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LLDP holds classes on ecumenism and hermeneutics

LLDP participants pose with instructor, Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, and LLDP Director, Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki. Front, left to right: Bishop Ambele Mwaipopo of the Lake Tanganyika Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (LTD-ELCT); Bishop Jackson Mushendwa of the Western Diocese of the ELCT (WD-ELCT); President Dr. Denis Rakotozafy of the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM); Dr. Collver; Dr. Masaki. Back row: Bishop Johanesa Andriamanarinjato of the Fisakana Synod of the FLM; Deputy Bishop Boss Sebeelo of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA); Bishop Dr. Yohana Nzelu of the South East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the ELCT (SELVD-ELCT); Rev. Dr. Yacob Godebo of Mekane Yesus Seminary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (MYS-EECMY); and Rev. Martin Paul, Third Minister in the Synodical Council of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA).

USA – The Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) held its eighth session at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW) from November 6-17, 2023. This session offered courses on the ecumenical movement and hermeneutics.

November’s classes also saw the LLDP welcome three new participants into the second cohort of students: Rev. Martin Paul of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA), who serves as Third Minister in its Synodical Council; Rev. Ambele Mwaipopo, Bishop of the Lake Tanganyika Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (LTD-ELCT); and Rev. Jackson Mushendwa, Bishop of the Western Diocese of the ELCT (WD-ELCT).

Rev. Dr. Albert Collver (left) and Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki (right) pose with new students Bishop Mwaipopo; Third Minister, Rev. Paul; and Bishop Mushendwa. The bishops hold copies of The Book of Concord, a gift from the LLDP.

Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, former ILC General Secretary, taught “World Lutheranism and the Ecumenical Movement” during the first week. This is one of the most important courses the LLDP offers, helping participants to understand the history of their own church better, as well as the organizations that their churches belong to. They also learn about church fellowship from a confessional Lutheran perspective. One bishop called the class “perfect,” saying it “has helped me to be capable of understanding and teaching what fellowship really is.” Another participant expressed gratitude for the “clear understanding” the instruction had brought him “in terms of church fellowship in the ecumenical context.”

Dr. Collver was pleased with the outcome of the class, observing that students had “increased their understanding of the Lutheran confession of fellowship” and “are resolved to teach this in their church bodies and dioceses.” His presentation, which contrasted the ILC’s understanding of fellowship with the liberal model taught by other world groups, encouraged participants to remain faithful to the confessional Lutheran position, articulated especially in Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession.

Dr. Charles Gieschen teaches on Lutheran Hermeneutics.

Dr. Charles Gieschen, CTSFW’s Provost, taught the second class of the November session: “Lutheran Hermeneutics.” The course enables participants to understand and criticize recent directions in biblical interpretation from a confessional Lutheran perspective, including the historical-critical method and several reader-oriented trends in hermeneutics. “The course has been inspiring,” one participant noted. “Professor Gieschen was great in pinpointing key areas of importance in hermeneutics both in history and practice. He has equipped us with the necessary skills for the interpretation of the Bible.”

“Our November session was another great success,” commented Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, Director of the LLDP. “Working with such respected scholars and churchmen like Dr. Collver and Dr. Gieschen is a privilege and an honour. But what brings me the most tremendous joy and gratitude to the Lord is that our participants keep on growing in their understanding of sound doctrine and committing themselves to be faithful to the Saviour, Jesus Christ—even when doing so sometimes brings major sacrifices.”

LLDP participants enjoy dinner at the Masakis’.

“Our participants rejoice in the doctrine that Jesus has taught the whole Church,” he continued. “By listening to what the Lord speaks, and in receiving His gifts with eager thankfulness and praise, our participants are saying back to Him what He has said to them. They repeat, yes, confess, the Lord Jesus Christ. To witness to these wonderful things in each of our participants gives me joy that words cannot express. I continue to pray for our participants and their church bodies with deepest respect and thanksgiving. We rejoice in our partnership in the Gospel.”

The LLDP is a graduate-level program of the ILC dedicated to equipping confessional Lutheran leaders around the world with the theological and practical knowledge necessary to serve their church bodies effectively.

You can support the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program by making a donation online. You can also mail a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 10149
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46850 USA

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LLDP celebrate more graduates, welcomes new students

ELCT-SELVD Assistant Bishop Daniel Mono (front, second from left) and LCSA Bishop Modise Maragelo (front, second from right) celebrate their graduation from the LLDP program. Among those pictured are LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki (back left), ILC General Secretary Timothy Quill (front left), and Concordia Theological Seminary President Lawrence Rast (front right).

USA – The International Lutheran Council’s (ILC) Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) celebrated its second commencement during its most recent session earlier this year in Fort Wayne, Indiana—and at the same time welcomed new students into the program.

Graduating were Bishop Modise Maragelo of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) and Assistant Bishop Daniel Mono of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania’s South East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELCT-SELVD). Each received a Certificate of Theology in Lutheran Leadership.

The commencement service was conducted by the LLDP’s Director Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, with ILC General Secretary Timothy Quill also addressing the graduates. President Lawrence Rast of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, who sits on the LLDP’s council, brought greetings. Additional greetings by letter were shared from ILC Chairman Juhana Pohjola and former ILC General Secretary Albert Collver. The first four graduates of the LLDP, who completed the program in November 2022, also sent brief words of congratulations.

Dr. Masaki described the graduates’ theses as “noteworthy and quite relevant.” Bishop Maragelo wrote on “The Rise, Decline, and Hopeful Future of a Confessional Lutheran Church: The LCSA in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Assistant Bishop Mono’s thesis was: “The Growing Lay Ministry Movement in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania – South East of Lake Victoria Diocese: Its Theological Evaluation, and Suggestions for the Future.”

