Lay Leadership Training

Lay leadership training in the Michigan District, LCMS is done through the Deacon/Pre-SMP, & Ministry Assistant Training Program.

Introduction to the Program

For Pastors

For Potential Students

Program Purpose

The Deacon/Pre-SMP, Ministry Assistant Training Program provides thorough and ongoing theological training for laity to serve more effectively in congregational ministry under the supervision of an Ordained Pastor. The program also provides initial theological training for laymen preparing to enter the LCMS Specific Ministry Pastor track toward ordination.


Deacons fulfill the same qualifications as that of an “elder” as described in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:6-9. They have a reasonable amount of experience as an active Lutheran in an LCMS congregation. Deacons must have a high school diploma or GED and a recommendation from their congregation and proposed supervisory pastor. They have a willingness to study, learn, and receive mentoring.


Training takes place generally over a period of 2-3 years and includes internships. Each seminar requires a minimum of 24 contact hours and are conducted through eight-hour sessions, usually on three Saturdays spread over a three-month period. The seminars are as follows:

For schedule, please contact Chris Brown or call 810.220.1798.

Please note: These seminars may also be taken by persons with no interest in becoming a Deacon, including women (e.g. Bible class leaders, Sunday school teachers, and others in lay leadership positions).

Tuition and Enrollment

The cost of each seminar is $300 plus textbooks (when required). The tuition covers the honorarium for the instructor and administration expenses.


For more information, contact the Qualifications for Deacon Committee:

Rev. John A. Herzog, PhD Dean of Instruction 586.855.8421

Rev. Todd I. Frusti Chairman / Instructor 810.658.3000

Kathy A. Schurig Ministry Assistant Program Director 586.567.5697

Ms. Chris Brown Registrar 810.772.1254

Rev. Dr. Robert E. Kasper Assistant to the President – Congregation Ministries / Ministry Support 888.225.2111 ext. 230