ST. LOUIS – Delegates to the 62nd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod adopted a resolution July 12 encouraging the Synod’s colleges, universities and seminaries to include educational study relating to mission and leadership development.
Delegates also adopted two other resolutions – without debate – aimed at increasing the number of Synod-certified teachers and providing teacher education online.
Resolution 5-01, addressing mission and leadership development education, was adopted 710-491 after a brief debate. It encourages higher-education institutions to include mission-focused courses and programs on topics such as evangelism, parish outreach strategies, contemporary U.S. culture, and urban ministry and cross-cultural ministries. It also encourages “missional leadership development,” such as developing congregational leaders, team ministry and practicums in teamwork.
The Synod asked for higher-education faculties to invite mission executives to “participate in a colloquium at least once every three years to … discuss the needs of professional church workers and other students.” The resolution also asked for a progress report to the 2007 LCMS Convention.
In debate before the vote, Rev. David M. Juhl of Iuka, Ill., said his seminary professors gave him an “eye-opening” mission education, and the resolution was not necessary.
Steve M. Cohen, Fenton, Mo., urged delegates to adopt the resolution unanimously. Congregations are not effective in “personal evangelism,” and seminaries are the only places at which this type of education could be offered. “We are not doing the job of reaching out,” Cohen argued.
Teacher education resolutions adopted
Delegates adopted Resolution 5-03A, 1,035-168, encouraging congregations to require non-Synod-certified grade-school teachers who are members of LCMS congregations and have completed a bachelor’s degree, to finish the Synod’s Teacher Colloquy Program even if the teacher chooses not to be listed on the Synod roster.
In a related resolution, the floor committee on higher education introduced Resolution 5-24, addressing education of teachers not eligible for teacher colloquy. The committee noted that many congregations “engage teachers virtually untrained in Lutheran theology for their school classrooms,” and said that for congregations “intent upon offering a Lutheran education … the matter is highly significant.”
By vote of 1,031-160, the convention adopted the resolution, which calls for non-Missouri Synod teachers to participate in a short series of professional-development seminars. The seminars are to be “prepared by the Board for University Education in consultation with district education executives for delivery online.” The seminars would concentrate on doctrine and practices of the LCMS.
Posted July 12, 2004