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Concordia University College of Alberta Suspends Church Work Programs

March 10, 2015 3 Comments

concordiacollegelogoEDMONTON – In response to budgetary challenges and consistent low enrolments, Concordia University College of Alberta is moving to suspend its church work programs, including the Director of Parish Services, Lutheran Teacher, and Youth Ministry Certificate programs. Discussions are also taking place with Concordia Lutheran Seminary whether the Pre-Seminary Minor offered at Concordia is the preferred route of preparation for seminary candidates.

Concordia’s church work programs have had consistently low enrolments since their inception nearly thirty years ago, graduating an average of four students per year. No students are currently enrolled in the Lutheran Teacher or Youth Ministry programs. The two students who are currently enrolled in the Director of Parish Services program have completed all courses necessary for graduation. Two others, completing post-graduate internships, will be unaffected. “These programs are not unique in facing suspension,” said President Gerald Krispin. “They are part of an institution-wide degree and program review that is focusing on sustainability and student demand.”

While intending to suspend the programs themselves, which require that courses must be offered no matter how low the enrolment, Concordia will continue to provide foundational theological education for church work and pre-seminary students of Lutheran Church-Canada through individual courses. The programs as such may be delivered by Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) in the future.

“Discussions are underway to explore if the seminary would assume responsibility for a graduate certificate or diploma in various areas of church work,” Dr. Krispin added. “Other church work students who study at the seminary could experience spiritual formation and a focused confessional learning environment currently open only to pastoral students.”

As is the case for all ministry graduates, certification remains the purview of the synod. Concordia Lutheran Seminary President Jim Gimbel indicated a commitment to seriously explore the feasibility of cooperation on ministry formation, “as long as there are sufficient resources to take on this broadened role.” In the meantime, “CLS is committed to stand beside all of the workers in LCC and their need for support, training, and nurture as servants of the Church.”

In the meantime, the Council of Presidents of LCC has been apprised and is supportive of the establishment of an Institute for Interdisciplinary Christian Studies within the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Concordia University College of Alberta. Upon presentation of this initiative, LCC’s First Vice President Nolan Astley stated: “It was clear at the Council of Presidents meeting that the ecclesiastical bond with Concordia University College of Alberta is still very real and there is a strong desire to move forward in a positive way.”

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  • Pastor: Claudio Rivas

    I ‘ the LORD, watch over it; I water it continaully, I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it . God bleys. Pastor: Claudio Rivas .

  • Student

    Maybe more students would enroll if they knew about the programs. I went to Concordia and even I didn’t know about some of the about mentioned programs, perhaps because there were no students in the program.

  • Hmm.. What cause such significant decrease in demand? I think a move needs to be taken before this was even surfacing. A low enrollment for 30 years? The faculty members should have anticipated this to happen. More ads, or offering scholarships, is a nice move to increase the student number. That is my idea. What is yours?

    Greg – mbts.edu