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The twelve-month vicarage provides students with the practical experience of
working with people in a congregational setting under the direction of a
Students are required by The Lutheran
Church—Missouri Synod to participate in a twelve-month, full-time vicarage,
ordinarily completed during the third year of their theological education.
Students are required to make application for a vicarage assignment through the
Vicarage Office no later than three weeks into the quarter in which they expect
to have accumulated 70 hours of academic credit. For most students, this means
that application must be made during the first three weeks of the Seminary II
year. Students are expected to monitor their own progress; late applicants may
be assessed an additional late fee. It is mandatory that students leave for
their vicarage assignment between the time they have earned 89 and 104 hours of
credit. This will assure that they have a minimum of 30 hours of credit to
complete during their Seminary IV year.
In extenuating circumstances, an
extension of hours may be granted by making formal application to the Committee
on Certification and Placement through the Vicarage Office; students still,
however, must complete a minimum of two quarters of academic study on campus
after returning from vicarage.
Requirements for Assignment
Successful completion of all academic requirements on the Pre-seminary,
Seminary I and Seminary II levels is ordinarily considered a prerequisite for
vicarage. Specifically, students must complete 89 hours of seminary work,
including Lutheran Worship I, Lutheran Worship II, Homiletics I, Homiletics II,
Catechetics, Pastoral Theology I, the Isagogical proficiency exams and all Field
Education requirements. They must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPAof 2.00.
Eligibility for vicarage assignment is determined by the Committee on
Certification and Placement through the Registrar’s Office.
must ordinarily have a valid driver’s license and a suitable motor vehicle
before beginning his vicarage assignment.
All library books and materials
must be returned and any outstanding fees or library fines must be paid before
students are ready for vicarage.
Wives of vicars are to be members of The
Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Upon endorsement of the faculty, students are
assigned a vicarage by the Council of Presidents of The Lutheran Church—Missouri
Modifications to the Vicarage Program
A modification to the regular vicarage program may be granted under certain
conditions. Such exceptions shall be made on an individual basis with written
application submitted to the Vicarage Office after one year of residence upon
the attainment of Seminary II status and no later than six weeks after the
beginning of the quarter in which he becomes eligible for consideration. Such
written application must be supported by the student’s fieldwork pastor and
approved by the Committee on Certification and Placement.
consideration and final judgment for any modification shall be made according to
the following criteria:
Scholastic Performance: Students will have
demonstrated an academic achievement of 2.75 or better in their first academic
year of residence.
Personal Suitability: Students will have shown an
excellent rating in the personal qualifications for a functional ministry
(responsible, resourceful, person-centered, service-centered, emotionally
stable, secure, etc.). In applying, students will submit one or more ratings by
a qualified supervisor according to the normal guidelines for evaluation of
vicars. Pastoral Skills: Students will have demonstrated excellent performance
both in quantity and quality in basic ministerial skills, preaching, pastoral
evangelism, care and counseling, administration and leadership, and group work.
In applying, students will submit one or more ratings by a qualified supervisor
according to the normal guidelines for evaluation of vicars.
Atmosphere: A recent convert to Lutheranism of less than four years prior to
seminary admission will not be eligible for this modified
Exceptions can also be extended to the following two categories
- Students belonging to a specific ethnic group for which the third year
vicarage poses a cultural barrier to effective proclamation of the Gospel among
the members of that special group. Designating such groups is the joint
responsibility of the seminary and the appropriate board(s) of the Synod.
- Students who transfer from the Alternate Route program to the M.Div.
program. In every case, however, a major deficiency in the area of personal
suitability or a low level of professional competence or a lack of experience in
more than one area of basic pastoral skills shall require a regular
If the seminary decides to grant a vicarage modification to a
student, the major alternative for meeting the vicarage requirement will be the
delayed vicarage which places the vicarage program as the final year of seminary
training. No summer vicarage nor program concurrent to an academic year of
training will serve as an alternate program for a modified vicarage.