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Concordia Seminary Newsroom and Press Releases

117 New Students Prepare for Pastoral Ministry

Registration for classes at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis included 117 new students who are beginning their Seminary preparation to serve as pastors, missionaries or chaplains in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. That amounts to an eight percent increase over the number of new students registering last year and a 23 percent increase over the number of new students in 1997.

“We are thankful to the Lord of the Harvest for these gifted men and for their desire to prepare for the pastoral ministry,” commented Rev. Jeffery Moore, director of ministerial recruitment at Concordia Seminary. “They come from many different backgrounds, but they are united in their desire to serve their Lord in this special way.”

Prior to registration, the new students participate in a general orientation to the campus and Seminary community. In addition to providing information for new students and their families, the orientation also features a “field day” on Saturday, Sept. 4. This special day of activities on the Seminary grounds includes children’s games as well as men’s and women’s softball, volleyball, basketball and horseshoe competition. The day concludes with a barbeque picnic for the entire Seminary community.

The orientation will culminate with the opening service for the Seminary’s 161st academic year, set for Sunday, Sept. 5, at 4:00 p.m. in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Seminary campus. Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary, will serve as preacher at this service.

Classes will actually begin on Tuesday, Sept. 7. The classes will be taught by the Seminary’s 36- member faculty, including two new professors. The new faculty members, Rev. Jeffrey Kloha and Rev. R. Reed Lessing, will be installed at the Sept. 5 opening service as assistant professors of exegetical theology.

Rev. Kloha received his bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1988. He received his master of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1992 and 1998 respectively. He had served as associate pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Lakewood, Ohio since 1993.

Rev. Lessing received his bachelor of arts degree from St. John’s College, Winfield, Kan., in 1981. He received his master of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1985 and 1989 respectively. He is in the process of completing his doctor of philosophy in theology dissertation at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Rev. Lessing had been serving as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Okla., since 1990. From 1986-90, he served as pastor of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in West Monroe, La. Rev. Lessing also served as secretary of the Oklahoma District of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod from 1991-94, circuit counselor of the Tulsa circuit from 1994-97 and second vice president of the Oklahoma District, a position he held since 1997.

“The new academic year, the one during which we will enter a new century and millennium, testifies to the many ways God continues to bless Concordia Seminary,” commented Dr. Johnson. “We are thankful for another year in which we have an increase in the number of new students beginning their Seminary preparation with us. We believe this demonstrates the confidence the church has in this Seminary and the pastors and missionaries it provides. We are also thankful that God has led Rev. Kloha and Rev. Lessing to accept the calls extended them. I invite the entire church to join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving for God’s blessing on this Seminary so that we may continue to fulfill the mission the Lord of the Church has given us.”

For more information, contact Rev. Glen Thomas, Vice President for Seminary Relations, at 314.505.7371 or