The Aging LCMS Pastors & Laity

Started by Dave Likeness, May 03, 2023, 01:21:14 PM

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Dave Likeness

According to a September 2022 analysis by LCMS Rosters & Statistics:

57% of our pastors are over the age of 55 and only 23% are under 
the age of 45.

According to Pew Research Center in a 2016 analysis of LCMS
membership:

The median age of our adult members was 56.   30% of our
membership was older than 65.  58% was older than 50.

These statistics were in the May 2023 issue of The Lutheran Witness


peter_speckhard

Nice! I'm turning 54 this fall. Still on the young side, baby. 

Dave Likeness

If you look at the trends in the LCMS for pastoral candidates
from our 2 seminaries, then you realize that second career
pastors will raise the median age of parish pastors.

The old tradition of most seminary candidates with 4 years of
college followed immediately by 4 years of seminary training
is over.  Most of those men were 25 or 26 years old when they
accepted their first call as a seminary candidate.

Fcdwyn

Quote from: Dave Likeness on May 03, 2023, 02:37:40 PM
If you look at the trends in the LCMS for pastoral candidates
from our 2 seminaries, then you realize that second career
pastors will raise the median age of parish pastors.

The old tradition of most seminary candidates with 4 years of
college followed immediately by 4 years of seminary training
is over.  Most of those men were 25 or 26 years old when they
accepted their first call as a seminary candidate.

How many Calls were given from each seminary last month?

K S Hahn  CSL '72

Dave Likeness

#4
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis issued 43 calls to seminary candidates.
31 had a Masters of Divinity degree and 12 took an alternate route.

Concordia Seminary, Ft Wayne issued 31 calls to seminary candidates.
30 had a Masters of Divinity degree and 1 took an alternate route.

Bottom Line: 74 pastoral candidates received calls

Concordia Seminary St. Louis assigned 42 seminarians to a vicarage.
Concordia Seminary Ft. Wayne assigned 37 seminarians to a vicarage

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Dave Likeness on May 03, 2023, 03:39:40 PM
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis issued 43 calls to seminary candidates.
31 had a Masters of Divinity degree and 12 took an alternate route.
Wow. So only 31 4th year guys on campus all year? How many vicars did they place?

Jim Butler

There were about the same number of vicars as candidates. However, the first year class this year is about double that size and there are close to 60 students entering each seminary next year.

I think the poor numbers reflect COVID issues,.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Dave Likeness

Thanks Jim, for the update.   It would be great to have those lst Year
classes number 100 in the near future. The pastoral ministry needs to
be a recruitment priority for our LCMS parishes and districts.

Tom Eckstein

So, even though the LCMS currently has a pastor SHORTAGE, if the age statistics of the LCMS do not change, it won't be too long before we have a pastor SURPLUS because of all the LCMS congregations that have closed.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

It's noteworthy to see the Fort Wayne numbers nearly matching those of St. Louis. They used to be quite different.

therevev

Quote from: Jim Butler on May 03, 2023, 05:28:05 PM
There were about the same number of vicars as candidates. However, the first year class this year is about double that size and there are close to 60 students entering each seminary next year.

I think the poor numbers reflect COVID issues,.

If the enrollment numbers that you describe hold true, I am looking for continued growth in enrollment numbers.
----
Evan
Pastor in Michigan

Weedon

We may be getting older, but we need not be getting decrepit! Check out this excellent interview between Dr. Shawn Baker and Pr. Matthew Ruesch. Matt does an outstanding job of witnessing to his faith AND giving some important health info he has himself experienced firsthand:

https://youtu.be/nFyud7O21uc

PrTim15

Hats off to the new recruitment/admissions team in St. Louis. Ben Haupt has done a great job in retooling this process. I had heard from some "that God isn't calling men the way he used to seminary." This meant that they didn't just run a bus from the Concordia Colleges full of guys to come and enroll in Mdiv programs. St. Louis seems to have plugged the rather large hole in the bottom of the bucket. Well done to have 60 guys instead of 30. We measure what matters, and this matters a ton to congregations. BTW I"m 59 kind of a weird thing to be on the down hill side of the demographic.

Tom Eckstein is right, at what point do we not have a pastoral shortage, but have a congregational overage?

Dave Benke

Quote from: Tom Eckstein on May 03, 2023, 09:05:49 PM
So, even though the LCMS currently has a pastor SHORTAGE, if the age statistics of the LCMS do not change, it won't be too long before we have a pastor SURPLUS because of all the LCMS congregations that have closed.

I've often opined, Tom, that rural and urban congregations have more in common with one another than it seems.  Even as the rural areas lose population and congregations either merge or simply close, urban congregations lost substantial membership through the decades to outbound, or now southbound migration.  In the urban setting it's not that there are no people around.  Some urban neighborhoods have shrunken, to be sure, but where I'm located, there are tons of apartments being built, which will be occupied by a more gentrifying crowd.  So we simply have to re-imagine outreach.

In both cases the current congregations are frankly too small to sustain in terms of compensation or need. 

I am happy to hear of new student growth at St. Louis; watching Call Night there and the announcement that over 30 congregations were not going to receive a candidate tells me that there's definitely need.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Richard Johnson

Quote from: Weedon on May 04, 2023, 12:31:34 PM
We may be getting older, but we need not be getting decrepit!

Remember that when the 2024 election rolls around ...
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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