The Value of the LLDP

“When this program was introduced to me, I was skeptical,” LCSA Bishop Maragelo admitted. “I did not know what it was, yet I was asked to nominate men to participate in this training. I decided my deputy and I should attend so that we would know what this was all about before sending others.”

“It was heartwarming to be welcomed so warmly by such friendly, humble, and open servant-minded lecturers,” he continued. “Finding oneself among other diverse African Lutheran men of God as fellow students was a blessing from God of its own kind. The program was the manifestation of God Himself at work through dedicated servant leaders. The courses were at a high academic proficiency, yet also comprehensive and practical. The richness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was shared.”

“As a graduate, I now proudly advocate for the LLDP without a shadow of doubt,” Bishop Maragelo concluded. “What we were given will never go to waste for the future of our church—for the LCSA, in particular, as well as for the other churches who have sent participants. The richness of the Gospel will be proclaimed in our pulpits, taught in our seminaries, and shared wherever we get a chance.”

ELCT-SELVD Assistant Bishop Mono, LCSA Bishop Maragelo, and LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki.

ELCT-SELVD Assistant Bishop Mono also had positive words to say about the program. “The LLDP gave me the opportunity to visit Wittenberg and to learn many things about the history of Lutheranism and Martin Luther’s life,” he explained. “I was not deeply rooted in confessional Lutheran theology in my own theological background, because I was raised in liberal Lutheranism and my bachelor and master’s degrees in theology came from a liberal seminary in Tanzania. Only the Doctor of Ministry program at Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, USA) had given me basic confessional Lutheran theology.”

“The LLDP helped me to go deeper into the Book of Concord and confessional theology,” he explained. “Now I have deep confidence in identifying myself as a confessional Lutheran leader. I am able now to distinguish between real Lutheranism and those who call themselves Lutheran but do not hold to the Lutheran confessions.”

Dr. Mono noted that the courses in the LLDP were very helpful for his own service to the church. “The issues of church fellowship; stewardship and accountability; planning and task management; Lutheran liturgy and hymnody; the Office of the Holy Ministry and the means of grace… these were all very important subjects taught by competent instructors,” he said. “Moreover, our time together in the LLDP was very interactive; I was given opportunities to learn from others. Hearing the experiences of other Lutheran church bodies was very educational and has helped me to evaluate my own church body. I will use what I have gained in this program to serve my church. My hope is that more leaders will be given the opportunity to participate in the LLDP. This will help our church bodies to be strong and identify as confessional Lutherans.”

Bishop Maragelo and Assistant Bishop Mono both expressed their heartfelt thanks to the International Lutheran Council, to Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne), and to the LLDP’s Director, Dr. Masaki.

A new class of students

Rev. Dr. Paul Grime teaches a course on Lutheran liturgy and hymnody.

The commencement ceremony took place near the end of the LLDP’s most recent two-week session, which was held May 22 to June 2, 2023 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne (CTSFW). Rev. Dr. Paul Grime, Dean of Chapel for CTSFW and the project director of the Lutheran Service Book, taught the first week’s course on “Issues in Lutheran Liturgy and Lutheran Hymnody.” LLDP Director Masaki taught on “The Lord’s Supper” during the second week.

“Our May/June sessions brought much joy for me for a variety of reasons,” commented Dr. Masaki. “That two more worthy leaders of the first cohort have completed the program is a tremendous joy. Bishop Maragelo was the leader of our first cohort. Dr. Mono also played an important part in the group, and is now serving as Assistant Bishop in his own church.”

“But on top of it all, I was also delighted in welcoming students for the second cohort,” Dr. Masaki continued. “The fact that the LLDP is continuing in this way is such a blessing and gift from the Lord. I am thankful to the Lord for the leadership of the ILC in supporting this program.”

LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki (right) poses with students during the most recent round of classes.

As a result of visa issues, not all new students were able to attend the most recent session in Fort Wayne. But the students newly enrolled in the LLDP, and those still finishing studies from the first class, hail from twelve church bodies in nine countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, South Sudan/Sudan, and Tanzania.

With the most recent commencement service, six students have now graduated from the program, with another three expected to graduate in 2024.

The Lutheran Leadership Development Program is a graduate-level program of the International Lutheran Council dedicated to equipping confessional Lutheran leaders around the world with the theological and practical knowledge necessary to serve their church bodies effectively.

You can support the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program by making a donation online. You can also mail a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 10149
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46850 USA

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First graduates for Lutheran Leadership Development Program

Following the commencement service. The four graduates—President/Bishop John Donkoh, General Secretary Teshome Amenu, Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul, and Bishop Emmanuel Makala—pose in front, along with other participants in the LLDP, some of the LLDP’s teaching faculty (Dr. Collver, Dr. Masaki, Prof. Pless, Dr. Quill), and Dr. Carl Rockroah (Zion Lutheran in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio and former LCMS missionary to Ghana, South Africa, and Ethiopia).

USA – The Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) celebrated its first commencement ceremony following its most recent session November 8–19, 2022 in Troy, Illinois. The ceremony took place November 17 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Troy.

Dr. Masaki speaks during the commencement ceremony.

“It is a great joy to recognize the accomplishment of the first graduates of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program,” said Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director. “I commend them for their achievement of this Certificate of Theology in Lutheran Leadership, because, despite their demanding ministry context as church leaders back home, they have been diligent in their studies and have accomplished the goals for which the program was created. I pray the Lord of the church to continue to bless them as He uses the confessional Lutheran theology and practical skills that they have acquired in the LLDP in the service of ecclesial leadership in their home church bodies.”

