Deacon, Pre-SMP, & Ministry Assistant Training Program | Michigan District, LCMS

Deacon, Pre-SMP, & Ministry Assistant Training Program

Purpose | Qualifications | Seminars | Tuition & Enrollment | Download Brochure

Introduction to the Program

For Pastors

For Potential Students

Program Purpose

The Deacon/Pre-SMP, Ministry Assistant Training Program provides thorough and on-going, theological training for laity to serve more effectively in congregational ministry under the supervision of an Ordained Pastor. The program also provides initial theological training for laymen preparing to enter the LCMS Specific Ministry Pastor track toward ordination.


Deacons fulfill the same qualifications as that of an "elder" as described in I Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:6-9. They have a reasonable amount of experience as an active Lutheran in an LCMS congregation. Deacons must have a high school diploma or GED and a recommendation from their congregation and proposed supervisory pastor. They have a willingness to study, learn, and receive mentoring.


Training takes place generally over a period of 2-3 years and includes internships. Each seminar requires a minimum of 24 contact hours and are conducted through eight-hour sessions, usually on three Saturdays spread over a three-month period.

Old Testament Survey

This seminar serves as an introduction to the Bible, its history, versions and the basic principles when interpreting it. Special emphasis is placed on the Pentateuch and the history of the Old Testament with regard to Israel from the Egyptian exile and return to the Babylonian captivity.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

New Testament Survey

This seminar builds on the Old Testament Survey Seminar and acquaints participants with the general content of the New Testament. Emphasis is placed on the harmony of the Gospels, history of the early Christian Church and the letters of Paul and others. Special time is given to the Book of Revelation.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.


This seminar addresses the participants’ own leadership skills and how they are important in the Deacon’s congregational service and beyond.  Attention is given to congregational systems, triangulation, self-differentiation, decision making, the dynamics of change, governance models, planning, church and ministry (CFW), priesthood of all believers, responsibility, authority, accountability, leadership, visioning, chairing and serving on committees, Theory X Theory Y, narcissism and servanthood.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Teaching the Faith

This seminar is designed to identify and nurture of the specific skills of teaching adults. The seminar addresses andragogy vs. pedagogy, learning theory, the component skills of teaching, the taxonomy of questioning, listening, nurturing the development of faith, designing an effective teaching plan, the various methods of teaching, Law and Gospel in Bible class teaching and the theology of the cross, and the implications of post-modernism in the church today.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Doctrine I

This seminar presents a systematic study of historic doctrine of the Christian Church on the articles of creation and redemption in the context of the Confessional understanding of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Emphasis is placed on the “theology of the Cross” and its implications when discussing other denominations, as well as the proper distinction of Law and Gospel.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Doctrine II

The focus of this seminar is to study a number of aspects of the Christian life, so that Christianity can be the foundation for all of life. One’s relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is a gift from God to use not only in personal faith, but also in service to Him through serving one’s fellow human beings.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.


The purpose of this seminar is to guide the student into an understanding of the issues related to the preaching process. Students will learn the proper protocol for the preparation and writing of sermons, as well as studying and learning effective presentation of sermons. Writing, presentation, and evaluation of sermons provide a “hands-on” learning experience.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Biblical Greek

In this seminar, students will study the basics of the Koine (New Testament) Greek language. The goal will be to equip each student to be able to translate passages of Scripture from Greek to English with unlimited time and resources. The practical application of word-studies in preparation for preaching and teaching will also be discussed.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Lutheran Worship

Participants will study the basic elements of Lutheran worship. Some of the segments are: Word, Sacraments, Confession and Absolution, and prayer. Primary texts are Precht’s Lutheran Worship-History and Practice and The Lutheran Service Book, 2006. Because of the need/concern, participants will investigate traditional Lutheran worship, contemporary worship, and Special Orders of the Day.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Christian Caregiving

The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and tools to “carry each other’s burdens” within the context of the Christian faith tradition, and thereby “fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:1-2) Effective listening and communication skills will be emphasized, along with the basic components of a caregiving visit. Discussion of personal and professional boundaries, referrals, and components of self-care are also included.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Office of the Ministry

This seminar will lead students to a fuller understand in of the Office of the Ministry through the study of related Biblical texts, Lutheran Confessional writings, and Synodical CTCR documents. The seminar will discuss responsibilities of a church worker, how to work within staff relationships, the limitations of various offices and how each relates to the Pastoral Office, and the character qualities of those who serve in ministry.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Church History, from the time of Christ to the LCMS of Today

This seminar serves only as an introduction to a broad field of study; but seeks to inspire the student for additional study of God’s activity through the Christian Church. The students will learn to view history from a number of perspectives: doctrinal, institutional, ethical, and cultural.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Outreach: Reaching the Not-yet Christian

This seminar is designed to expose the student to various aspects of Christian outreach, first on a personal level, and then to examine ways to increase the missional focus of the congregation they serve. Through the use of readily available demographic data, each student will identify one or more people groups who might be uniquely served by their congregation. Each student will develop a strategy for reaching out to a selected people group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This seminar is designed to be both practical and motivational.

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown at or 810.220.1798.

Please note: These seminars may also be taken by persons with no interest in becoming a Deacon, including women (e.g. Bible class leaders, Sunday school teachers, and others in lay leadership positions).

Tuition and Enrollment

The cost of each seminar is $300 plus textbooks (when required). The tuition covers the honorarium for the instructor and administration expenses.

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Want More Information?

Deacon Paperwork & Forms

Request to be Served by a Deacon

Deacon Diploma

Ministry Description Form This form must be completed to obtain your provisional license - as we try to honor Res. 13-02A.  A ministry description form,prepared by your supervising pastor, may accompany this form but will not be accepted as a replacement for it

Deacon Information Form

Deacon Evaluation Form

SMP COLLOQUY FOR LLD’S with at least 2 years of ministry experience and whose congregation has committed to call them when ordained

Read Further

Michigan In Touch Article on Deacon Training Program

Deacon Policy Manual


Rev. Robert Schultz
Dean of Instruction

Rev. Todd I Frusti
Chairman / Instructor
(810) 658-3000

Ms. Chris Brown

Rev. Dr. Robert E. Kasper
Assistant to the President - Congregation Ministries / Ministry Support
888.225.2111 ext. 230

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