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.


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 16 courses
EXE401 Old Testament Overview
EXE402 New Testament Overview
SYS401 Introduction to Christian Doctrine
EXE403 Understanding and Preaching the Word of God I
PRA401 Pastoral Ministry I
SYS402 Lutheran Theology I: Lutheran Foundation
SYS403 Lutheran Theology II: Means of Grace
SYS404 Lutheran Theology III: Church and Ministry
PRA402 Understanding and Preaching the Word of God II
PRA403 Evangelism and Missions
HIS401 Church History I (Through 1500)
PRA404 Teaching the Faith
HIS402 Church History II (Since 1500)
SYS405 The Church in the World Today
SYS406 Law and Gospel
PRA405 Pastoral Ministry II

The curriculum listed above is for students who started the EIIT Program prior to fall 2018. Students beginning the program in fall 2018 or after will follow a revised program and fee structure.

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.

This specialized and individualized curriculum requires local mentors to spend significant time with their assigned students. Students will be expected to demonstrate a working mastery of the material in each course before moving on to the next course. All 16 courses are web-based and require a facility and orientation to electronically mediated teaching and learning.

Deaconess Formation 16 courses
EXE401 Old Testament Overview
EXE402 New Testament Overview
SYS401 Introduction to Christian Doctrine
EXE403 Understanding and Preaching the Word of God I
PRA406 Deaconess Foundations
SYS402 Lutheran Theology I: Lutheran Foundation
SYS403 Lutheran Theology II: Means of Grace
SYS404 Lutheran Theology III: Church and Ministry
PRA407 Deaconess Seminar I
PRA403 Evangelism and Missions
HIS401 Church History I (Through 1500)
PRA404 Teaching the Faith
HIS402 Church History II (Since 1500)
SYS405 The Church in the World Today
SYS406 Law and Gospel
PRA408 Deaconess Seminar II

The curriculum listed above is for students who started the EIIT Program prior to fall 2017. Students beginning the program in fall 2018 or after will follow a revised program and fee structure. For more information about application deadlines, term dates, class procedures, etc., please see the EIIT section of Concordia Seminary's Academic Catalog.

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