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  Philosophy of the Lay School of Ministry of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin

The Lay School of Ministry (LSM) is an educational ministry of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin (ELCA), which assists lay people to a deeper Christian identity and participation in the mission of the whole church.

The curriculum and educational objectives of the Lay School of Ministry emphasize the baptismal vocation of all Christians. Courses are designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of the Bible, Worship, Spirituality, Christian History and Lutheran Theology.

Most students enter LSM with a history of active ministry in their own congregations and communities.

LSM's mission is to provide students with opportunities to reflect on their past and present ministries, while engaging in theological studies with peers and with encouragement and guidance from a faculty consisting of seminary and college professors and members of the clergy of synod congregations.

LSM is not designed to provide students with training for Synodically Authorized Ministry or endorsement for specific rostered ministries. Those seeking such training are encouraged to contact the Synod office for information and guidance.

We know that participants are bringing discernment questions with them to LSM. During their two-year experience they can sustain over time a conversation about what God is calling them to as baptized Christians. Some do use this as a time to discern if God is calling them to rostered ministry. But all are able to use this time to discern how to live out their baptismal calls in the world with the gifts God has given them.

Participants who have completed the basic two-year course of study are encouraged to make a personal commitment for continuing education when offered by the LSM or through the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.

Service offered by current and past participants of the Lay School of Ministry should always be performed as a part of the Church's one holy ministry offered by a community of baptized servants who are instruments of service to others as part of Christ's calling.

The Synod will recognize milestones in a LSM participant's education using the "Rite of Affirmation of Baptism."