Group Organizing to Help Graduates without Calls at Ft. Wayne, by Pr. Rossow

As we all read in Mollie’s post yesterday, there are several pastoral candidates that will not be placed at the Fort Wayne Seminary. A group is being formed to receive donations to help them out until they receive calls. Here is what we know so far. We will keep you posted on their progress.
Discussions have been initiated to quickly develop a fund to financially assist those graduating students who are awaiting a call. Involved are confessional lawyers, business people and pastors. The objective is to quickly and legally establish the fund so that 100% of the donated money will go to those in need.
 At this point we do not have exact information on how many students and families will be in need or the amount of support that  must be raised.
As this develops, we need to get the word out through every medium available. Meanwhile, please spread the word that, God willing, there will be a way for the people of God to respond in a concrete way to a very real human need. To God be the Glory in every place, time and circumstance!

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Group Organizing to Help Graduates without Calls at Ft. Wayne, by Pr. Rossow — 64 Comments

  1. @Rev. Jack Gilbert #50

    Rev. Gilbert,
    Thank you for the effort you invested in this response.
    I have skimmed your entire response and intend to read it more fully, and respond fully.
    I will indeed pray this week for the pastoral call and deaconess candidates, and for the congregations.

  2. For a brief return to the original topic of the thread, one of the seminarians sent me this which I thought was worth posting. His request:

    1) Pray for us by name.
    2) Support us any way you can: a job, a subsidized apartment, a gift certificate to a grocery store, paying off student loan debt, or an endowment to the seminary that eliminates all tuition. The sky’s the limit.
    3a) Encourage the candidates, not with empty platitudes, but with the resurrection of Christ. Yes, we know that He has a plan for us, and that plan is fulfilled in the cross.
    3b) Encourage vacant congregations. Candidates are just as qualified to preach, teach, and administer the sacraments as someone else’s pastor is. Shepherd stealing only perpetuates the problem.
    3c) Encourage the district presidents. They need to hear from the Church. They need to know that people are concerned about this.
    4) Remain positive. Now is not the time give in to anger, hatred, doubt, and fear. Now is not the time to gossip. Be cheerful and courteous. Put the best construction on everything.

    Indeed, the days are long and difficult, but our salvation and our hope are secure. That is most important right now.

  3. Anonymous :Here are the FW guys: Christopher Amen, Tom Arnold, Marcus Baikie, Derrick Brown, Ken Clausing, Ryan Cramer, Eli Davis, Harrison Goodman, Peter Gueldner, Gail Heimgartner, Mark Hesse, Michael Holmen, Nick Huelsman, Jason Lane, David V. Miller, Josh Osbun, Adam Salinas, Philip Sievers, David Whan, Andrew Yeager, Jerry Storrs

    The number Ft. Wayne still has to place is actually higher than these 21, as there is at least one graduate student on deferred candidate status (due to graduate study elsewhere) awaiting placement through Ft. Wayne (and likely others), and at least one St. Catharines graduate belonging to the LCMS whose placement is also handled by Ft. Wayne.

  4. Please forgive my ignorance. I tried to wade through all of the posts to see if there is, in fact, a fund or funds that have been set up to help seminarians who did not receive calls. Can anyone please clarify?

  5. We need to get back to the original subject, and that is this fund to help these men and their families. Is somebody setting this up? My congregation is taking up a second offering next Sunday (9th) for this purpose.
    It’s time.

  6. @Rev. Jack Gilbert #36
    I submit that such feelings that come as a result by reading articles and comments at BJS are a byproduct, or an unintended result of the work done here. Something to keep an eye on perhaps?

    That’s your version. It couldn’t, of course, come from reading the official publications?

    Let’s get back to the subject and since Pr Gilbert is only interested in St Louis, perhaps he will be so kind as to cease diverting the conversation.

    Have you progressed as far as an address for seminarians’ assistance?

    [Although, when my son got an August call,
    he picked up his family and came home to us.]

  7. If you go to, at the bottom of the page is a link to “The LCMS Joint Seminary Fund.” When you click on “Read More,” it takes you to a letter by Rev. Glen Thomas, the Executive Director of the LCMS Board for Pastoral Education. There is a link in his letter to this pdf document:
    The pdf document lists the names of called candidates for pastor and deaconess for both seminaries. It also lists the names of the nine candidates from CSL who are in the “call pending” category, i.e. they didn’t receive a call. But it entirely omits the names of those from CTSFW who didn’t receive a call. I doubt those Fort Wayne candidates feel very good about the omission.

  8. For CTSFW, here is a report from a reader:

    I just spoke to CTSFW, and they gave me the instructions for helping out the uncalled pastoral candidates and their families. The check is to be made out to, “Concordia Theological Seminary.” On the memo line, please write, “Student Emergency Fund.” The donations are mailed to:

    Concordia Theological Seminary
    6600 N. Clinton St.
    Fort Wayne, IN 46825

  9. Just to let everyone know CTS is setting up an emergency fund for those who are waiting calls. They have asked the faculty, ordained staff, staff and others to contribute 200-300 dollars to this fund. Anyone can do this by sending their checks to CTS Advancement Dept.
    6600 N. Clinton St. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825 and mark the comment on the check to “Emergency Student Fund”. I do not know what CS is doing in St. Louis. Hope this clears up how to help.

  10. Opps, I didn’t read Norms note, sorry for the repeat but this is a way everyone can help, not just this year, but if this continues on in the coming years as well. Let’s pray that it doesn’t.

  11. “Our DP said that as many as 30 total may not receive calls. In addition he told us that historically we have had about 700 vacancies at any given time but this year the number is under 300 .”

    => They say that every year…Perhaps not the exact amount but there will always be guys not getting calls on call day. There will always be vacancies because, unfortunately, there are some churches that need to be vacant for a time. It is better to have a vacancy pastor preach, teach and administer the sacraments and go home at night and not worry about the conflict. And as everybody knows, there are some congregations that will never be able to afford a pastor.

    “What control over the call/placement process does Synod have?”
    => The DP looks at the churches financials and advises them whether they can only afford a sem graduate or if they can afford a pastor that had been at a church for awhile. Unless a church wants a assistant or an associate and wants to save $$ then a sem student is what they will get.

    “Shouldn’t this be up to the churches to call?”
    => Well you would think, but all calls have to go through the DP office. They have the power to reject a candidate from going to a church or they place a pastor at a specific church directly.

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