Monday, August 17, 2015

Special Announcement from President Denninger

My Dear Brothers,
God's grace and peace be yours in Christ Jesus!
A door of significant opportunity has just opened - the purpose of this letter is to give you enough information so you can invite the right men and women to walk through the doorway.
At our recent Southeastern District Convention, delegates passed Resolution TP-05-15-01A To Recommend Standardized Training of Licensed Lay Deacons. That resolution calls for the SED to "study and recommend a process to strengthen the training of licensed lay deacons, and to establish education and training for those providing pastoral care to neighborhood ministries." This standardized training (Concordia Lay Deacon Program) has long been offered through Concordia College - New York (Bronxville) and is now ready to be offered to laity from the SED.
Each of the ten courses in this program is offered online to those students accepted into the program. They each need the approval of their pastor, congregation, and the SED Board of Directors. Each course costs $200, for a total of $2000. Partial scholarships will be available through the SED.
The first class begins on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - so we need to move rapidly to get applicants accepted in the Lay Deacon Program. The list of classes and a description of the program can be found on our website.
Those completing the ten courses and an internship will receive a Concordia Lay Deacon certificate from the university, will work under the supervision of the pastor with the support and affirmation of their respective congregation. It is important to note: these individuals are not rostered workers of the LCMS.
Why is this so important? There are two significant reasons:
  • As we move forward in an effort to expand the mission to the people living in 3,878 zip codes across the SED, the fact is that we will need mission-hearted, theologically-formed lay people and congregations to support the effort. We need to have as many people with theological training as possible.  
  • We have congregations right now who cannot afford a pastor. This Deacon Program opens the door for these congregations to raise up people from their midst to receive theological training and help ensure that these congregations will continue to receive Word and Sacrament ministry.
Our main goal is to get the information to you so you can ask gifted laity to pray about this possibility. We are finalizing the application process for acceptance to the program but at this time we are accepting names of participants who could start the academic portion in September.
To submit a name for the September class please refer the applicant to our website at  to complete Part I. (This form allows participants to sign up for the first class.) 
Please join me on Wednesday, August 19 at noon or at 7 pm for an informational webcast at
I believe the Lord is providing this opportunity to us at this time as a way of honoring your decision to be an LCMS District engaged in His mission. This is an Acts 6 moment - where the church identified people "full of the Spirit and wisdom." The Word of the Lord grew through the martyrdom of Stephen and the amazing work of Philip. May it be so among us.
In the royal service of the King,
John R Denninger, President  
Southeastern District, LCMS
Southeastern District, LCMS   
6315 Grovedale Drive
Alexandria VA 22310


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The comment by Steve Finnell has been deleted because it did not relate to this post. It was basically his views about "water" baptism. He then advertised his blog. Like I said, nothing to do with this post. If you want to know about baptism, by the way, I suggest Luther's Small Catechism.