Jan 12, 2024 Print This Article

SMP students celebrate calls, program completions

Seminary recognizes 27 students

SMP students receiving calls: From left, first row: SMP Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson, Joseph Haggas, Daniel McMahan, Jeremy Lamont, Joshua Britton, President Dr. Thomas J. Egger; second row: Director of Placement Dr. Glenn Nielsen, Brady Betten, Steven Garrabrant, Todd Bentz, Randall “Craig” Sanders, Richard Lewis, John McCombs and Dean of Ministerial Formation Dr. Timothy Saleska.

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis celebrated 27 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students this week for receiving receiving new calls and completing the program. The SMP students were recognized today during a special service in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus at the end of a week of on-campus intensive courses.

“The SMP Program helps to meet a crucial need for pastors in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as it forms men to serve in specific ministries. At this time, we rejoice with students celebrating new calls and receiving theological diplomas, as well as those now completing the program,” said SMP Program Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson. “Our students highly value the theological education they receive from world-class Seminary professors, which they immediately apply in their ministry context. We give thanks to our Lord for the students’ dedication to this work, along with the vital support of their families, congregations and local mentor pastors. All are used by the Lord to equip and call these men into the pastoral ministry!”

Concluding SMP students: From left, first row: SMP Director Dr. W. Mart Thompson, Richard Parron, Matthew Lee, David Santos, Adam Gray, Joel Hall, Joseph Eisenbacher, President Dr. Thomas J. Egger; second row: Dean of Ministerial Formation Dr. Timothy Saleska, John McCombs, Jeremy Ashley, David Rodgers, Gary Johnson, Corey Harman, Sean Tietze; third row: Director of Placement Dr. Glenn Nielsen, David Bangert, Leo Patrick Luke, Arthur Farrow, David Keddington and Daniel Giardino.

The SMP Program is a four-year program in which men receive theological education in the setting in which they will continue to serve — as pastors of congregations or in other ministries of the LCMS — following certification, call and ordination. Local pastor-mentors work with SMP students to provide day-to-day guidance, encouragement and prayer.

The students recognized for pastoral calls include:

  • Todd Bentz, Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hamburg, MN, LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Brady Betten, GraceHill Lutheran Church, Elkhorn, NE, LCMS Nebraska District
  • Joshua Britton, Trinity Lutheran Church, Utica, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • Steven Garrabrant, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Houston, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Joseph Haggas, River of Life Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE, LCMS Nebraska District
  • Jeremy Lamont, Grace Lutheran Church, Sandy, UT, LCMS Rocky Mountain District
  • Richard Lewis, St. John Lutheran Church-Marion Springs, Brant, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • John McCombs, call pending, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Riverside, CA, LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Daniel McMahan, Faith Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE, LCMS Nebraska District
  • Randall “Craig” Sanders, Zion Lutheran Church, Abilene, TX, LCMS Texas District

The students recognized for program completion include:

  • Jeremy Ashley, Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton Township, MI, LCMS Michigan District
  • David Bangert, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Rockwall, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Joseph Eisenbacher, Living Water Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE, LCMS Nebraska District
  • Arthur Farrow, St. James Lutheran Church, Windom and Trinity Lutheran Church, Commerce, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Daniel Giardino, The Life Lutheran Church, Old Westbury, NY, LCMS Atlantic District
  • Adam Gray, King of Glory Lutheran Church, Providence Forge, VA, LCMS Southeastern District
  • Joel Hall, Faith Lutheran Church, Mexia, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Corey Harman, Trinity Lutheran Church, Covington, MI, LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Gary Johnson, Zion Lutheran Church, Schulenburg, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • David Keddington, Anchorage Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK, LCMS Northwest District
  • Matthew Lee, Messiah Lutheran Church, Plano, TX, LCMS Texas District
  • Leo Patrick Luke, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Orlando, FL, LCMS Florida-Georgia District
  • John McCombs, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Riverside, CA, LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Richard Parron, Living Water Lutheran Church, Rosedale, MD, LCMS Southeastern District
  • David Rodgers, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bel Air, MD, LCMS Southeastern District
  • David Santos, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Middle Island, NY, LCMS Atlantic District
  • Sean Tietze, Christ Lutheran Church, Norfolk, VA, LCMS Southeastern District

The Seminary recognizes and celebrates calls throughout the year although the campus’ primary Call Day celebration typically is held in April. During call celebrations, students receive their first calls to ministry as well as assignments for vicarages and deaconess internships. The Seminary’s next primary Call Day is set for April 23, 2024.

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit csl.edu.