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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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.