Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My decision to accept the call to become the President of the NALS came after a period of prayer and discernment. What caused me to accept was the strong affirmation of call coming from a variety of people, and an equally strong passion for theological education and pastoral formation. Dietrich Bonheffer said it well, “The matter of the proper education of preachers of the gospel is worthy of our ultimate commitment.”
We live in difficult and uncertain times. However, one thing remains absolutely certain: The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to establish hope and change lives. This gospel needs to be preached in this and every land.
The North American Lutheran Seminary is committed to forming Christian leaders to plant, renew and grow churches that make disciples of our Lord. We are eager to work with students who aspire to serve in Lutheran congregations. It is our goal to provide the theological training they need for the contexts into which they are called. Today, we are able to do so with unprecedented flexibility. In our ecumenical cooperation with Trinity School for Ministry and other seminary sites, we offer doctoral, master’s, diploma and certificate programs in Lutheran studies. The courses are offered residentially, online and in our summer and winter intensive formats.
We are committed to remaining an affordable option. Many of our students do some or all of their programs online, while continuing to work in their home contexts. For those who have been accepted into candidacy within the NALC, financial assistance is available. We want our graduates to leave without a burden of debt so that they will be able to serve wherever the Lord calls them.
For those who are early in the discernment process and who may not yet be ready to begin a program, we offer the option of beginning with one or two courses online. We are happy to welcome non-matriculated students who are still prayerfully considering ministry with their parishes and mentors. This gives them a taste of what seminary life may be like and can be a valuable data-point as they discern their next steps.
I am confident that God is raising up men and women in NALC congregations who are called to serve as pastors and lay leaders in His Church. If you, or someone you know, is discerning a call to ministry, I encourage you to contact me. The North American Lutheran Seminary is here to serve alongside pastors, district deans, and individuals as they discern the call to ministry in Christ’s Church.
Thank you for your prayerful support of the NALS!
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Eric M. Riesen
President, North American Lutheran Seminary