Lay Leadership Training

Michigan School of Missional Formation

Michigan School of Missional Formation

Formerly known as the Deacon/Pre-SMP & Ministry Assistant Training Program.

The Michigan School of Missional Formation currently offers two program routes. The first is the Kairos Program (Sioux Falls) and the second is the Classic Plus Program. For more information on the two programs please read below.


Program Purpose

The Michigan School of Missional Formation – Kairos (Sioux Falls) Program is an accredited Master of Arts degree in association with Kairos University that provides thorough and ongoing theological training from an LCMS perspective 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. The Kairos Program is an online program where you can work at your own pace and take as many courses as you wish at any time. It is estimated that an intentional student could complete the program in 13 months.

The Michigan School of Missional Formation – Classic Plus Program is a certificate program. This program also provides thorough and ongoing theological training from an LCMS perspective 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. The Classic Plus Program is a hybrid of in-person and online classes. In general, the classic plus program is a 2-3 year process that includes internships.

Qualifications for Deacons

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 should have a bachelor’s degree; however, in some cases a high school diploma or GED may be sufficient, along with a recommendation from their congregation and proposed supervisory pastor. They must have a willingness to study, learn, and receive mentoring.

Qualifications for Ministry Assistants

Ministry Assistants should have a bachelor’s degree; however, in some cases a high school diploma or GED may be sufficient, along with a recommendation from their congregation and proposed supervisory pastor. They must have a willingness to study, learn, and receive mentoring.

Qualifications for Pre-SMP

Please contact Rev. Dr. Robert E. Kasper or his assistant Martha Wohlfeil to discuss qualifications for this program.

Courses for both programs include:

*Note: the number of classes required for the Ministry Assistant – Classic Plus Program is only 11 courses.

Class Descriptions

For the Kairos Program, all courses will be available online upon registration through Kairos University.

Please note: These courses 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).

The Classic Plus Program courses will be available following a schedule that will be provided once the student is enrolled.

Tuition and Enrollment

Kairos Program

  • Cost is $300 per month and it is estimated that the course work could be completed between 12–18 months.
  • Enrollment/Registration begins with starting the application process.

  • This is a Master of Arts Program. In the “How did you first hear about us?” portion of the application, please be sure to choose “Other” and type in “Michigan School of Missional Formation.”

Classic Plus Program

For additional information you can view our brochures: