A congregation with a pastoral vacancy that can be effectively served by a Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP).
A congregation that desires an additional staff pastor who speaks Spanish.
A mission start among Spanish-speaking people.
Another specialized ministry (e.g., institutional chaplain, campus pastor, special cultural and/or linguistic needs).
A SMP context is not to be one for which a pastor trained residentially at one of our seminaries can be provided or one where a commissioned minister would be suitable (Resolution 5-04-B).
A SMP student meets the scriptural qualifications for pastoral ministry (see Admission Criteria document) and is identified by the specific ministry site and/or the circuit and/or the district in which the site is located.
A SMP student in the CTSFW SMP–EsE Program must show competency in both English and Spanish. Exams in both languages may be administered if there is some question about the applicant’s competency in either language. If there is a need to administer these language exams, they must be passed successfully before admittance into the program.
The applicant completes an application to the SMP–Español/English Program and submits it to his district office.
The applicant should arrange to have official transcripts sent to the Admission Office at CTSFW by the registrar of the institution(s) they have attended.
The district examines the application and the applicant in order to determine whether the individual and the ministry qualify to be nominated for the SMP–Español/English Program. This examination shall include:
An interview by the District Interview Committee.
An examination of the individual’s credentials to assure that he can be placed as a vicar in the district.
Has he demonstrated, or will he demonstrate, competence in the seven prerequisite areas?
Does he have the spiritual and personal qualities to serve as a pastor in the specific ministry for which he is being nominated?
Has he met, or will he meet, any additional requirements related to this specific ministry (e.g., church planters assessment tool)?
A review of the application to assure that everything is in order.
An agreement and plan to cover the cost of the SMP–EsE Program.
The district office sends the completed application package, along with the district president’s letter of nomination, to the Seminary. Included in this package will be:
Letter(s) of recommendation from the congregation/ministry site where the applicant will be serving.
Letter(s) of recommendation from the applicant’s current pastor.
Record of progress and plan to meet admission competencies (e.g., language exams in English and Spanish).
A Partnership Covenant signed by the applicant, the sponsoring congregation or ministry site, the pastor-supervisor and the district, agreeing to complete the course work and seminars following examination and ordination.
$100 non-refundable application fee payable to the Seminary.
The district president’s letter of nomination, which will clearly identify:
place of service;
the specific type of ministry; and
the pastor who will serve as the pastor-supervisor for the applicant.
Applicants are required to undergo a criminal background check prior to admission using Protect My Ministry, an agency contracted by the LCMS. The Admission Department will submit this on the applicant’s behalf, but the applicant is responsible for the fee. Applicant will be required to sign a waiver release.
The congregation or ministry site completes a Vicarage Application and submits it to the district president for processing and assignment through the Office of the Executive Director of Pastoral Education, the Seminary and the Council of Presidents.
The Seminary acts on the application and notifies the applicant and the district of its admission decision. Once accepted into the SMP Español/English Program, the student will be assigned officially to his vicarage by the Council of Presidents.