Once they begin at their new mission stations, missionaries work with community members to identify people who are eligible to serve God. Once identified, students enroll in the theological education program, established by our synod's mission and Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ont. Of course, the missionary's work is not yet complete. Students carry out vicarages and internships within the mission congregation.
After a congregation has received its own pastor and deaconess, the work continues. A growing church needs servant-leaders.
In March 2009, five pastoral candidates and nine deaconesses graduated from the program. Three pastoral candidates were ordained and placed. Eight deaconesses were consecrated and installed. Three graduates from Panama returned home church to be ordained and consecrated for church service.
Our synod also holds a continuing education program. Tri-annually, pastors and deaconesses receive additional ministerial instruction.