Four graduates were awarded the Certificate of Theology in Lutheran Leadership on behalf of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). In addition to completing coursework on church leadership in various areas, each also wrote a graduation thesis as a culminating exercise. Each was provided a thesis advisor from the LLDP teaching faculty. Their theses were approved by the advisor as well as Dr. Masaki who served as a reader for all four theses. The graduates include:

  • President/Bishop John Donkoh (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana – ELCG) – Thesis: “Why are Some Hermeneutical Approaches Problematic, Even When Using the Bible?: A Consideration of the Proper Principles of Biblical Interpretation.” (Advisor: Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, Provost of CTSFW)
  • Bishop Emmanuel Makala (South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania – SELVD-ELCT) – Thesis: “The Dodoma Statement: An Evaluation of the Position Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania Regarding Same-Sex Marriage.” (Advisor: Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, former ILC General Secretary)
  • Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul (Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa – FELSISA) – Thesis: “According to our Lutheran Confessions, Is Confession and Absolution—be it in a Corporate Service or Private Confession with the Pastor—a Prerequisite for Receiving the Lord’s Supper?” (Advisor: Rev. Prof. John T. Pless, CTSFW).
  • General Secretary Teshome Amenu (Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – EECMY)– Thesis: “An Analysis of the 1969 Agreement on the Integration Policy between the Mission Partners and the EECMY in the Light of Augsburg Confession, Article VII.” (Advisor: Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, former ILC General Secretary)

Participant Response

The four graduates. From left to right: President Donkoh (ELCG), Deputy Bishop Paul (FELSISA), General Secretary Amenu (EECMY), and Bishop Makala (SELVD-ELCT).

The graduates praised the knowledge and skills they had learned as a result of the program. “I’m privileged to be among the first batch of students who successfully completed the LLDP,” noted President/Bishop John Donkoh of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana. “This program has been an eye opener for me in many ways. Lutheran churches around the world, particularly in Africa, need assistance in leadership and theological education, particularly in leadership development for current and future leaders in the areas of Lutheran identity and confessions.”

“It is my prayer and hope that this program will continue and that more church leaders on the continent would have such opportunities to acquire leadership training,” said President Donkoh, who was also elected in 2022 to serve as secretary of the International Lutheran Council.

Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa said that the LLDP provided him time to reflect on concrete problems and challenges in his home church. “It was of an immense value to have had opportunities to discuss and collaborate with professors and esteemed colleagues about their solutions,” he noted.

Bishop Emmanuel Makala of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s South East of Lake Victoria Diocese reflected that the LLDP was “an overwhelming experience.” “The quality and contents of the program were deep and practical,” he explained. “It exceeded my expectation. I enjoyed everything—except for cold weather, frequent cancellation of flights and jet lags, and deadline pressure for assignments!”

LLDP participants visit with President Tom Egger during a trip to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

General Secretary Teshome Amenu of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus concurred with his colleagues on the benefits of the LLDP. He also remarked that another big benefit of the program was the connections made with leadership of other Lutheran church bodies. “Getting to know them and becoming friends can never happen by meetings,” he said. “We are not isolated. Together we are committed and pledged to exercise confessional leadership in our Lutheran churches in Africa. Particularly meaningful was the fact that selected individuals represented the largest Lutheran church bodies around the world.”

“For me, the LLDP was the best program I have ever attended for higher theological studies,” General Secretary Amenu continued. “The program has already started to impact my church body in a special way. We have now designed a leadership capacity development project in which we train leaders of our church at all levels: head office, synods, parishes, and congregations.”

Additional students from the first cohort of students in the LLDP are expected to complete their studies in 2023, when the LLDP will welcome a new group of students into the program.

During the commencement, letters of congratulations from ILC Chairman Juhana Pohjola (Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland), as well as from LLDP Council member, President Dr. Lawrence Rast of CTSFW, were also read.

Christ, Not Leaders, Sustains His Church

Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III gives the commencement address.

Serving as commencement speaker for the event was Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, who helped to found the program during his tenure as General Secretary of the ILC. “As leaders of the church, the task in front of you can seem overwhelming,” he said to the graduates. “You may not feel up to the task. Politics within your church can seem daunting or even make you wonder if the church even exists in this place or if these people around me are Christians.”

“You have been placed where you are to serve your Lord and your church, to be His instruments to guide and lead His church in the way of the Gospel,” he continued. “Jesus has promised you that He will never leave you nor forsake you. But He also has not given you the task to save His church. Jesus is the Saviour of His people. Jesus is the Saviour of His Church.”

“We do not bear that burden,” Dr. Collver stressed. “He has not given us that burden to bear. Yet graciously our Lord Jesus still gives us the privilege to work and serve in His church where He uses us according to His own purpose. Yet the responsibility is His to protect and guard and preserve the church here on earth. He calls us to remain faithful to His confession, to study His Word, and to serve Him where He has called and placed us. There is great comfort in knowing that the Lord makes use of us though we are not responsible for the future of the church. The future of the church belongs solely to Jesus.”

As Dr. Masaki conducted the commencement, he also recounted the history of the program, discussed its Student Learning Outcomes, and expressed his gratitude to the LLDP Council, ILC, and other supporters of the program, especially Concordia Publishing House (CPH), Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW), and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LLDP is a program of the ILC initiated in partnership with CPH, CTSFW, and the LCMS, and the ILC is grateful for the support of all its partners in this important endeavor.

