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March 10, 2021

By The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D., Dean of Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Comings and Goings

“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8)

It’s spring break at Trinity! And spring seems to be on its way, with temperatures in the 60s in Columbus this week. After two full weeks of snow cover, it’s a welcome change.

So what’s going on behind the scenes at the seminary?

Pastor Julie Hutson, Director of Contextual and Experiential Formation, is busily matching second-year students with the internship congregations where they will serve for the next two years. The buzz of excitement is noticeable.

First-year students are applying to Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs for the summer. Some will be staying here in Columbus for CPE, while others are taking advantage of the opportunity to experience a different context for a few months.

Senior M.Div. students will be graduating in just over two months. Hard to believe! This is the class I started with. They enrolled at Trinity in Fall 2017 and experienced the transition to Trinity-at-Capital in January 2018.

You may not know that the first call process for M.Div. candidates is changing with this class. Previously graduating seniors participated in an assignment process that was affectionately referred to as “the draft.” Bishops representing each of the nine regions of the ELCA identified the candidates they wanted to serve in their regions. Then bishops within each region met to assign students to a particular synod. Students anxiously awaited a phone call informing them of where they would be heading.

Starting with this graduating class, the first call process will be facilitated by the bishop of a student’s home synod. This doesn’t mean the student will necessarily be called to serve in that synod. Instead, it means that synods and students can engage in earlier conversations about first call possibilities, rather than waiting to see who was drafted where. Please hold our graduating seniors – and their bishops – and our congregations – in prayer as these discernment conversations take place.

We are also hard at work to bring in the entering class for Fall 2021 – while simultaneously searching to fill the recently vacated position of Trinity admissions recruiter. If you or someone you know has a passion for lifting up leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world, please contact for more information about the position or to submit application materials (letter of interest, current resume, three references, and Rostered Leader Profile, if applicable).

Blessings on your own comings and goings!

The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D.

Trinity Lutheran Seminary forms leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world.