Feb 21, 2024 Print This Article

Navigating the path to Seminary

The journey to Concordia Seminary to become a pastor or deaconess can seem daunting. You might first spend time considering whether or not pastoral and diaconal service is something God is encouraging you to consider. Then you might spend time with your pastor discussing whether or not God has gifted you with talents and abilities that would aid you in this kind of service. If you have a family you might wonder about the impact it will have on them if you decide to give up your current lifestyle and move across the country for further study and future service to the church and world.

Today I want to assume that you have already considered those things and, after wrestling with them, have come out on the other side where now you are curious about how you get in contact with the Seminary and what the steps would look like to apply and be accepted. Once you get past the daunting thoughts and conversations I mentioned before, the process of contacting Concordia Seminary and then applying can seem daunting as well.

Before I share the steps along the journey, I want to assure you that you do not need to be 100% confident in your desire to come to Concordia Seminary before you can reach out to talk with us. Our director of recruitment is a pastor, our admissions officers are two pastors and a deaconess in training. We love to talk with people at any point in their journey to a decision. We talk to people who just started thinking about this within the last few weeks and need help processing all of the thoughts, to those who are ready and committed to coming and many spots in between. We love to have caring conversations where we listen to your story and help provide biblical and practical advice on your path forward in service to God and His people.

Your first step is to fill out the short request for information form on our website. This gets you into our system and will connect you with the admissions officer for your program. You’ll typically hear back within 48 hours with a welcome and offer to schedule a time for a phone call or Zoom call. During this call we’ll learn more about your life, experiences and desire to become a pastor or deaconess and we’ll answer any questions that you have.

Your next step is to come and visit campus. We love having our prospective pastoral and diaconal students come to visit campus. We find that the campus visit is very helpful for prospective students and their families as they are discerning the path of service that God has laid before them. Getting to see our beautiful campus, visit with our faculty and students, and worship with us in our chapel can help provide some peace and clarity to the decision-making process. The visit day includes attending chapel, discussions about financial aid and housing, a campus tour and lunch with a professor. We’ll also meet about the program and the application process.

While you’re waiting for your visit date, you also can start working on your application. Our application period runs from March 1 through Feb. 28 of each year. We have an early application deadline of Oct. 31 where we waive your application fee and you’re eligible for additional scholarships. There are a variety of documents and letters of recommendation that are required depending on the program you are applying for. It usually takes a few months to have everything completed and submitted because you’re waiting for your pastor and district to complete their recommendations.

Our admissions officers and office staff are here to help you every step along the way and to provide updates on where you are in the process. We’re regularly praying for you and encourage you to send us prayer requests that you have so that we can pray for specific things that are happening in your life.

Each month our Admissions Committee meets to review the application files that were completed that month and to make decisions regarding admission. After decisions have been made, they are communicated to you.

We’d love to talk with you no matter where you are in your discernment process and we’d also love to welcome you to campus for a visit so that you can get a better sense for what life is like at Concordia Seminary. Fill out our request for information today and get the process started.

Rev. Tom Schlund is an admissions officer at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.