Pastoral Education

Welcome to an overview of pre-seminary, seminary and continuing pastoral education in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

God blesses His church with pastors as gifts (Eph. 4:10-12), and their work is intimately associated with the salvation of souls (AC V).

  • Pre-Seminary Education
  • The shaping of a future pastor spiritually, emotionally and intellectually begins long before seminary enrollment. From the moment God first intervenes in a person’s life to create life-saving faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, the spiritual formation process begins.

    For those baptized as infants in the name of the Triune God, this process begins at the baptismal font and continues through active involvement in the Body of Christ, His church, where His gifts are received.

    It is important the church be involved in identifying, informing and encouraging appropriate candidates for the pastoral ministry. Some may express the desire to serve in the pastoral ministry (1 Tim. 3:1). Others may not express the desire, but have been contemplating the possibility.

    Pastors, family members and others in the Body of Christ are critical in this process of identifying, informing and encouraging. In addition, the admission offices of the seminaries can be extremely helpful in providing specific information and answers to questions.

    Since seminary study is graduate-level in nature, an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university is ordinarily required for admission to the residential programs of study. The Concordia University System schools of the LCMS offer pre-seminary programs designed specifically to prepare students for seminary enrollment at the two LCMS seminaries.

    Discover pre-seminary topics


  • Seminary Education
  • God has also blessed the LCMS with two excellent seminaries in St. Louis and Fort Wayne. Through a combination of residential and distance education programs, they form pastors and deaconesses for service in the LCMS.

    Discover seminary topics


  • Continuing Education
  • Through advanced studies programs, the two LCMS seminaries also provide continuing education and formation for theological scholars who serve in the LCMS and in the church worldwide. Other efforts, not directly related to the seminaries, have also proven very helpful in providing post-seminary continuing education and formation for pastors.

    Follow the links below to view continuing education events:

    Discover post-seminary topics

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