The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Colloquy Committee for Commissioned Ministry (CCCM) gathered at the LCMS International Center (IC) in St. Louis on Oct. 21 for its first in-person meeting this triennium. Among other business, CCCM members reviewed the committee’s policy manual, attended chapel and prayed together. Because all but one of the members were new to the committee this triennium, they also enjoyed getting to know each other a little better.
“This is such a great committee,” said the Rev. Peter Lange, CCCM chairman, after the meeting. “The members are astute policy people committed to having good and important conversations in the service of the commissioned colloquy process and, ultimately, the church. It is a joy to work with them.”
According to Synod Bylaws (126.96.36.199), the CCCM is responsible for directing “the Synod’s activity in matters of colloquies for commissioned ministers.” Among its responsibilities are oversight of the colloquy application process and course of study as well as the academic and theological standards for each category of commissioned ministry at all Concordia University System (CUS) schools. The committee reports to the Synod at each convention.
In the LCMS, a commissioned minister is a rostered member of the Synod who serves in a non-ordained position. By far the majority of commissioned ministers in the LCMS are teachers, but there are also commissioned ministers who serve as deaconesses, directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach, directors of church ministries, directors of family life and directors of parish music.
Individuals who did not graduate from a course of study leading to commissioned status in the Synod may apply for a colloquy in order to ensure that they have the theological training, understanding of the Synod, and professional and spiritual attributes necessary for Synod membership. Applicants for colloquy should already have experience in the field for which they are seeking a colloquy. Currently, the vast majority of colloquy study is completed online through Concordia University Education Network (CUEnet), a cooperative program of the CUS schools. An average of 65 commissioned colloquies are granted each year in the LCMS.
As directed by Synod Bylaws (188.8.131.52), the CCCM is made up of the Synod’s first vice-president, who serves as CCCM chairman; one representative each from the CUS and CUEnet; two CUS presidents (appointed by the Synod president); and two CUS faculty members (appointed by the CUS president).
“This committee has been working energetically during this triennium — with five meetings to date and two more scheduled — to do a top-to-bottom review of commissioned colloquy bylaws, policies and procedures,” Lange said. “We are excited about the potential for improvement that we see and are eager to collaborate with colloquy stakeholders in service to the Synod.”
Posted Nov. 22, 2021