By Kevin Armbrust
TAMPA, Fla. — On Wednesday, July 24, Floor Committee 6 on Pastoral Ministry and Seminaries, represented by the Rev. John E. Hill, committee chairman and president of the LCMS Wyoming District, presented two resolutions to the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
After some discussion, both passed: Res. 6-03A, “To Enhance the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program,” and Res. 6-04, “To Support, Encourage, and Expect Continuing Education for all Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Pastors.”
The first resolve of Res. 6-03A reads, “That the SMP vicars and pastors be commended for their service to the Savior, the congregations, and the Synod.”
Because the SMP program meets an important need in the Synod, this resolution encourages continued work to improve the program while thanking God and supporting those men who are serving as SMP pastors and those who will enter the program.
The second resolve reads, “That the Pastoral Formation Committee work to enhance the curriculum and standards of the SMP program between the two seminaries, in light of the curriculum and standards of the residential seminaries, including instruction in biblical languages.”
Both the Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast Jr., president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, stood to speak in favor of the seminaries and the Pastoral Formation Committee continuing to study the best curriculum for the SMP program.
This continued study is provided for in the two following resolves, which advocate examining the timing of vicarage and ordination within the program, culminating in a report to the 2022 convention. The last resolve encourages districts to provide funding for SMP students.
Resolution 6-04 further encourages Synod pastors to pursue continuing education, beginning with the Post-Seminary Applied Learning and Support (PALS) program upon graduation from seminary.
“Both seminaries are in full support of the PALS program, recommending and encouraging their students to make use of PALS when they arrive at their first call,” the resolution reads.
In the fourth resolve, it also calls for “pastors [to] be encouraged to utilize courses, programs, and/or degrees of continuing education offered by our two excellent seminaries, as well as other organizations, conferences, and institutions of the Synod.”
Floor Committee 6 worked diligently to encourage the Synod to treasure the Office of the Holy Ministry and to thank God for the Synod’s two seminaries — all because of the importance of those who are sent to preach (Rom. 10:15). To that end, the LCMS seeks to provide “consistent, high quality, orthodox theological education,” according to the final resolve of Res. 6-04.
Posted July 25, 2019
The 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod met July 20–25, 2019, in Tampa, Fla., at the Tampa Convention Center under the theme “Joy:fully Lutheran.” For more convention news: