The very first thing the people and pastors who formed The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod did was to establish a seminary to ensure that the preaching of the Gospel and distribution of the Sacraments would continue. It should be no surprise that our missionaries follow the same pattern.
Many years ago, the LCMS began to plant seeds that have provided a strong foundation and example for a worthwhile mission in global seminary education. We started more than a century ago (1895) in India and then Brazil and Argentina, and then the LCMS spent the next several decades sharing the Gospel and training leaders in half a dozen more countries.
Lutheran theology doesn’t allow human needs to be separated. Through the Holy Spirit’s work by means of faithful pastors, teachers and medical personnel, congregations spring up, people encounter the Word and Christians begin to gather as congregations around both Word and Sacrament. At that point, they are considered sustainable. They desire to see the faith continue from generation to generation, and the next step is to train their own leaders and pastors.
Global Seminary Initiative (GSI) helps to fill the need for trained pastors and leaders who are native to the region and cultures in which they serve. Professors from both seminaries of the LCMS are sent to help train and increase the capacity of partner church faculties, providing mutual consolation and encouragement to faculty and students in partner seminaries. Our seminary professors have taught in places like Siberia and South Africa, India, Argentina, Kenya, Lithuania, Chile and many other countries.
GSI has several components. First, it provides scholarships for students from emerging and partner church bodies to attend Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis or Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne for an advanced degree, usually a master’s in Sacred Theology or doctorate degree. Second, it supports both LCMS seminaries by providing financial support for the school’s operation. Third, GSI provides funds to send LCMS professors and qualified pastors to teach at regional seminaries around the world, hold continuing education classes or pastor’s conferences. This threefold approach allows for GSI to provide the maximum benefit and flexibility to serve the church at-large.
Theological education is one of six mission priorities of the LCMS. GSI is a big part of executing that mission priority as we send our professors to help build up church bodies and seminary training programs, serving as a bridge until our partner churches have strong faculties of their own. Globally, we intend to enhance the caliber of Lutheran seminaries to make them sustainable for years to come.
To learn more about the Global Seminary Initiative, call 888-930-4438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How To Help
To make a donation by mail simply indicate the gift designation
on your check and send to:
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
To make a credit card gift over the phone, you can call LCMS toll-free gift line between 8 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. CST at: 888-930-4438