From the Worldwide Faith News archives

LCMS - Committee Oks revisions to LCMS DELTO program

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Tue, 12 Nov 2002 17:03:20 -0800

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
Board for Communication Services

LCMSNews -- No. 72
November 12, 2002

Committee Oks revisions
to LCMS DELTO program

The oversight committee revising the Synod's Distance Education Leading to 
Ordination (DELTO) program has approved a number of revisions to the program.

Synod President Gerald Kieschnick appointed the committee after the 2001 
LCMS convention called for DELTO revisions.

Dr. L. Dean Hempelmann, the committee's chairman, said that its work is 
"virtually complete" and that qualified DELTO candidates "may now apply to 
the revised program."

Hempelmann is director of pastoral education with the staff of the Synod's 
Board for Higher Education.

He describes DELTO as "a program of theological education leading to 
ordination for men who provide pastoral services to congregations that 
cannot support a full-time pastor or who serve in situations of 
extraordinary circumstances."

Revisions to the program now allow DELTO participants to take a third of 
the required 30 courses at the district level, complete courses on a 
pass/fail basis, and study the Bible in their own languages rather than via 
original languages.

"All of these changes -- especially study of the Bible in the vernacular -- 
take into account
that DELTO is dealing with extraordinary circumstances," said Hempelmann, 
"and that the Biblical languages are still necessary for the life of the 

He also emphasized that courses offered in districts "are acceptable as 
long as they meet the requirements of the seminaries." When a qualified man 
starts his DELTO studies at the district level, Hempelmann said, he should 
apply to the DELTO program at one of the seminaries.

He indicated that some districts are already offering DELTO courses that 
are "acceptable," and that a number of "possible delivery systems" are 
being explored by the seminaries for those districts that don't yet offer 
the courses.

In the revised program, participants are paired with a mentor -- a local 
pastor approved by his district and the seminary in which the participant 
is enrolled. Mentors "advise, counsel and tutor" DELTO students, Hempelmann 

He said that men serving in "extraordinary circumstances" may contact their 
district presidents and one of the seminaries to apply to the revised DELTO 

For more information about the DELTO program, contact either Dr. Walter A. 
Maier III, Concordia Theological Seminary, 6600 N. Clinton Road, Fort 
Wayne, IN 46825; (219) 452-2132;, or Rev. David 
Wollenburg, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 


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