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by Sonja G

St. Peter Member Heading to Seminary

St. Peter Member Heading to Seminary

Monday, August 15, 2016
by Sonja G

At the Semi-Annual Meeting on Sunday, July 10th, I shared that I have been approved as a candidate for ordained ministry in the ELCA and accepted to Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN) in the Masters of Divinity Distributed Learning program.  I have been nurtured and shaped by the St. Peter community and its ministries.  It was through involvement in Confirmation ministry that I first recognized my sense of call to ordained ministry and began to explore where it would take me.

 The Distributed Learning program is different from a traditional, residential seminary program.  I will take my fall and spring classes in an online environment, among a cohort of individuals from around the country with whom I will share in discussion.  In addition I will have two weeks on campus each January and June.  During each of these sessions, I will participate in two half-credit intensive courses and participate in the community life along with other Distribution Learning students, growing in community and fellowship with one another.

A typical course load includes 2 credits during the fall and spring and two half-credit courses during each intensive week.  If I am able to maintain a typical course load, I should finish the academic coursework in four years.  I would then be placed on internship somewhere in the Des Moines metro during my fifth year, after which the synod will determine my eligibility for call and, if eligible, assign me to a synod for first call.

 I plan to continue serving at St. Peter during this time of learning and study.  Many of my courses will include a contextual learning component, some of which I may be able to complete in cooperation with St. Peter and some of which I will need to partner with churches of other sizes/contexts to complete.  I look forward to the ways this learning and growth will shape me and enhance the ministries at St. Peter.  I am very thankful for the support and encouragement I have received in ministry and as I embark on this new adventure!

Grace + Peace,

Sonja Gerstenberger

Director of Faith Formation

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