Second Cohort of SMP Students
Complete Courses at CTS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTS)— Tuesday, November 5, 2013, marked the completion of course work for the second cohort of Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. The SMP Program is a distance-education program designed to meet the need to train pastors in context for ministry and mission opportunities in the church.

“We at Concordia Theological Seminary are extremely proud of this second cohort of men to complete the Specific Ministry Pastors Program! While we believe there’s no substitute for the immersion into God’s Word that comes with three years of worship, dialogue and study on the seminary campus, we also believe these men have received truly excellent preparation to serve the church. In fact, they’re already demonstrating this with faithful service in settings as diverse as Turtle Lake, Wisconsin; suburban Chicago; Spokane, Washington; and Athens, Georgia,” commented the Rev. Dr. Carl Fickenscher, CTS director of the SMP Program. “We’re also extremely pleased that one of this year’s SMP finishers, Joshua Lee, has become the first to enter our Master of Divinity Program to complete the advanced degree. We look forward to many more of our SMP students going on to General Ministry Pastor status through the M.Div. and Alternate Route options we offer. We thank God that He continues to raise up men who proclaim Christ crucified!”

Members of the Beta Cohort who have completed their studies are:

  • Albrecht, Brian A., St. John’s Lutheran Church, Spokane, Washington, Northwest District
  • Becker, Gregory H., Zion & Immanuel Lutheran Churches, Turtle Lake & Clayton, Wisconsin, North Wisconsin District
  • Christensen, Mark F., First Lutheran Church, Missoula, Montana, Montana District
  • Ciprys, Frank C., St. Paul Lutheran Church, Rockford, Illinois, Northern Illinois District
  • Franzen, Dennis J., Trinity Lutheran Church, Lisle, Illinois, Northern Illinois District
  • Lee, Joshua T., Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, South Wisconsin District
  • Mayo, Sr., Brian P., Salem Lutheran Church, Homewood, Illinois, Northern Illinois District
  • Plain, Robert D., Mt. Calvary Ev. Lutheran Church, Cleveland, Ohio, Ohio District
  • Reinking, Aaron M., Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens, Georgia, Florida-Georgia District

More information about the SMP Program at CTS can be found at or by contacting the CTS Office of Admission at or 800-481-2155.