Studies in the LLDP

Commencement Day at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Troy, Illinois, during a break from the thesis forum. Left to right: Dr. Bruce Kintz, former President and CEO of Concordia Publishing House; Dr. Timothy Quill, ILC General Secretary; Dr. Yohana Nzelu, Assistant Bishop (Bishop Elect) of South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (SELVD-ELCT); Dr. Daniel Mono, District Pastor (Assistant Bishop Elect) of SELVD-ELCT; Dr. Emmanuel Makala, Bishop of SELVD-ELCT; Rev. Helmut Paul, Deputy Bishop of Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA); Rev. Teshome Amenu, General Secretary of Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY); Rev. John Donkoh, President/Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG); Rev. Modise Maragelo, Bishop of Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA); Dr. Bruk Ayele, President of Mekane Yesus Seminary (EECMY); Dr. Denis Rakotozafy, President of Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM); Rev. Mandla Thwala, Deputy Bishop of LCSA; Tsegahun Assefa, Former Director of Children and Youth (EECMY); Dr. Albert Collver, Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, former General Secretary of ILC; and Dr. Naomichi Masaki, Director of LLDP, Professor of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW).

The LLDP is a graduate-level program of the ILC dedicated to equipping confessional Lutheran leaders around the world with the theological and practical knowledge necessary to effectively serve their church bodies.

The first cohort of students accepted into the program all hail from Africa, and began their studies in 2019. The program has seen participants gather for studies in Wittenberg, Germany; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Troy, Illinois.

Courses and their instructors included:

Dr. Albert Collver and Dr. Naomichi Masaki led chapel and taught classes during the November 2022 sessions. Dr. Collver, with the members of St. Paul’s in Troy, were gracious hosts, as Dr. Masaki presided over the commencement ceremony.
  1. Theology of the Lutheran Confessions – Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki (LLDP Director, CTSFW)
  2. World Lutheranism and the Ecumenical Movement – Rev. Dr. Albert Collver (ILC General Secretary)
  3. History of the Lutheran Church – Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast (CTSFW)
  4. Lutheran Hermeneutics – Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen (CTSFW)
  5. Ecclesial and Organizational Leadership – Archbishop Dr. Christian Ekong (LCN)
  6. Responding to Contemporary Issues and Neo-Pentecostalism – Rev. Prof. John Pless (CTSFW)
  7. The Lord’s Supper – Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki (LLDP Director, CTSFW)
  8. Liturgy and Lutheran Hymnody – Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill (ILC General Secretary)
  9. Strategic Planning and Task Management – Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Skopak (Grace Lutheran Church and School, Jacksonville, Florida)
  10. Budgeting and Financial Accountability – President Dr. Roger Paavola (LCMS, Mid-South District)
  11. The Office of the Holy Ministry – Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki
  12. Lutheran Mission, Ecclesiology, and Ecumenism – Rev. Dr. Albert Collver

The program has also seen the publication of three books through Concordia Publishing House during the period of the first cohort:

  • Charles Schaum and Albert Collver, Breath of God, Yet Work of Man: Scripture, Philosophy, Dialogue, and Conflict.
  • Christian O. Ekong, Strengthening Integrity and Accountability in Church Leadership.
  • Victor C. Pfitzner, Led by the Spirit: How Charismatic is New Testament Christianity?

The LLDP plans to publish additional monographs on such topics as strategic planning and accountability in biblical stewardship.

LLDP Support

LLDP participants meet with Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Executive Director of the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, and Dr. Rick Serina, Associate Executive Director, during a visit to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s International Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

You can support the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program by making a donation online. You can also mail a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 10149
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46850 USA

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Summer 2022 LLDP sessions focus on practical church leadership skills

LLDP participants pose at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Left to right: Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki (LLDP Director and CTSFW Professor); President Bruk Ayele of Mekane Yesus Seminary (EECMY); General Secretary Teshome Amenu of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY); Deputy Bishop Mandla Thwala of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA); District Pastor Daniel Mono of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s South East of Lake Victoria Diocese (SELVD-ELCT); President/Bishop John Donkoh of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG); President Denis Rakotozafy of the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM); Bishop Modise Maragelo of the LCSA; Bishop Emmanuel Makala of SELVD-ELCT; Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA); and Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Skopak, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church and School, Jacksonville, Florida.

USA – At the International Lutheran Council’s World Conference in Kenya in September 2022, the LLDP Director was pleased to receive many inquiries about the Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP). As the process of admitting students for the second cohort is underway at this moment, we report, belatedly, on the fifth sessions held at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne from July 25-August 5, 2022.

LLDP participants joke with Dr. Skopak.

Nine of eleven LLDP participants were able to attend this session’s courses, which focused on the practical skills of ecclesial leadership. Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Skopak of Grace Lutheran Church and School of Jacksonville, Florida, taught “Strategic Planning and Task Management.” He explained the steps in creating, implementing, and measuring a strategic plan for ministry. This includes incorporating a regular and active prayer life for the plan and those tasked with carrying it forward.

“The LLDP was richly blessed through Dr. Skopak’s remarkably helpful guidance and instruction,” said Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director. “We are very thankful to him for sharing his talent and experience with us.” Participants concurred: “This course helped me very much,” one said, “because as a church leader if you don’t know how to make and carry out your own strategic plan, people and the team will lose confidence and trust in you.” Another thanked the LLDP “for organizing this laudable program, as this course too was an excellent one that I would venture to recommend it for churches in Africa. I believe this course will revitalize our churches.”

A group photo during the second week. Back row from left to right: Bishop Modise Maragelo (LCSA), President Dr. Roger Paavola (Mid-South District, LCMS), Dr. Bruk Ayele (MYS-EECMY), Rev. Teshome Amenu (EECMY), President John Donkoh (ELCG), Rev. Matthew Clark (Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Louis). Bottom row from left to right: Tom McCain (CPA), Rev. Mandla Thwala (LCSA), President Denis Rakotozafy (FLM), Dr. Daniel Mono (SELVD-ELCT), Rev. Helmut Paul (FELSISA), Bishop Modise Maragelo (LCSA), Ed Holderle (JD), and Dr. Naomichi Masaki (LLDP/CTSFW).

The second week of the session focused on “Budgeting and Financial Accountability,” and was taught by Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, District President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Mid-South District. President Paavola brought in a wonderful team of presenters to enrich his teaching, including Tom McCain (MBA/CPA), Ed Holderle, III (JD), Dr. James Sanft (President and CEO of Concordia Plans), Larry Crume (Senior VP of Lutheran Church Extension Fund), and Rev. Matthew Clark (pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Louis).

LLDP participants enjoy a moment of laughter together at a cookout hosted by ILC Treasurer, Alison Blodgett.

Like the course on strategic planning, this course “provided enormous resources to participating church leaders,” said Dr. Masaki. “President Paavola and his team taught on the biblical stewardship of God’s resources, basic budgeting concepts, and principles of comprehensive organizational accounting.” Participants commented: “I learned much about stewardship and accountability of what is entrusted by our Master. I would like to put what I have learned into practice.” Another noted that “what was presented was compelling and life-changing.” And: “I am very much impressed and challenged on how to do things rightly, selflessly, sacrificially, and with a sense of integrity and accountability before God and men.”

Material from these two sessions is anticipated to eventually be published in book form. “It is our hope and prayer that the LLDP may continue its relationship with Concordia Publishing House (CPH) to share Dr. Skopak and President Paavola’s excellent teaching with the wider church,” said Dr. Masaki. “CPH has already published three other monographs which have grown out of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program.”

You can support the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program too by making a donation online. You can also mail a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 10149
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46850 USA

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Classes Resume for the Lutheran Leadership Development Program

In front of the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Left to right: ILC General Secretary Timothy Quill; Bishop Dr. Emmanuel Makala (South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania); Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul (Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa); President Dr. Denis Rakotozafy (Malagasy Lutheran Church); President John Donkoh (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana); General Secretary Teshome Amenu (Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – EECMY); President Dr. Bruk Ayele of Mekane Yesus Seminary (EECMY); Deputy Bishop Mandla Thwala (Lutheran Church in Southern Africa); and LLDP Director, Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki.

GERMANY – After successfully completed the first half of the two-year Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) with six classes in three sessions in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated postponement of the second half for two years. The program was finally able to resume this spring, with classes taking place February 21 through March 4, 2022 at the International Lutheran Center (Old Latin School) in Wittenberg, Germany.

The International Lutheran Council’s (ILC) General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, taught a course on “Liturgy and Lutheran Hymnody” while LLDP Director, Professor Naomichi Masaki of Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana), held a class on the “Lord’s Supper.”

In front of Luther’s study at Wartburg Castle.

A total of seven Lutheran church leaders from Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Madagascar gathered together for the fourth sessions. Regrettably, variations in national vaccination policies prevented some other students from South Africa, Tanzania, and Ethiopia from obtaining visas necessary to attend.

Students were delighted to finally meet again in person, after having communicated primarily through emails and social media. Daily chapel together and classroom sessions remain the core of the program. Brotherly conversations were enhanced by living together for two weeks and by visiting significant historic locations within Wittenberg as well as in the surrounding regions of Wartburg, Erfurt, and Leipzig.

Worship and the Lord’s Supper

Dr. Quill, who has been part of the LLDP’s teaching faculty since its launch in 2019, led a course on liturgy and Lutheran hymnody. Worship is often a challenging part of the LLDP participants’ ecclesial leadership responsibilities at home. Dr. Quill addressed this important area by teaching the nature of worship as God’s service; the development of liturgy and ceremonies throughout church history; appropriate vestments; and the richness of Lutheran hymnody, with a guideline as to how one may evaluate hymns to be sung in the Divine Service. With numerous concrete stories and examples, Dr. Quill encouraged participants on how to exercise liturgical leadership in their own church bodies.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill leads LLDP participants in singing “A Mighty Fortress” in St. Mary’s Church in Wittenberg.

Dr. Masaki’s topic was an equally challenging one for the participants. Issues related to administration of the Lord’s Supper were identified and participants planned how to address them in their own ministry contexts. The use of bread was an issue in some churches of the participants. The question of wine was an even more disputed one. The class discussed frequency and early ages of communion, as well as the relationship between the Lord’s Supper and the Office of the Holy Ministry. Several participants brought up the subject of unfriendly pastors at communion. Others commented on legalistic practices inherited from their missionary-forebears, such as the compulsory covering of the head for women, wearing of jacket for men, and removal of shoes for all. Charismatic and neo-Pentecostal influences on the Lord’s Supper were also deliberated. The issue of open communion prompted by ecumenical relations of churches and schools in local settings was also addressed. Dr. Masaki helped these church leaders address these and other issues, discussing the major ecumenical and liturgical movements of the last century that may have negatively impacted doctrine and practice of the Lord’s Supper in their contexts. He further expounded the Lord’s Supper as instituted by our Lord in Scripture and confessed in the Book of Concord, helping students prepare themselves for leadership in this area at home.

Professor Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director, teaches LLDP students in Wittenberg.

LLDP participants received the teachings of Dr. Quill and Professor Masaki with joy, gratitude, and excitement. “You explained everything in detail and made it easier to understand what confessional Lutheran means,” one participant remarked about his experience. “The courses have made us to think deeper in a number of issues when it comes to liturgy and the Lord’s Supper,” said another. “I strongly recommend that the LLDP continues, in order to preserve the truth among the participating churches and to strengthen the ILC,” commented still another student.

“It was gratifying that the Lord has made it possible for the LLDP to meet face to face again,” commented Dr. Masaki. “The time spent in person was another wonderful opportunity for our Lutheran leaders to deepen their confessional Lutheran theology, develop practical skills in the areas of worship, and cultivate their friendship as Lutheran church leaders.”

