Deaconesses | Pastors | All those wanting to learn more about deaconesses
Fort Wayne, Indiana
May 15-16, 2013
Deadline for registration has been extended to May 10!
In August 2003, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Board for Higher Education approved the Deaconess Program at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS). In September 2003, under the directorship of Dr. Arthur A. Just Jr., the first class began their studies. This year, 2013, is therefore the tenth year of the program. To recognize and celebrate this milestone, CTS will offer a Deaconess Symposium May 15–16, 2013.
The Deaconess Program at CTS provides competent women with a rigorous theological education at the master’s level. The focus of the program is very much on the theology of mercy. This training equips women for professional service in the church in such areas as counseling, social ministry, visitation of the sick and dying, campus ministry and teaching the faith under the direction of the pastoral office.
Since its inception, 70 women have graduated from our program and been certified as eligible for commissioning as a deaconess in the LCMS. God-willing, in 2013 there will be another 12 graduates. Currently the seminary is working on placements for 19 graduates, many of whom will receive their calls at the Deaconess Placement service on May 16.
All praise and thanks to God who sends forth workers into His field!
“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Deaconesses in the Lutheran Church Today
The office of deaconess was established by the Church in love to support the Office of the Holy Ministry and to assist the faithful in their God-given vocations. Women prepare for this office by prayer and study. But what exactly is a deaconess, especially in a Lutheran context?
“The office of deaconess is not merely a task to be done or a set of functions to be performed; rather, the office of deaconess is an identity; it is personal. In other words, the office of deaconess consists in relations through which God’s own life is shared with humanity and humanity is incorporated into God’s own life.”
(The Rev. Dr. James G. Bushur, director of Deaconess Studies, CTS)
“All Christians are called to service, but deaconesses embody this life of diakonia as called laborers in Christ’s Church to demonstrate in their lives and actions the mercy and compassion of Christ.”
(The Rev. Dr. Just, first director of the CTS Deaconess Program)
In this symposium we will explore the diakonal identity and learn how this identity finds expression in the service of deaconesses in the LCMS today.