A total of 120 guests, including 70 prospective students, attended the 1999 Institute on the Ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis March 11-13. The three-day visitation opportunity allowed prospective students and their guests to hear presentations on course work, financial assistance, housing and many other topics of interest. They also worshiped with the Seminary community in morning chapel services and visited classes.
“Our guests came from as far away as California, New York, Florida and Minnesota,” indicated Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations at Concordia. “They came from varied backgrounds. Some were college students, and some were working in long-established career positions. Yet, they came with a desire to learn more about how they can prepare to serve their Savior as a pastor, missionary or chaplain. In light of the shortages the church is now facing in these areas, we are delighted that so many attended the Institute!”
A special information fair on March 12 provided guests the opportunity to tour a large display area featuring representatives from the 52 Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) schools in the St. Louis area, the LCMS employers in the area (including Concordia Publishing House and the LCMS International Center), a realtor and many other organizations from on and off the Seminary campus.
A bus tour of the St. Louis area on Friday afternoon allowed women to see firsthand many of the LCMS schools, agencies and employment opportunities in close proximity to the Seminary.
Above all, there was ample opportunity for guests to meet and to get to know many Seminary students and their spouses. A panel discussion on March 12 featured 19 students and spouses answering questions concerning life in the Concordia Seminary community. “We could sense the closeness and community spirit of the Seminary and its staff and students,” commented one Institute participant.
A special women’s information session on Saturday morning was hosted by Ruth Ann Johnson, wife of Dr. John F. Johnson, Concordia’s President. This session featured women in the Seminary community sharing information concerning family life, schools, employment and opportunities for growth. “This was wonderful and extremely helpful.” commented one guest. After talking with the Seminary wives, I felt I really wanted to be a part of this wonderful community.”
“A campus visit is the most effective way to gain valuable information and answers to questions concerning life at the Seminary,” commented Rev. Thomas. “We encourage prospective students and their guests to visit the campus whenever it is most convenient for them. We are happy to provide meals and lodging for them, regardless of whether they visit during one of our structured visitation opportunities or whether they come for an individual visit.”
The Seminary’s next structured visitation opportunity will be the Fall Visitation Weekend to be held Oct. 7-9, 1999, followed by the Shepherds of God’s Flock retreat Jan. 4-6, 2000. The next Institute on the Ministry will take place March 16-18, 2000.
Prospective students interested in arranging a campus visit should contact the Admissions Office at Concordia Seminary by calling 1-800-822-9545 or through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).