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LCC seminary Regents hold joint meeting

March 2, 2018 No Comment

EDMONTON – Regents from both Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) seminaries, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS), St. Catharines and Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS), Edmonton, met for their annual joint meeting January 30, 2018 in Edmonton as outlined in their 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

During the joint sessions each seminary shared details about enrolment trends and projections, budget, and financing, as well as highlights of the mission they share training pastors, deacons, and leaders of LCC. Topics of discussion included the impact of the restructuring on each seminary’s Bylaws and Policies, since revisions will be required at both institutions. The regents also discussed shared coursework, the Director of Parish Services (DPS) training at CLS, and the Pastors with Alternative Training (PAT) program’s administrative work done at CLTS.

Major discussion involved the projections of future needs for new pastors and deacons in LCC and how the seminaries can respond with the best program. CLS has three pastoral candidates and one deacon graduating on May 24; CLTS has one vicar and CLS five vicars currently in the field hoping to graduate in 2019. This academic year CLTS has one vicar and CLS has five vicars in the queue for May assignments.

Both seminaries anticipate an average number of new students to begin studies in the fall. CLTS reported seven students in the lay-oriented Master of Theological Studies (MTS), the highest ever.  In the face of pastoral needs for LCC, the seminaries expect to graduate 15 MDiv students by May 2020.

The seminary leadership pointed out that the institutions can only prepare future pastors and deacons which the church sends to them and urged every member of an LCC congregation to look for and encourage young men and women to pursue church work vocations.

As part of an ongoing program assessment process, session participants completed a Strength/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats analysis of the state of theological education in LCC and identified some of key issues needing to be addressed.

Meeting with the individual boards, LCC President Rev. Timothy Teuscher asked CLTS to take responsibility for the administration of the PAT program and, in light of the ongoing CLS request for the Council of Presidents and LCC Board of Directors to approve the CLS Director of Parish Services certificate approach, he pledged to explore the expectations and needs for deacons in the church and consider the most expedient way for deacons to complete training. It is understood that students in both programs may receive teaching or supervision from either place.

There is anticipation in both institutions of the new MOU coming in the next year that will articulate the relationship between LCC and the seminaries. The memorandum is mandated in the restructuring of LCC approved by delegates at the 2017 Synodical Convention in Kitchener.