Bilingual Pastoral Formation for Latinos Offered at CTSFW
For Immediate Release
August 5, 2015
FORT WAYNE, IND. (CTSFW)—According to recent projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is estimated that by 2060 those who identify as Hispanic will be nearly 30% of the total U.S. population, numbering nearly 129 million people. In an effort to reach out and better serve that growing community, Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, Indiana, is joining in partnership with Concordia College, New York (CCNY), and the Atlantic, New Jersey and New England Districts of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) to offer Bilingual Pastoral Formation for Latinos (BPFL), a program leading to ordination into the Holy Ministry.
The typical student will be a Latino who has a high school diploma (or equivalent) and is bilingual. The students are selected by the districts that are participating in the program and must receive a recommendation from their parish pastor. Upon completion of the program, graduates will serve as pastors in the districts that supported them in the program. CTSFW, in partnership with Seminario Concordia in Buenos Aires, Argentina, developed a program for forming pastors in the Spanish-speaking world outside of the United States entitled Formación Pastoral para Hispanoamérica (Pastoral Formation for Hispanic-America). The BPFL curriculum is based on this curriculum, along with English lectures and readings. It is a four year program of four, eight week courses per year. Courses are taught by distance learning with cohorts and mentor pastors within the districts. The first course of studies will begin August 24, 2015.
"When I was called to the Seminary as a professor in 1984 to teach homiletics, one of my responsibilities was to serve in the very vibrant Hispanic Program at CTSFW. Back then the need for Spanish-speaking pastoral formation was great and now, 30 years later, it is even greater,” commented the Rev. Dr. Arthur A. Just Jr., CTSFW director of BPFL. “Through our work in developing curriculum in cooperation with Seminario Concordia, as well as my work as the LCMS liaison to Spain, we have been moving forward to form Latino pastors who are bilingual in the United States.”
The Rev. Don C. Wiley will serve as assistant director for BPFL. His experience as a missionary to the Republic of Panama, where he learned to speak Spanish fluently and was involved in church planting, pastoral formation and leadership development, will prove invaluable. He has also been serving as mentor for the men from Panama who are currently participating in Formación Pastoral para Hispanoamérica. “CTSFW is excited and blessed to be working with CCNY and the Atlantic, New Jersey and New England Districts to form bilingual Latino servants of Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost and care for all,” said Wiley. “We encourage Latino LCMS members who are interested in this program to contact CTSFW, their pastor or district for more information. Que Dios te bendiga!”
Those desiring more information on the program can go to www.ctsfw.edu/academics/BilingualPastoralFormationforLatinos or connect with Wiley at Don.Wiley@ctsfw.edu or 260-452-3203.
Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, Indiana, exists to form servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost and care for all. Founded in 1846, CTSFW is a seminary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Learn more about CTSFW at www.ctsfw.edu and the LCMS at www.lcms.org.