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COP to tackle seminary recruitment

February 25, 2013 One Comment
LCC's Council of Presidents discusses seminary recruitment in September, 2011.

LCC’s Council of Presidents discusses seminary recruitment in September, 2011.

WINNIPEG – Lutheran Church–Canada’s Council of Presidents(COP) has turned its attention to the topic of seminary recruitment. The issue came up for discussion at the COP’s meeting in late September, 2011.

“Recruitment of suitable seminarians is best not addressed through short-term programs,” First Vice President Nolan Astley wrote in a report presented to the COP at that time, “but through a sustained longer-term effort to keep this matter before the eyes of Synod, cultivating a greater awareness of the need for seminarians as well as an awareness of the gifts and skills typically found in such individuals.”

In order to increase public awareness of the importance of seminary recruitment, the COP contemplated a number of specific strategies during its September meeting. The January February issue of The Canadian Lutheran arises out of one of those strategies. Dr. Kettner’s article on “the call” encourages members of Lutheran Church–Canada to ask themselves whether they might be gifted to serve the Church as pastors, or, if not pastors, as deacons. The interviews with current seminarians give readers of The Canadian Lutheran a look inside seminary life, reminding them that God calls all sorts of men to serve as pastors in His Church—some right out of school, and some later in life. The students explain how they ended up in seminary, and encourage readers to consider whether they too should aspire to be pastors.

Developing articles for The Canadian Lutheran was one of many recruitment strategies discussed by the COP at its meeting. They also brainstormed the idea of a “Home Church Sunday,” during which pastors and seminarians would return to their home congregations to preach, highlighting the role their pastors and congregations had in influencing them to attend seminary–and encouraging them to continue identifying servants for the church. The COP also discussed the distribution of (new and updated) recruitment materials, making recruitment a topic for discussion at the National Church Workers Conference, encouraging seminarian participation in future youth gatherings, developing regional seminary events, and various other recruitment strategies.

“We offer these ideas as a starting place for further discussion,” wrote First Vice President Astley in his report, “as to how best cultivate among us all the urgency and importance of attracting suitable men to prepare for the office of the Holy Ministry.”

Lutheran Church–Canada’s Board of Directors (BOD) accepted new recruitment responsibilities following the adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding between the BOD and synod’s two seminaries in June 2011. The BOD in turn has entrusted this work to the COP.

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