 “I am deeply thankful for the supporters of the LLDP, including Concordia Publishing House, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Concordia Theological Seminary,” he continued. “We were delighted to have Dr. Quill with us as General Secretary. We pray that the Lord may continue to bless this important program for the sake of serving the Lutheran Churches around the world through their leaders.”

LLDP participants at Wartburg Castle.

The next set of classes will take place July 25–August 5, 2022 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The cohort will take two practical courses and church leadership: “Strategic Planning and Task Management,” taught by Rev. Dr. Jeff Skopak, pastor of Grace Lutheran in Jacksonville, Florida; and “Budgeting and Financial Accountability,” taught by Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, President of the LCMS’ Mid-South District.

You can support the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program by making a donation online. You can also make a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 10149
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46850 USA

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LLDP classes study Church Leadership and the Charismatic Movement

LLDP participants in the November 2019 classes pose with LLDP instructors. [Left-most row, l-r diagonally ascending the stairs: Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul (FELSISA); District Pastor Daniel Mono (ELCT-SELVD); Bishop Emmanuel Makala (ELCT-SELVD); General Secretary Teshome Amenue (EECMY); Tsegahun Assefa, Director of Children and Youth (EECMY). Middle row, l-r diagonally ascending the stairs: Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director; President John Donkoh (ELCG); and Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, LLDP faculty and General Secretary (ILC); Right-most row, l-r diagonally ascending the stairs: Rev. Dr. Bruk Ayele (EECMY); Deputy Bishop Mandla Thwala (LCSA); Bishop Modise Maragelo (LCSA); and Professor John Pless, LLDP faculty and Assistant Professor (CTSFW).]

USA – The Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) met for its fifth and sixth classes November 11-22, 2019 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW).

During the first week of classes, Rev. Dr. Christian Ekong, Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, taught a course entitled “Ecclesial and Organizational Leadership.” Archbishop Ekong challenged the students to resist the “leadership syndrome” in which church officials compete for a higher position in the church. Instead, he said, they must understand that church leadership is about service. “If a leader is elected because he has merited a leader’s position, he is in the position of leadership to be served,” he said. “But if a leader understands he is called by God, then that leader will know he is called to serve the church.”

To that end, Archbishop Ekong guided the class into a Scriptural study of ecclesial leadership. Participants expressed gratitude for the class, noting that Archbishop Ekong could speak directly to the challenges and opportunities of church leadership in an African context—challenges they face on a regular basis. The current class of students in the LLDP all come from Africa, with participants in November’s classes attending from Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

During the second week, Rev. Dr. John Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at CTSFW, taught a course on “Responding to Contemporary Issues and Neo-Pentecostalism.” The church faces new challenges in every era, and these call for a careful confessional Lutheran response. Dr. Pless provided timely assistance to the church leaders participating in the LLDP, providing resources, presenting the roots and manifestations of key contemporary spiritual and theological movements, and assisting participants in responding to issues facing their own churches.

The class discussed not only Neo-Pentecostalism but also contemporary theological issues related to the church growth movement, contextualization, women’s ordination, homosexuality, and Luther’s Two Kingdom doctrine, with particular emphasis on their relevance to the Global South. In addition, Dr. Pless introduced Herman Sasse’s writings as reliable theological contributions in answering contemporary issues.

New Resources from CPH

LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki and LCN Archbishop Christian Ekong show Dr. Ekong’s new book, Strengthening Integrity and Accountability in Church Leadership.

Students in November’s classes benefited from two texts recently published by Concordia Publishing House (CPH). The first book, Strengthening Integrity and Accountability in Church Leadership, is by Archbishop Ekong and served as a textbook for his course. “Church leaders are often exposed to temptations to profit because of their privileges,” notes a summary on CPH’s website. “When church leaders give in to these temptations to profit from the privileges of leadership, it gives reason to question their motives.” Instead, Dr. Ekong explains, church leaders are to emulate Jesus and the Apostles “who shepherded God’s people and protected them from the wolves.”

The second work is a reprint of Victor C. Pfitzner’s Led by the Spirit: How Charismatic is New Testament Christianity? When the book was first published by the Lutheran Church of Australia in 1976, “the Charismatic Movement was having a broad impact in denominations in North America, Europe, and Australia,” notes a summary on CPH’s website. Since then the movement has spread to other parts of the globe, making Pfitzner’s careful exegetical study of continued relevance. “This classic book on the subject has been reprinted to assist churches around the world in dealing with this challenge and in formulating a confessional Lutheran response.”

“CPH has been a most helpful partner to the International Lutheran Council and the work of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program,” noted Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director and a professor with CTSFW. “It’s a blessing to work with them to publish these solid Lutheran resources not only for students in the LLDP but also for use by the wider Lutheran community.”

You can purchase Strengthening Integrity and Accountability in Church Leadership and Led by the Spirit: How Charismatic is New testament Christianity? at Concordia Publishing House’s website online.

“With the publication of these two works, we now have three books published by Concordia Publishing House that bear the LLDP logo,” noted Dr. Masaki. “The church leaders in our current LLDP class and I are deeply thankful that CPH keeps rendering such excellent work for the church around the globe.”

LLDP students also received copies of Hermann Sasse’s Letters to Lutheran Pastors during the November classes.

The Lutheran Leadership Development Program

The LLDP is a two-year certificate program of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). The program aims to provide Lutheran church bodies around the world with the opportunity to develop leaders who are competent in both solid confessional Lutheran theology as well as practical skills in leadership and resource management.

“It remains my privilege and joy to spend time with these wonderful men of God and the leaders of various churches,” said Dr. Masaki. “May the Lord continue to use the LLDP for confessional fellowship and to foster mutual support and encouragement among those who serve as leaders in their respective Lutheran church bodies.”

Dr. Masaki and LLDP participants display books received during the latest round of classes.

