunity to understand more deeply theological and practical issues that are of significant importance to the work of the church in U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities. CHS offers continuing education in Spanish, English or bilingual formats depending on the needs of the church. There are opportunities for participants to receive continuing education credit.
For recordings of the CHS annual lectures and other resources, go to CHS Resources.
For more information, please contact Continuing Education at 314-505-7286 or [email protected].
The Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) was established by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1987 to provide a linguistically and culturally contextual route to certification for ordination of qualified men in Hispanic/Latino contexts. In 2002, the Seminary established the Hispanic deaconess program as a comparable alternate route for deaconess certification. In July 2006, the CHS was moved from Chicago to the Seminary campus in St. Louis, Missouri.