So what is a vicar anyway?
At both seminaries in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Master of Divinity degree is a four year program, and is by far the most common path to becoming a pastor. The third year of those four years is essentially an internship at an LCMS church—but instead of calling it an internship, we call it a “vicarage,” and those who are out serving in this capacity are called “vicars.”
These vicarages can be served at any LCMS church or organization that applies to the seminaries for a vicar. Usually this is a congregation, but not always. Every spring, both seminaries have an evening service where these placements are announced. I attend the seminary here in Fort Wayne, and on placement night I heard my classmates being placed all around the U.S., in places like Los Angeles, Billings, Houston, Raleigh, and Minneapolis. I was very fortunate and blessed to be placed both here at Concordia Lutheran High School as well as St. Paul Gar Creek Lutheran Church in New Haven. I had requested to remain local for my vicarage, and was hoping to be placed here at the high school.
At St. Paul, I assist Pastor Blodgett on Sunday mornings and throughout the week with visitations and Bible studies. Here at Concordia Lutheran High School I am helping fill in for Pastor Hoham while he is away, teaching theology classes and helping with chapel among other things. My previous teaching experience was in a public university in California, so I haven’t really spent any amount of time in a high school since I was in high school (only a couple of decades ago), but my time here so far has been wonderful. I am struck by the sense of community, the energy that the students bring to the building every single day, and the Christ–centered focus of the administrators, the teachers, and every staff member and student.
This will be my only year here at the high school. Next academic year I will return to Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne for one last year of classes before graduating and receiving a divine call. We are only a quarter of the way through this academic year as I write this, and I already have a sense of how much I will miss it when my time here is done. Everyone here has been kind and welcoming, and it has become clear to me the important role Concordia plays in Fort Wayne in general as an academically rigorous institution, proclaiming the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ to all who walk through these doors.
Vicar Kevin McGladdery,