Nine participants attended the November sessions of the LLDP at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana: Rev. John Donkoh, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG); Rev. Modise Maraglo, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA); Rev. Mandla Thwala, Deputy Bishop of the LCSA; Rev. Helmut Paul, Deputy Bishop of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA); Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Makala, Bishop of the South East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-SELVD); Rev. Dr. Daniel Mono, District Pastor of the ELCT-SELVD; Rev. Teshome Amenu, General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY); Mr. Tsegahun Assefa, Director of Youth and Children of the EECMY; and Rev. Dr. Bruk Ayele, President of Mekane Yesus Seminary of the EECMY. Dr. Ayele is a new participant of the LLDP beginning with the November 2019 classes.

Given that all current participants in the Lutheran Leadership Development Program hail from Africa, plans are underway to hold one of 2020’s LLDP two-week sessions in Africa.

You can support the LLDP by making a donation online. You can also make a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
P.O. Box 18775
St. Louis, MO 63118

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Second Round of Classes for Lutheran Leadership Development Program

LLDP participants and their instructors at CTSFW (l-r): FELSISA Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul, LCSA Bishop Modise Maragelo, EECMY General Secretary Teshome Amenu, ELCT-SELVD Bishop Emmanuel Makala, LCSA Deputy Bishop Mandla Thwala, CTSFW President Lawrence Rast, CTSFW Academic Dean Charles Gieschen, ELCG President John Donkoh, EECMY Director of Children and Youth Tsegahun Assefa, ELCT-SELVD District Pastor Daniel Mono, and LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki.

USA – The Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP) held its second round of classes July 8-19, 2019 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW).

“It was a joy to be reunited here at CTSFW with our colleagues and brothers in the office from countries throughout Africa,” said Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director and a professor with CTSFW. “We pray that their studies in this program will bear much fruit in their home church bodies”

CTSFW President Lawrence Rast teaches Lutheran history.

The first week featured a course on the History of the Lutheran Church taught by CTSFW President Lawrence Rast. This course focused on giving participants a deeper appreciation of the rich heritage of the Lutheran Church, and the tools to evaluate their own Lutheran tradition in light of the history of the Reformation. Participants also considered present day Lutheranism in the context of our changing world, both within and without the church.

The second week of classes featured Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, CTSFW’s Academic Dean, teaching a course on Lutheran Hermeneutics. The course provided instruction for students on how to read and understand Scripture faithfully, while also addressing the dangers of the higher-critical method and reader-oriented hermeneutics of biblical interpretation common in some parts of world Lutheranism. Among other resources, students read the book How to Read the Bible with Understanding, a publication from Concordia Publishing House (CPH).

Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen teaches on Lutheran hermeneutics.

The students were also joined outside of class by Darin Storkson, Interim General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). The Lutheran Leadership Development Program is a certificate program of the ILC.

Darin Storkson, Interim General Secretary of ILC, speaks with LLDP participants.

“One of the recurring requests we hear from Lutheran Churches around the world is the need for solid theological training,” said General Secretary Storkson. “The International Lutheran Council is proud to offer the Lutheran Leadership Development Program as a way of helping Lutherans around the world meet their theological education and leadership-training needs.”

In addition to classes, participants enjoyed plenty of time for food and fellowship, as well as visiting local Lutheran sites. The group also participated in the regular daily chapel services of CTSFW, where four of the LLDP participants were invited to preach. The intensive two-week period ended with a banquet featuring Lutheran choral music.

“The reaction of the participant in the LLDP remains overwhelmingly positive,” said Dr. Masaki. “They express gratitude and joy in hearing lectures that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, and in receiving the Lord’s gifts in daily chapel and Sunday divine services. It’s wonderful to see the growing confessional fellowship and networking among participants and their churches.”

“To many, this program has been an eye-opening experience which they do not want to keep to themselves,” Dr. Masaki continued. “They request an expansion of the program. They also request that the lectures would be made available in book form as well, so that they may be more easily shared with others in in their home countries—something we are exploring with Concordia Publishing House.”

Eight students from across Africa were present for the latest round of classes, including General Secretary Teshome Amenu of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY); Mr. Tsegahun Assefa, Director of the Department of Children and Youth in the EECMY; President John Donkoh of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG); Deputy Bishop Helmut Paul of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA); Bishop Modise Maragelo the Lutheran Church of Southern Africa (LCSA); Deputy Bishop Mandla Thwala of LCSA; Bishop Emmanuel Makala of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania’s South East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELCT-SELVD); and District Pastor Daniel Mono of ELCT-SELVD.

LLDP Director Naomichi Masaki (bottom) and ILC Interim General Secretary Darin Storkson (third row, right) pose with LLDP participants in front of a mosaic in the library at CTSFW. This section of the mosaic shows Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses and Martin Chemnitz holding the completed Book of Concord. “How fitting it is that we all stand here together as heirs of this common and rich Reformation heritage!” said Dr. Masaki, noting that those in the picture come from many different nations (South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Japan, and the United States) but are united in the same Lutheran faith.

Three additional LLDP participants from the Lutheran Church of Nigeria (LCN) and the Malagasy Lutheran Church (FLM) were unable to attend the current round of classes in Fort Wayne.

The LLDPis a two-year certificate program which aims to provide Lutheran church bodies around the world an opportunity to develop leaders who are competent in both solid confessional Lutheran theology as well as practical skills in leadership and resource management. Students in the LLDP meet three times a year over two years for a total of twelve courses. Additional course work, writings, and examinations take place at a distance. More information on the LLDP is available here.

