Dr. Daniel Gard, Professor of Exegetical Theology and Dean of Military Chaplaincy at Concordia Theological Seminary, has the following note on Facebook:
To my students: I am just now learning about the shortage of calls. Please remember that Lord of the Church knows exactly what is happening even if we do not. My heart is breaking for those of you and your families who must wait. Pray for our Synod as the Convention meets this summer. Something is wrong and God’s people will respond. I could not be prouder of all of you and I thank God for you.
We’ll keep you updated with details as soon as we receive them but early reports indicate that as many as 30 of the 67 graduates of the Fort Wayne seminary will not receive calls. Of a similar number of St. Louis grads, I’m hearing that only a few will not be placed. Others say the number could be more than a few.
If anyone has any better information, please let us know.
For a Synod that has repeatedly claimed that we’re facing a shortage of pastors, this does not make sense to me.
But no matter what is going on here, we must pray for these men who are facing an uncertain future — after working so hard to serve as pastors. And we must pray for our church.
Over at Facebook, one pastor wrote in response:
The Synod is broken.
As someone has written, “It is time”. In 2007 we are told that there is such a critical shortage of pastors that we need a new “program” to fix it. I warned that this would happen – now in 2010 we have men not getting calls and hundreds of CRM pastors languishing. Kyrie eleison!
And another wrote:
Professor Gard, please let your students know that many are praying for them. After leadership of The LCMS has been telling us, repeatedly, that we have a crisis in the number of men willing to serve as pastor, it is way, way beyond disgraceful to think that when we have have now men saying, “Send me, send me” we would… have a shortage of calls. I’m ashamed and embarassed, and yes, angry!
Incidentally, here is one 2007 article from an official Synodical publication saying that a clergy shortage is looming.