The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Monday, January 19, 2015
Someone has been asking me about which Lutheran seminary to attend. The synods project a mirage glimmering on the horizon. Surely with their approval, the candidate who does all his work will have a call and serve in the Kingdom!
Just the opposite is true. The synod school will grab all the money and force someone out, leaving him with a mountain of student debt and a useless degree. "But," some object, "What if I graduate and get a call?" That is no better. The DPs are eager to wipe out new pastors to make room for the next herd to be slaughtered.
WELS and the Little Sect are known for this, but so is the LCMS. Just remember - an MDiv from a synod school is a worthless degree, although one at the same price from a divinity school could be valuable. Yale Divinity School graduates are known for not serving congregations after graduation, but doing many other things instead - graduate school in Asian literature, social work, business school, doctoral degrees in theology.
Any Lutheran MDiv is equal to the rest, so a cheaper degree from a Pietistic school or Canadian one is a better deal than St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, the Sausage Factory, or the Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie. Whether someone serves a parish is a gamble, no matter what. The origin of the degree seems immaterial, since the synodicals have no qualms about brutalizing their own graduates, pastors, and teachers.
Let the buyer beware, or as Jesus said, "Count the cost first."
Someone has asked me about the ELDONA seminary start-up, St. Ignatius. The total cost is very low, and the pastors in that group are the most intellectual of the Lutheran entities I know.
ELDONA is the only organized Lutheran group to teach justification by faith and reject Universal Objective Justification (aka Universalism).
Book about St. Ignatius.
A Blessed St. Ignatius Day from St. Ignatius Lutheran Theological Seminary!
The world continues to ask the devil’s question, “Has God indeed said…?” By the power of God’s Holy Spirit the Church continues to answer the world with boldness and clarity as it faithfully believes, teaches, and confesses all that Christ Jesus has taught in the Holy Scriptures. St. Ignatius Lutheran Theological Seminary is established for the very purpose of this holy work. The Church must continue to train men in the Word so they may faithfully give the divine gifts of the Gospel and the Sacraments to all nations, for all generations to come until Christ comes again in glory.
The Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America (ELDoNA) is currently accepting applications for enrollment for St. Ignatius Seminary Here candidates for the pastorate will be trained to hold fast to all that Christ has taught the Church. They will be taught to rely on the Word of God, to apply the faithful teachings of the Lutheran Confessions, and to observe the historical practices of the one holy, Christian and apostolic Church that proclaim God’s truth. They will be equipped so that they may be worthy candidates for Christ’s Holy Office of the Ministry, rather than being timid hirelings or those who are conformed to the world.
St. Ignatius Seminary is named for Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who is remembered for his faithful contributions to teaching doctrine and practice in the Church. The example of this bishop and martyr is a valuable asset to the Church as he exemplified both wisdom and humility in Jesus Christ. (Please note, St. Ignatius is not to be confused with Ignatius of Loyola, who was canonized by the Roman church for waging war against the teachings of the Reformation.)
As the Augsburg Confession states, it is taught among us that we receive forgiveness and “become righteous before God by grace, for Christ's sake, through faith,” (AC IV) and that God has instituted His Holy Office through which He provides the preaching of the Gospel and the administering of the Sacraments, the gifts by which His Holy Spirit produces such faith. (AC V) St. Ignatius Seminary is founded on these teachings as it trains men for this office.
For more information on St. Ignatius Lutheran Theological Seminary, please visit http://saintignatiusseminary.com Enrollment applications for the 2014/2015 school year are now being accepted. Contribution information is also available for those who would like to financially support this work, which endeavors to ensure the faithful preaching of life in Christ crucified to all who will hear.
GJ - If the idea is studying theology with believers who appreciate the scope of Christian theology, then St. Ignatius is a good idea and far less expensive than the Thrivent salesman farms. One also has to calculate lost income, which I why I went through college and seminary in six years, earning a new degree when my peers at seminary were still finishing (partying).
In this age of technology, there is nothing keeping a faithful man from serving a group and building a congregation. The mighty Episcopal Church has 50% of its priests in part-time calls, and they have a (failing) seminary with a $66 million endowment. Clearly, money and tradition are not the answers. I can only guess what their other failing seminaries have in the bank.
A Lutheran pastor can gather a congregation with blogging, Ustream broadcasting, visiting, etc. God will provide. The destruction of traditional Lutheran worship will certainly make a segment of the population eager to participate in Means of Grace liturgical services, which are now rarer than an honest DP.
1. Meeting with those who have direct experience with a given educational choice.
2. Looking at and preparing for alternative sources of income, not unlike Paul, who made tents to avoid burdening tiny congregations.
3. Comparing costs.
God will provide for faithful servants, and Satan will provide for the rest, so this is a win/win situation.