On Tuesday, April 11, 108 students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, received calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), and 85 students received assignments to serve as vicars. Vicarage is a one-year internship that students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry must complete.
Of the 85 vicarage assignments issued to students, four were issued to foreign mission sites through the LCMS Board for Mission Services. The assignments were to Novosibirsk, Russia and Bangkok, Thailand. Two assignments were to Togo, West Africa. The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary with 11 vicars assigned, followed by the Michigan and Pacific Southwest districts with five vicars each.
Of the 108 calls issued, one was to a foreign mission site through the LCMS Board for Mission Services. It was extended to Togo, West Africa. Several of the calls involved serving as a “missionary at large” in the United States to begin new congregations, and one involved developing deaf ministry in the New York City area. The Texas District received the most Concordia Seminary graduates with 11 calls, followed by Missouri with 10 and several others with five.
“‘Call day’ at Concordia Seminary is, in many respects, the most exciting time of the year,” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “On this day we witness the fulfillment of long years of education and formation in the lives of our students; but also, years of teaching and work on behalf of our excellent faculty. We are confident that those who have received vicarage assignments and calls into the public ministry of the church have been well prepared for the tasks of proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and administering His life-giving and life-strengthening sacraments.”
The “Office of Vespers and Assignment of Vicarages” took place at 4:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Rev. Robert P. Hoehner, administrative assistant for youth and family in the South Wisconsin District of The Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod, served as preacher. Rev. Hoehner’s son, Matthew, was one of the 85 students who received a vicarage assignment during the service. Another son, Mark, is in the Seminary’s master of divinity degree program and will pursue graduate study at Concordia Seminary. Officiants for the service included Dr. John F. Johnson; Dr. Glenn A. Nielsen, director of the Seminary’s vicarage program; and Rev. William Utech, director of the Seminary’s resident field education program.
The 108 students received their calls to serve as pastors at a 7:00 p.m. “Service of Praise and Assignment of Calls,” also held in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Dr. L. Dean Hempelmann, director of pastoral education of the LCMS Board for Higher Education, served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. John F. Johnson; Dr. David J. Peter, placement counselor at Concordia Seminary; and Prof. Larry Rockemann, the Seminary’s director of placement. The calls were presented to the students by Dr. Arleigh Lutz, president of the North Wisconsin District of the LCMS and chairman of the Synod’s Council of Presidents.
For more information, contact the Seminary’s Communications Department at 314-505-7375 or by e-mail (email@example.com).