Workshops offer training for deaf ministry

The Deaf Institute of Theology (DIT) at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is sponsoring two first-time workshops that are designed to teach both deaf and hearing people how to reach out to deaf people with the Gospel.

The workshops, called “Deaf LITES” (Deaf Lutherans In Training, Equipping, and Serving), will be held May 29-June 2 at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and July 9-13 at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon.

The intensive program will offer:

  • training in religious sign language — beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

  • resources for teaching and training deaf people.

  • ideas for reaching out to deaf people in your community.

  • practical, “hands-on” experience working among deaf people.

“We have deaf people living in all areas where we have churches, and we need to equip our Lutheran people — both deaf and hearing — in how to reach out deaf - Reinketo the deaf people in their areas,” said Rev. John Reinke, DIT director and a workshop presenter.  Reinke also directs the Deaf Lutheran Mission Society and is a missionary at-large to the deaf for the Synod’s South Wisconsin District.

Among those who already have registered for the workshops, according to Reinke, are a deaf woman who wants to begin a deaf ministry in her area, and a pastor who wants to learn how he can guide a sixth-grade deaf member through the confirmation process. 

Reinke said the workshops will offer “a way to get connected” for those who have wanted to get involved in deaf ministry but don’t know how.

When workshop participants return home, he added, “They will have a lot of hands-on tools they can use to start — or continue building — a deaf ministry where they live.”

Tuition and materials for each Deaf LITES workshop is $300, and meals and lodging are available for an additional $100 and $175, respectively.  Deadlines are May 1 for the St. Louis workshop, and June 15 for the Mequon event.  CEU credits also are available at extra cost.

For more information, or to support a student for Deaf LITES training, contact Reinke at (608) 436-9600 or via e-mail at  Registration forms are available on the Web at at the bottom of the page.

Posted March 26, 2007

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