Here's a quick overview of the process:
- The seminary program to become a pastor is 4 years long. Three of those years are in the classroom and one of them is on a year long internship (vicarage)
- At the end of the 4th year all of the students are placed as pastors into current churches, church planting situations, or mission opportunities.
- We have two people at the seminary who are responsible for the placement process. They conduct interviews with us during the fall of our last year. These interviews give them the opportunity to get to know the students better. They also identify skills, weaknesses, and ministry interests as well as personal preferences. All of this information will be taken into account later when it is time to make the final placement decisions.
- Congregations within the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod who need a pastor submit their request to the seminary.
- If a student is interested in a sole position (being the only pastor of a church) this is where the process usually ends. The placement director has all the information he needs to make the placement.
- If a student is interested in a team ministry (multiple pastors in a church) or a specialized ministry then he will have the opportunity to interview with potential churches or ministry organizations. Both the student and the congregation have the ability to provide feedback to the placement director after the interview in order to help with the placement process.
- The placement director gathers all of the information available to him and makes initial matches between congregations and students. All of these placements then go to the "Council of Presidents" ** who are familiar with the congregations in their districts and determine whether or not it is a good fit.
- Once the Council of Presidents has given their approval to the assignments the process is completed. This just happened this weekend (April 25th).
- Assignments are announced at a special service on Wednesday, April 29th at 7pm. This is the first time that students and congregations find out where the students have been placed. This service can be viewed live online at http://callday.csl.edu
- Students must satisfactorily complete all of their academic requirements before they can officially be installed at their new congregation.
If you have any questions or if anything is unclear please feel free to ask.
**There are 35 districts within the LCMS which represents over 6,000 congregations and over 2 million people