The Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) ministry board has approved Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School as one of its officially-recognized seminaries for training in pastoral ministry.
The board, led by Steve Turnbull, pastor of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Ohio, said that this new relationship with Beeson, an interdenominational divinity school, means that LCMC recognizes the school’s curriculum is well-designed in preparing candidates for ministry that is consistent with the denomination’s expectations. Additionally, the availability of Lutheran faculty members to mentor and guide LCMC students in the strengths of the Lutheran tradition makes Beeson a good fit.
“We appreciate Beeson’s spiritual vitality and academic rigor,” Turnbull said. “We also appreciate Beeson’s identity as a classical, residential seminary community. Beeson also helps fill out the regional diversity among the seminaries with whom we have a working relationship. I hope that Beeson will help form students and equip them for the proclamation of the gospel.”
Chris DeGreen, Beeson doctor of ministry alum and pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Hoover, a LCMC congregation, is excited about the new possibilities to work with future Beeson LCMC students in their ministry preparation. Future LCMC students will have supervised ministry opportunities at Christ the King Lutheran in the areas of preaching, evangelism, spiritual multiplication, disciple making and more.
“I encourage LCMC students to consider Beeson because it was through my own Doctor of Ministry studies at Beeson from 1995–1998 that I was equipped to not just preach to pews and administer programs but to see lives transformed into the image of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit,” DeGreen said.
Beeson’s dean, Douglas A. Sweeney, who is a committed Lutheran in the LCMC and a member of DeGreen’s church, said he is grateful for this new partnership.
“The LCMC are a young, spiritually vital, and theologically orthodox network of evangelical Lutherans,” Sweeney said. “They fit well with the mission, vision and ethos of Beeson. We are praying that the Lord will bless this partnership for Jesus' sake for many years to come."
Turnbull noted that it was Sweeney’s leadership that helped bring about this new relationship.
“Doug Sweeney is a long-time LCMC church member and theologian,” he said. “We are grateful for his educational leadership, his evangelical spirit and his love for the church.”