Dr. Dale Meyer, President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, presented a convocation on May 17th about the immediate and long-term future of the Seminary. The event was webcast live. Congregations Matter will have a link to the video here as soon as it is available on the Seminary website.
The event was inspirational and informative. Sharing the podium with faculty leaders, the webcast made a strong case for supporting both of our seminaries.
In response to questions from pastors who participated in an “I Love the Sem” event, faculty and staff leaders outlined the commitment to a congregational focus for the seminary. In particular, four “good news” themes emerged that should give our Synod hope.
Student Finances and Flexible Coursework
First, there has been a positive change in the amount of tuition residential students actually pay. While the vast majority of our St. Louis seminarians can attend tuition free, of those who pay anything the average is less than $3,000 tuition annually. Praise God for people who support the seminary financially.
Next, Meyer and faculty leaders announced the implementation of the first revamp to Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) curriculum since 1958. With a focus on flexibility, the new curriculum will prepare pastors for a changing ministry to a changing culture. At the same time, the curriculum will still remain faithful to the classical seminary training that leads young pastors to rightly divide law and Gospel to their flocks.
World Focus and a Secure Future
The convocation also addressed the significant increase in international student training and the growth of the LCMS as a vital partner of the international Confessional Lutheran movement. Key to the seminary’s leadership is world-class research facilities that the major renovation of the library, now underway, will offer.
Finally, Meyer announced the success of the $180 million dollar “Generations” campaign for endowing seminary education and the new campus master plan that will be presented to the Synod Board of Directors.
Strong Seminaries = Strong Congregations
Synod needs strong seminaries for our future: strong adminstrative leaders, strong faculties, strong relationships, strong curriculum, strong support and strong finances. Only then will seminaries train congregationally-focused pastors who serve their congregations with God’s plan in mind…
“…to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13 (NIV)
Congregations Matter© is glad for Dr. Meyer’s leadership. He and the faculty and staff have worked hard to make a great seminary greater.