What is DIT ?
The Deaf Institute of Theology (DIT) is a program of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, that leads to ordination as pastors for men and consecration as deaconesses for women.  The purpose is to train workers specifically for Deaf Ministry.  DIT is non-residential and the student does not get a degree.  Students stay at home, continue their regular employment, and continue to serve in their local congregation.  All classes are online and are taken with the help of a local mentor pastor. 

When students graduate, they receive a certificate and a call to serve in their local congregation or in their district.  Graduates should expect to be bivocational "worker-priests."  Their income will usually come from a regular job and serve the church part-time, although some DIT graduates may serve full-time.

Who is permitted to enroll?
There are several requirements.  Men and women who apply must be active members of an LCMS Deaf Ministry for at least two years.  They should be high school graduates (or equivalent) and will normally be over 30 years old.  Applicants should have enough computer skills to take online classes, including typing and submitting their homework online.  Access to high-speed Internet is also necessary.

Before applying, students should take the core set of DeafPah classes for DIT students.  They should be mature in the faith and have experience serving in church.  They should have good knowledge of the Bible and Lutheran doctrine.  As part of the application process, students will take tests to measure their knowledge of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian doctrine.  The seminary academic catalog has a complete list of requirements for applicants.

How do I enroll?
Applications are made to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  The seminary is in the process of merging DIT with the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT), so students apply to EIIT. 

A prospective student's pastor must contact his LCMS District President to obtain a seminary EIIT student application.  The student returns the completed application to the District President with letters of endorsement from both the student's pastor and congregation.  The pastor commits to actively serve as the student's mentor, and the congregation commits to support the student's ministry in the congregation.  The District candidate screening committee interviews the prospective student and forwards the application to the seminary with the committee's recommendation.  The seminary admissions committee make the final decision whether or not to accept the applicant as a student and potential pastor or deaconess in the Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod.

Students should be alert to deadlines in the application  process.

How much does DIT cost?
The cost has been about $9000 a year.  Because the DIT and EIIT programs are being revised, the cost may change.  We recommend students find local sources of support from congregations, individuals, LWML and the district.  Other financial aid may also be available.

How long does DIT take?
DIT is a four year program.  Students take one class at a time and tae four classes per year for a total of sixteen (16) classes.  Again, because the curriculum is changing, the number and length of classes may change.

How much time does it require?
Students have weekly homework and service requirements.  In the first year, students take classes and do field work at their church.  Coursework every week includes readings, videos, answering questions, and meeting with their mentor pastor.  This can take 5-10 hours or more each week.  In addition, field work means volunteering at church to learn more about the work that pastors and deaconesses do and how the church functions.

In the second through fourth years, students serve as vicars or deaconess interns.  Vicars do much of the work that pastors do: preaching, teaching Bible studies, evangelism, hospital and home visits, etc.  Deaconess interns also begin teaching and doing care ministry.  These activities do require extra preparation time.  Students continue to take their normal classes during these years.

Do I need to take classes at the seminary?
To become a pastor or deaconess in the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod, you must go through a seminary program.  However, DIT does not require students to move to the seminary.  Students stay at home and take classes online with the help of their mentor pastor.