Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology at Concordia Seminary

Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology

The Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) offers a specialized program of preparation for men who want to serve as pastors and women who want to serve as deaconesses in immigrant and ethnic minority communities in North America. Students who successfully complete the program receive the Certificate of Vocation that enables men to receive a call into the ministry of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) and women to be commissioned to serve in deaconess ministry.

The EIIT Program is a certificate program; it does not lead to an academic degree. Students wishing to earn a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or Master of Arts (M.A.) should consult Concordia Seminary about entrance requirements and procedures for those programs.


Note: Content on this page is currently under review and will be updated Aug. 1, 2020. Please check back for updates. Thank you for your understanding.


Pastoral Formation

Men who are already serving an ethnic minority community of Christians or who have been recruited to serve such a community will find in EIIT a course of study that builds on their present service and prepares them for ordained ministry in the LCMS.

The EIIT Program consists of 24 courses (20 seven-week courses and four three-week courses) taught in English over a period of four years. All course offerings are taught in a distance education format. No residency on the St. Louis Seminary campus is required.

Students enrolled in the program are placed as vicars/interns in the places where they are serving upon their entrance into the program. Each vicar/intern is assigned an experienced pastor/mentor who will accompany him throughout his enrollment.

All prospective students are encouraged to contact the EIIT office (800-822-9545) for assistance with the admission process. The following documentation must be submitted to be considered for admission:

  1. Application form, completed and signed, with current photograph attached
  2. Official transcript(s) from all high schools, colleges, universities and seminaries attended
  3. Background Check Authorization Form, completed and signed
  4. EIIT Partnership Covenant, completed and signed by all participating parties
  5. A $100 application fee, payable to Concordia Seminary
  6. Letter of recommendation from applicant's sponsoring pastor
  7. Competency Evaluation results for Old Testament (OT), New Testament (NT), Christian Doctrine and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) examinations (Route 1) or documentation of required previous experience (Route 2)
  8. Letter of recommendation from church leader of the group to be served
  9. Letter of recommendation from the applicant's own immigrant ministry or congregation
  10. Signed and dated interview document from LCMS District President
  11. Letter of recommendation from LCMS District President
  12. Completed Vicarage Application

Please note: All 12 items should be compiled and verified by the LCMS district and the district should send all the documents to Concordia Seminary's Ministerial Recruitment and Admissions office.

The application period closes on Feb. 28 for the following academic year.

Prospective students must take the Old Testament, New Testament and Christian Doctrine exams and pass each with a score of 70 percent or higher (Route 1) or prepare and submit a profile of their work among a community of Christians that demonstrates their readiness for admission into a course of study leading to ordained ministry in the LCMS (Route 2).

Both routes require the applicant to take the exam for English as a Foreign Language, which must be taken with an English-speaking examiner.

Applicants using Route 1 may take each exam no more than three times and must wait a minimum of three days after taking an exam before taking it again. During this waiting time, applicants are welcome to take exams for other content areas. Each exam uses a different set of questions.

The primary study resources for the Entry Level Competency Exams are the Bible and Luther's Small Catechism. All questions are based on these two sources.

The EIIT Program consists of 24 courses: 20 half-semester courses and four short Winterim courses. Each year of courses consists of five half-semester courses and one short Winterim course. The EIIT Program courses are taught online in the English language. No residency on the St. Louis campus is required. The program is designed to be completed in four years.

Pastoral Formation 24 courses
PRA441 Introduction to Pastoral Ministry
EXE441 Reading the Bible Faithfully
PRA455 Lutheran Worship [Short Course]
EXE442 Faithfully Reading the Gospels
PRA442 Pastor as Preacher
PRA443 Care in the Congregation
EXE443 Faithfully Reading the Epistles of Paul
SYS441 The Christian Faith
HIS455 Missouri Synod Fellowship [Short Course]
PRA444 Teaching the Christian Faith
PRA445 Witness and Evangelism
PRA446 Servant Leadership
SYS442 Confessing the Faith Today
HIS441 Christians Engage the World
PRA456 Witness and Evangelism Practicum [Short Course]
EXE444 Faithfully Reading the Old Testament
SYS443 Means of Grace
PRA447 Worship and the Word
PRA448 Contextualized Counseling/td>
EXE445 Basic New Testament Theology
PRA457 Church Administration [Short Course]
HIS442 The Lutheran Church: Then and Now
HIS443 Lutherans and Other Denominations
PRA449 The Lutheran Pastor

The curriculum listed in this chart is for students who started the EIIT Program after fall 2018. For more information about application deadlines, term dates, class procedures, etc., please see the EIIT section of Concordia Seminary’s Academic Catalog.

Students in the EIIT Program are assigned as vicars in their locations of service upon admission to the program.


Deaconess Studies

The Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) offers a specialized program for women in mission and ministry in first generation ethnic immigrant, non-English language dominant and other culture specific contexts in North America. The program leads to commissioning as a deaconess in the LCMS.

Students take online courses and as part of their formation and work in a ministry setting under the supervision of a local pastoral mentor. Students are assigned as deaconess interns in their locations of service upon admission to the program (a concurrent internship) and will complete the program in approximately four years.

Women who seek admission to the deaconess formation track are encouraged to complete the entrance-level Leadership Advancement Process (LAP) courses in Old Testament, New Testament and Christian Doctrine. They may then apply for admission to EIIT — Deaconess Studies.

The admission criteria and application procedures are the same for EIIT pastoral and deaconess applicants. The requirements also are the same regarding district endorsement and mentors/supervisors. See the EIIT pastoral section above.

The EIIT Program consists of 24 courses: 20 half-semester courses and four short Winterim courses. Each year of courses consists of five half-semester courses and one short Winterim course. The EIIT Program courses are taught online in the English language. No residency on the St. Louis campus is required. The program is designed to be completed in four years.

Deaconess Formation 24 courses
PRA4412 Introduction to Diaconal Ministry
EXE441 Reading the Bible Faithfully
PRA455 Lutheran Worship [Short Course]
EXE442 Faithfully Reading the Gospels
PRA4421 Diaconal Care in Times of Distress
PRA443 Care in the Congregation
EXE443 Faithfully Reading the Epistles of Paul
SYS441 The Christian Faith
HIS455 Missouri Synod Fellowship [Short Course]
PRA444 Teaching the Christian Faith
PRA445 Witness and Evangelism
PRA446 Servant Leadership
SYS442 Confessing the Faith Today
HIS441 Christians Engage the World
PRA456 Witness and Evangelism Practicum [Short Course]
EXE444 Faithfully Reading the Old Testament
SYS443 Means of Grace
PRA4471 Deaconess as Bible Teacher
PRA448 Contextualized Counseling
EXE445 Basic New Testament Theology
PRA457 Church Administration [Short Course]
HIS442 The Lutheran Church: Then and Now
HIS443 Lutherans and Other Denominations
PRA4491 The Lutheran Deaconess

For more information about application deadlines, term dates, class procedures, etc., please see the EIIT section of Concordia Seminary's Academic Catalog.

Questions?