Mar 06, 2009 Print This Article

Law…and Gospel-Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Workshop

Concordia Seminary, together with Peace Officer Ministries, will host “Christian Law Enforcement Chaplaincy—Theology and Practice,” May 26-29, on the Seminary campus. This workshop will offer unique accredited training for chaplains, peace officers and pastors, focusing on effective Christian ministry to and through law enforcement.

The workshop will explore issues such as adopting a sound biblical theology; understanding law enforcement as vocation (God’s calling); distinguishing and properly applying Law and Gospel and God’s Two Kingdoms within a law enforcement context; addressing practice, legal, historical, cultural and missiological considerations; employing Christian stress management and officer spiritual survival strategies; and identifying characteristics of a competent Christian chaplain. The main presenters will be Rev. Steve Lee and Mike Dahmer.

Rev. Steve Lee is executive director of Peace Officer Ministries, Inc. (POM), a national Christian non-profit 501(c)(3) law enforcement chaplaincy he founded in 1996. POM produces materials for officers and chaplains, including a special law enforcement edition Bible and a book by Lee titled Backup on the Beat. Previously, he served as a California peace officer, a volunteer federal law enforcement chaplain and was part of an FBI chaplaincy advisory working group. He worked in a variety of roles during his law enforcement career, including police officer, sheriff’s deputy and sergeant, and federal special agent. He ministered at incidents such as Columbine, Ground Zero and Hurricane Katrina, receiving commendations from Dr. James Dobson, ATF, NYPD and former President George W. Bush. Additionally, Lee has served as a pastor of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) since 1992.

Mike Dahmer, BSEE, P.E., is a former law enforcement officer and current licensed professional engineer with expertise in national security, counter-terrorism and homeland security. He serves as an instructor in these areas at Idaho State University, Louisiana State University and other institutions. He also serves as president and CEO of Systems Associates, Inc., a general engineering design practice for the private sector, government and other public sectors; Jerome County (ID) Disaster Services Communications Coordinator; and serves on the U.S. Regulatory Fairness Board by presidential appointment.

Concordia Seminary faculty presenter will be Dr. Robert Kolb, mission professor of systematic theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies.

Other presenters include William J. Becker Jr., Esq., an attorney for Becker Law Firm, Los Angeles, Calif.; Dr. Dennis L. Conroy, police psychologist and a 30-year police veteran; William G. Jones, assistant chief, Perryville Police Department, Perryville, Mo.; Rev. Glen F. Merritt, director of disaster response, LCMS World Relief and Human Care; Dr. Tomas C. Mijares, professor of criminal justice, Texas State University, Austin, Texas; Frank Ruffatto, former detective and current chaplain for POM; and Steve Ruffatto, retired detective and adjunct professor in criminal justice, Elizabethtown College, University of Phoenix, York, Pa.

The cost to attend “Law Enforcement Chaplaincy—Theology and Practice” is $295 and includes three breakfasts, four lunches and two dinners. Housing is not included. A total of 3.0 CEUs are available for full participation. Scholarships are made available to Seminary students and professional church workers by Lutheran World Relief and Human Care.

For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education and Parish Services at 314-505-7486,; or visit the Seminary’s Web site at