The first round of LLDP classes took place February 18-March 1, 2019 in Wittenberg, Germany. The next set of classes will take place November 18-29, 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

You can support the LLDP by making a donation online. You can also make a donation by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
P.O. Box 18775
St. Louis, MO 63118

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Classes begin for Lutheran Leadership Development Program

Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, ILC General Secretary, teaches LLDP students in Wittenberg.

GERMANY – Students from across the world have converged on Wittenberg, Germany for the inaugural classes of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP).

Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, LLDP Director, teaches in Wittenberg.

“It’s a joy to welcome our first cohort of students, our dear colleagues and brothers in the ministry” said Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki, Director of the LLDP and a professor with Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW). “We pray for God’s richest blessing on each of them as they begin their studies. May the Lord make fruitful use of what they learn over the next two years as well as the time they spend with each other and teaching faculty, to encourage solid confessional Lutheran witness in their respective churches.”

In total, eight students are currently in Germany, with four other LLLDP students unable to attend this set of classes due to visa difficulties. The initial class of twelve includes pastors, bishops, and other church leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana, the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa, the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, and the Malagasy Lutheran Church.

Dr. Masaki (second from right) joins LLDP students for a meal.

The current round of studies in Wittenberg runs from February 18-March 1, 2019. Dr. Masaki is teaching a course on the “Theology of the Lutheran Confessions,” while Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council (ILC), will teach “World Lutheranism and the Ecumenical Movement.”

Birthplace of the Reformation

“Wittenberg is a natural place to hold the first round of classes in the Lutheran Leadership Development Program, given the city’s history as the birthplace of the Reformation” explained Dr. Collver. “Here in Wittenberg, students will have the opportunity to study Lutheran history up close.” During their studies, students will visit nearby Reformation sites, including Martin Luther House, Melanchthon House, St. Mary’s Church, and the Castle Church. Excursions to other Reformation sites, such as the Wartburg, Eisleben, Erfurt, and Torgauis also planned.

The International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School in Wittenberg.

Classes in Wittenberg will be held at the International Lutheran Center at the Old Latin School. The building was first constructed in 1564 as a school for boys, and is situated just across from the City Church—St. Mary’s—where Luther preached regularly. After an extended period sitting derelict, the building was purchased in 2006 and underwent extensive renovations over several years under the care of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg—a joint project of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK), and Concordia Publishing House (CPH).

Today the International Lutheran Center provides a welcoming space for visitors and locals in Wittenberg to learn, grow, study, meet, retreat, and hear the Gospel.

The LLDP

The Lutheran Leadership Development Program is a two-year certificate program which aims to provide Lutheran church bodies around the world an opportunity to develop leaders who are competent in both solid confessional Lutheran theology as well as practical skills in leadership and resource management. The program is a project of the International Lutheran Council, working in cooperation with the LCMS, CPH, and CTSFW.

Students in the LLDP meet three times a year over a two year period for a total of twelve courses. Additional course work, writings, and examinations take place at a distance.

The next round of classes will take place at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana from July 8-19, 2019.

You can support the Lutheran Leadership Development Program by making a donation online. You can also make a by cheque to:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 18775
St. Louis, MO 63118

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Training the next generation of Confessional Lutheran leaders: Lutheran Leadership Development Program ready to launch

WORLD – As a new year gets underway, the International Lutheran Council and its partners are preparing for the first class of the Lutheran Leadership Development Program (LLDP).

This two-year certificate program aims to provide Lutheran church bodies around the world an opportunity to develop leaders who are competent in both solid confessional Lutheran theology as well as practical skills in leadership and resource management. The LLDP is a project of the International Lutheran Council working in cooperation with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Concordia Publishing House (CPH), and Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (CTSFW).

“We’re are grateful for our partners in this project, and are excited to work with them in raising up a new generation of global Confessional Lutheran leaders,” said Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, General Secretary of the ILC. “We look forward to welcoming the LLDP’s first class of students in just a few weeks, and pray for God’s blessings on their studies.”

The first class of students in the LLDP will gather for instruction at the Old Latin School in Wittenberg, Germany from February 18-March 1, 2019. Future classes over the next two years will be held at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri.

Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki of CTSFW serves as Director of the Lutheran Leadership Program. For more information on the program, including details on student learning outcomes, a description of course requirements, and admission details, click here.

Breath of God, Yet Work of Man: First LLDP resource published

Course materials for the Lutheran Leadership Development Program are being prepared in partnership between CTSFW and CPH, with the first of these new resources just unveiled. Breath of God, Yet Work of Man: Scripture, Philosophy, Dialogue, and Conflict is now available for pre-order from CPH.

Edited by Rev. Charles P. Schaum and Rev. Dr. Albert Collver (ILC General Secretary), the book features definitions, benefits, and discussions of Lutheran biblical interpretation. The authors explain tensions that underlie the use of Scripture in Christian witness, acts of mercy, and life together.

Rev. Dr. Albert Collver (ILC General Secretary) and Rev. Dr. Bruce Kintz (CPH President and CEO) display the new book Breath of God, Yet Work of Man.

While developed especially for use in the Lutheran Leadership Development Program, the book will be of interest to a much broader audience. “The authors have assembled a massive amount of material that will challenge readers to think more carefully about how we read the Holy Scriptures and confess the faith today,” notes Rev. Dr. John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at CTSFW. “This is a provocative book that will engage both those within and outside of the Missouri Synod in coming to understand the development of modern hermeneutics.”

Download a sample of the book by visiting CPH’s website here.

Support the training of Confessional Lutheran Leaders around the world

You can support the Lutheran Leadership Development Program and its work in preparing confessional Lutheran leaders for churches around the world through online giving. Simply designate your donation for “The Lutheran Leadership Development Program.” You can make a one-time gift or set-up recurrent giving.

You can also make donations by mail to the following address:

International Lutheran Council
PO Box 18775
St. Louis, MO 63118
United States of America

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