Friday, April 29, 2011

CLS at the Central District Theological Lay School

While the primary activity of the seminary is the formation of future pastors for LCC, the faculty of CLS frequently engages in broader "extension" activity for the purpose of supporting the work of the members of synod. Between final exams and Sacred Convocation, Dr. Zeuch and Dr. Kettner will travel to two different churches in the Central District to serve as instructors in the Central District Theological Lay School.
Dr. Zeuch shares two days of the weeklong program at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His module, one of three, is "Ethics for Daily Life".
Dr. Kettner teaches a three day "Catechism for Daily Life" module as part of the weeklong course at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Other instructors include Rev. Mark Dressler (CLS '01), Rev. Garry Heintz (CLS '02), and Rev. Cam Schnarr (CLTS '10).
The goal of the Central District theological Lay School (formerly known as the Lay Leadership School, and the Lay Enrichment School) is to spiritually enrich believers in Christ through in-depth study of the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions, and the practice of the Lutheran Church. A week of courses is made up of three evening and weekend modules; participants can choose to participate in one, two, or all of the modules. The Thunder Bay course runs from May 9th to 15th, the Winnipeg course runs from May 11th to 17th.
Detailed schedules and registration information can be found on the LCC Central District website.

Friday, April 22, 2011

2nd Annual Pastoral Gathering

One year ago today, CLS held an inaugural pastoral gathering. Invitations went out to pastors who lived within several hours' drive from the seminary, even as far as British Columbia and Saskatchewan. In April of 2010, twenty-two pastors attended, eager for conversation with their brothers on topics of unique interest. The goal of this gathering was not to be polemical, but to dialogue within a safe, fraternal environment. The gathering discussed uniformity in pastoral practice, pastoral education standards, and the church as leaven in the world, among other interesting topics. The feedback from these LCC pastors was unanimous, they said, “Please provide this opportunity again!”.

The faculty of CLS also felt that the event should be continued, and are hosting the 2nd Annual CLS Pastoral Gathering on Tuesday, May 17 at 2:00pm. Once again, pastors of LCC are invited to gather with CLS faculty to discuss topics of common interest. It is to be a safe place of sharing and mutual edification for the good of the church.

This year's general theme is “Pastor and Synod”, and invited guest, LCC president emeritus Dr. Edwin Lehmann, will open the gathering discussion.

As established last year, the discussions will focus on a set of statements or theses, that are to be submitted in advance. Not intended to be a formal presentation that has to be defended, but a starting point for the discussion of the general theme, the “theses” will guide the conversation so the discussion may be as rich as possible. Please consider submitting a thesis to President Zeuch before May 1st ( Suggestions of themes for next year's pastoral gathering are also welcome.

There is no registration cost but we ask that you please RSVP to Rhonda Buck ( by May 1st if you plan on attending. We hope you can take this day for interaction between pastors with and in your seminary in Edmonton.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Building Missionaries...

When you think Mexico, do you think of an all-inclusive beach vacation in sunny Cancun or Cozumel? Seven members of the CLS community will spend just over a week in Mexico this May, but rather than a chartered plane and a taxi to the hotel, they will enter Mexico in a 15 passenger van from one of the poorest counties in the United States, crossing the border between El Paso, Texas and Jaurez, Mexico.

As part of the seminary's Missionary For Lunch program, started by Rev. Dr. Ed Lehman in 1997, Rev. James Avery (Mission Study Centre Director and CLS Alum '07) invited Chris Hill and Erin MacKenzie of Yselta Lutheran Mission to make a presentation to the seminary community on April 15, 2011. Chris and Erin spoke with passion about the work that God has given them to do, "People are lost and hurting all over... our mission field is the US/Mexico border". As lunch turned into mid-afternoon, they taught the small group helpful Spanish phrases, and talked about things to expect while in Mexico.

The Ysleta Lutheran Mission began in 1982, and is situated 1 mile from the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas. Their focus is two-fold; church planting and holistic ministry, aiming to serve the body as well as the soul. The mission organizes over 40 servant events annually, facilitating projects on both sides of the border such as church improvement and property maintenance; evangelism; medical, dental, and eyeglass clinics; and repairs to houses and trailers.

In less than one month, not long after final exams have been written, Cody Cooper, Keith Hoveland, Mark Schultz, Roland Starke, Ian Wemyss, Prof. Jonathan Kraemer, and Pastor James Avery will be in El Paso and Jaurez, building a new house for a family who has been "on the waiting list" for four years, and visiting various preaching stations that are supported by the mission. The students will not earn academic credit for their time and energy, but instead will receive a life changing experience that will impact their ministry for many years to come.

The Master of Divinity program seeks to form future pastors through various contextual ministry experiences and servanthood opportunities as part of its co-curricular program. CLS, in partnership with the separately funded Missionary Study Centre, endeavours to offer multiple serving and mission opportunities to students throughout their program, and expects each seminarian to take advantage of such opportunities. You can support this aspect of seminary formation by praying for students as they travel, study, and serve, and by sending donations to the CLS Missionary Study Centre.

For information about this short term mission trip, or the Missionary Study Centre, contact Rev. James Avery (

Read more about Ysleta Lutheran Mission at

Friday, April 08, 2011

Costs and Benefits of Online Education?

Read the Canadian Lutheran article on seminary online education here.

[Rev. Anthony Cook] said that “…pastoral formation is not about the delivery of knowledge, attitudes and skills, but it is the formation of the seminary student into pastoral ministry as a way of being.” Rev. Cook reminded faculty members that they are training men to be in this world in a peculiar and different way. “This is not business school where we’re learning procedures. However, we can’t say ‘education doesn’t work online’ because we know it does. What we can say is we’re not sure that the whole process of formation can be done without considerable reflection and work.”
He encouraged the seminaries to pursue online classes that bring students together  (synchronous delivery) not as a way to slash budgets, but as a plan for learning and applying the highest educational standards to the on-campus formation program. While little financial benefit is expected, faculty could gain valuable experience in course design and alternate delivery.
Click here to read the entire article here. 

Friday, April 01, 2011

Seminary Pizza Night!

Are you considering a seminary education? Then you should come to the Seminary Pizza Night!
It's an informal event where you can meet some students and teachers at the seminary, ask questions, and eat pizza.
If you want to attend RSVP to Jeff Nachtigall ( , and if you know of someone who might be interested, please pass the invitation on!
Concordia Lutheran Seminary 7040 Ada Blvd, Edmonton, Alberta, T5B 4E3 HOME CONTACT