Colloquy for Church Workers

Commissioned Ministry in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod



What is colloquy?

Commissioned ministry colloquy programs prepare men and women who are currently serving in ministry roles for membership in the Synod. (Bylaw 3.10.3)

Colloquy programs ensure that those who seek to join the Synod have been educated in theology, have become oriented to service to the Synod and have demonstrated the spiritual and professional attributes that the Synod expects of its members. (Bylaw 3.10.3.a)

Qualified applicants are those who are competent workers in the field for which they seek colloquy. (Bylaw 3.10.3.b)

The word “colloquy,” from the Latin “colloquium,” means “a conversation.” As used in the LCMS, the word in its narrow sense refers specifically to the theological examination which is the culmination of the colloquy process and which also touches on the applicant’s background, history, etc. in order to determine his or her fitness for ministry and whether or not to certify him or her to receive a call and initial placement into the commissioned ministry of the LCMS. In its wider sense, the term colloquy refers to the entire colloquy process, delineated in the policy manual, by which a person may be called and rostered as a Minister of Religion—Commissioned in the LCMS. 

While teachers comprise the vast majority of commissioned colloquies in the LCMS, other categories of commissioned ministry for which a person may apply for colloquy include directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach, directors of family life ministry, directors of parish music, deaconesses, parish assistants and directors of church ministries (LCMS Bylaw


Policy Manual

The Synod’s Policy Manual for commissioned colloquy outlines the current policies and procedures.

This version includes the new policy for "A Graduate of a Disaffirmed" or "Discontinued Program" (adopted 1/10/24).

Read and download the policy manual





General Overview of the Colloquy Process

Several LCMS agencies partner together in the commissioned colloquy process.

  • The Colloquy Committee for Commissioned Ministry (Bylaw
    • Directs the Synod’s activity in matters of colloquy for commissioned ministers;
    • Oversees the prerequisites for colloquy application; and
    • Oversees required courses of study.
  • The appropriate LCMS district endorses a colloquy candidate to help ensure that those who seek to join the Synod have demonstrated the spiritual and professional attributes that the Synod expects of its members. (Bylaw 3.10.3)
  • The college or university of the Concordia University System (CUS), chosen by the colloquy candidate,
    • Examines the candidate at the end of the colloquy process through a faculty examining committee;
    • Conducts a vote from among its LCMS faculty to certify the candidate for call and placement into a school, congregation or agency of the LCMS;
    • May provide the required core colloquy classes in an in-person setting; and
    • May require additional program-specific coursework.





The Concordia University Education Network (CUEnet)

Though the colloquy process involves more than education (Bylaw 3.10.3.a), college level coursework is a significant part of the colloquy process. In the LCMS, the responsibility for providing for the education of commissioned ministers has been given to the colleges and universities of the CUS (Bylaw, who together have created the CUEnet to deliver colloquy coursework in an online format.

Colloquy coursework consists of six core classes plus a varying number of program-specific classes for each category of commissioned ministry. The six core classes are:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • History of Theology
  • Lutheran Confessions
  • Christian Doctrine
  • Varieties of Beliefs

In the case of teacher colloquy, the program-specific classes are:

  • Lutheran Teacher I
  • Lutheran Teacher II

CUEnet offers all eight of these classes in an online format.

At present, any CUS college or university may offer colloquy classes in-person, but the schools have agreed (and colloquy policy stipulates) that only CUEnet shall offer the eight classes mentioned above in an online format.

Regardless of whether the classes are offered through CUEnet or one of the CUS colleges and universities, the required courses of study for colloquy are overseen by the LCMS Colloquy Committee for Commissioned Ministry, as are the academic and theological standards for each of the colloquy programs (Bylaws 3.10.3a & b).

Please contact CUEnet for current tuition and scholarship information.

61990 Janalee Place
Bend, OR 97701





How to Apply

  • Those interested in teacher colloquy
    • May contact CUEnet or the CUS college or university of his or her choice.
    • Should also let their interest be known to the district office of the LCMS district in which they hold communicant membership in an LCMS congregation.
  • Those interested in a non-teacher colloquy
    • May contact one of the CUS colleges or universities that offers the desired colloquy program. (See the chart below.)
    • Should let their interest be known to the district office of the LCMS district in which they hold communicant membership in an LCMS congregation.
Locations Colloquy Programs

Concordia University, Ann Arbor
4090 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

  • Teacher
  • Director of Family Life
  • Director of Parish Music

Concordia University Chicago
7400 Augusta St., River Forest IL 60305

  • Teacher
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Director of Parish Music
  • Deaconess

Concordia University, Irvine
1530 Concordia, Irvine CA 92612

  • Teacher
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Director of Parish Music

Concordia University, Nebraska
800 N Columbia Ave., Seward NE 68434
William Schranz, Colloquy Director
Phone: 402-643-7209

  • Teacher
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Director of Parish Music

Concordia University, St. Paul
1282 Concordia Ave., St Paul MN 55104
Kristi Bauer, Placement Coordinator
Phone: 651-641-8792

  • Teacher
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Director of Christian Outreach
  • Director of Parish Music

Concordia University Wisconsin
12800 N Lakeshore Dr., Mequon WI 53097

  • Teacher
  • Director of Church Ministries
  • Director of Parish Music



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