Eighty participants, including 52 prospective students and their guests, participated in the fifth annual “Shepherds of God’s Flock” retreat held Jan. 7-9 on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus. The event was designed for prospective students who are college age or older and are contemplating service as a pastor, missionary or chaplain in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
The retreat emphasized the spiritual and personal aspects of the decision-making process. While on campus, participants were led by Seminary faculty members through a study of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions concerning the Office of Holy Ministry. Pastors, missionaries and chaplains spoke about the joys and challenges of their service. Participants also worshiped with the Seminary community in daily chapel services, talked with current students and their spouses, and attended Seminary classes.
Suggestions from past participants have led to additional sessions on the last day of the event to cover the “nuts and bolts” topics related to Seminary enrollment, such as financial aid, housing and the admission process. The session was attended by all participants.
One participant commented, “This is exactly what I have been praying for in being able to better discern God’s calling. To share that with others in the same place in life was invaluable.” Another participant said, “Very inspirational. I’m glad I came. Having my wife attend also made the entire process more effective because we both heard the same messages—which will help in the decision process.”
The next structured visitation opportunity at Concordia Seminary is the annual Institute on the Ministry to be held March 13-15. The Institute on the Ministry offers presentations concerning academics, residential field education, vicarage, housing, financial assistance, schools and employment, among other topics. A special feature of this event is an information fair about the Seminary and the St. Louis area. A Women’s Information Session also has been planned. As is the case with all Seminary visitation opportunities, wives, fiancées and girlfriends of prospective students are encouraged to participate.
Prospective students and their guests also are encouraged to visit Concordia Seminary individually, at times most convenient for them. On-campus meals and lodging are provided free of charge to guests, regardless of the time of the visit.
Anyone interested in registering for the Institute on the Ministry or visiting the Seminary on an individual basis is encouraged to contact the Admissions Office of Concordia Seminary at 801 DeMun Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105; (800) 822-9545; email@example.com.