More than 110 prospective students and their guests attended the 2002 Institute on the Ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis on March 7-9, an increase of 10 percent over last year. 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, Texas and New York,” indicated Rev. Jeffery Moore, director of ministerial recruitment 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 8 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, 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 agencies and employment opportunities in close proximity to the Seminary. There was also ample opportunity for guests to meet and to get to know many Seminary students and their spouses.
Evaluations submitted by Institute participants were very positive and indicated that the event was helpful for prospective students and their guests. One participant commented, “A very encouraging weekend. The positive attitude of everyone on campus was readily apparent. The people made us want to come to the Seminary.” Another participant responded, “This weekend was very helpful. It was neat to see the strong community feel and support activities for wives.”
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.
“A campus visit is the most effective way to gain valuable information and answers to questions concerning life at the Seminary,” commented Rev. Moore. “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. 10-12, 2002, followed by the Shepherds of God’s Flock retreat Jan. 7-9, 2003. The next Institute on the Ministry will take place March 13-15, 2003. Prospective students interested in receiving some of the materials distributed at the Institute or in arranging a campus visit should contact the Admissions Office at Concordia Seminary by calling 1-800-822-9545 or through e-mail (email@example.com).