On Wednesday, April 27, calls to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) were issued to 102 students at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In addition, 167 students received assignments to serve as vicars. Vicarage is a one-year internship that students preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry must complete. This is the largest vicarage/call placement in Concordia Seminary’s recent history.
The pastoral calls included one to serve in a mission field outside of the continental United States, arranged by the LCMS Board for Mission Services, for service in Kazakhstan. One call was to serve an SELC District congregation in Canada. In addition, five calls were to serve as missionary at large in LCMS districts in the United States, beginning new congregations. One call was to serve as a professor at a Concordia University System school. One of the vicarage assignments was arranged through the LCMS Board for Mission Services for work in Russia.
In addition to the 102 pastoral candidate calls issued, eight students are awaiting calls that are in process at this time. In each of these cases, the details of calls to specific sites are being finalized and should be completed soon. Great care is exercised in both the candidate call and the vicarage placement processes to ensure that the best possible match is realized between the seminarian and the ministry site.
Concordia Seminary also celebrated the presentation of 12 deaconess students to the LCMS for placement and internship assignment. Two deaconess students, ready for assignment, have placements in process which should be completed soon. Ten deaconess students were assigned internships, two of which are outside the United States. The deaconess program at Concordia Seminary began in the fall of 2002.
The Missouri District received the most vicars from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with 26 vicars assigned, followed by the Florida-Georgia District with 12, the Michigan District with nine and the Northern Illinois, Southeastern and Southern Illinois Districts, each with eight. Of the 102 calls issued to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, students, the Texas District issued the most with 10, followed by the Missouri District with nine, the Kansas District with seven and the Florida-Georgia, Michigan, Pacific Southwest and South Wisconsin Districts, each with six.
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. Larry Harvala, president of the North Dakota District of the LCMS, served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. Dale A. Meyer, interim president of Concordia Seminary; 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 Service of Praise and Assignment of Calls, also held in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, took place at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Paul Sieveking, president of the Iowa West District, served as preacher. Officiants for the service included Dr. Dale A. Meyer and Dr. David J. Peter, acting director of placement at Concordia Seminary, and Dr. Timothy E. Saleska, acting assistant director of placement at Concordia Seminary. LCMS President Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick greeted the candidates immediately after they received their calls. The calls were presented to the students by Rev. C. William Hoesman, president of the Michigan District and chairman of the LCMS Council of Presidents.
The Seminary’s 1,100-seat Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus was filled to capacity for both services, with some worshipers standing outside the chapel doors. An additional 1,243 computers were connected to the Webcast of the services on the Seminary’s Web site.
A complete listing of the calls and vicarages issued is available on the Seminary’s Web site at csl-edu-staging.mrhxrwi0-liquidwebsites.com/2005CallDay.htm.