HOUSTON—Delegates to the 64th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod here voted July 15 to “increase the impact” of the church body’s vicarage, or yearlong internship, program for seminarians.
Resolution 5-04, presented by the Floor Committee on Seminary and University Education, was adopted overwhelmingly by delegates. Among its “resolveds,” the resolution asks the two LCMS seminaries to “work collaboratively” with the Synod’s Council of Presidents to “identify the most suitable locations and pastoral supervisors for vicars,” asks the presidents of districts with congregations identified for vicarages to “ascertain the [congregation's] willingness and the financial capacity to support a vicar,” and asks the LCMS Board for Pastoral Education to report to the next national LCMS convention its plan “for a synodwide funding model to make such vicarages possible.”
The phrase “and pastoral supervisors” was suggested by a delegate, and accepted by the floor committee as a “friendly amendment.”
Also approved by delegates were the following bylaws changes:
- Resolution 5-06A, which makes boards of regents responsible for leading the election process for college and university presidents. The current process “is dominated by a search committee structure that is predominantly faculty members,” according to the resolution, and does not give boards of regents “an appropriate level of leadership.”
- Resolution 5-09B, which concerns the qualifications of those elected or appointed to a college or university board of regents. Such candidates should possess several of the following: “be knowledgeable regarding the region in which the institution is located; possess an advanced academic degree; have experience in higher education administration, administration of complex organizations, finance, law, investments, technology, human resources, facilities management, or fund development. Demonstrated familiarity and support of the institution is a desirable quality of the candidate.” The resolution is intended to attract candidates with specialized qualifications that would benefit boards of regents as they govern higher-education programs and institutions.
- Resolution 5-10, which concerns faculty promotions, changes two requirements regarding advancement to “continuing status”: names of candidates need not be published in an official periodical (because it “serves no useful role in the process” and “delays the process unnecessarily”), and gives the board of regents the responsibility for promoting the candidate, instead of “electors of the institution” (currently, boards of regents are assigned this task, since the term “electors” is “undefined and vague” and “no one knows who those electors are”).
Resolution 5-08, concerning colloquy for commissioned ministers, was withdrawn by the floor committee after a delegate said the bylaw already had been changed by a resolution presented by the Floor Committee on Structure and Governance.
The convention is meeting July 10-17 under the theme “ONE People—Forgiven.” Among the approximately 3,000 participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.
Posted July 16, 2010