Photo: The full-time residency deaconess students at Lutheran Theological Seminary recently met with the part-time intensive course deaconess students and instructors Deaconess Grace Rao and Deaconess Deborah Rockrohr.
“We have reached the midpoint of the first semester at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane (LTS). The first quarter (Q1) of studies at LTS closed on March 23. Our classes continue through Q2 with final exams in June, but the mid-term break suggests we pause and reflect on what we have done, what has kept us busy since classes started on February 7, and the blessing of the Lord’s mercy and grace that has been woven throughout.
“Carl has been teaching Early Church History and Theological Orientation this semester. Both of these courses correspond to courses at the University of Pretoria (UP) and are offered for UP credit to students who qualify for UP admission under the joint partnership agreement between LTS and UP. Challenges for Carl in Q1 have included aligning his courses with UP outcomes, access to sufficient research/library resources for lecture preparation, and helping the two new students catch up with the class. On the whole, Carl reports that the students have engaged well with the material and he has enjoyed lively conversations with them on the subject matter.
“Carl has also been the assigned preacher for Matins on Fridays and enjoys the discipline of regular sermon preparation. As we worship together in daily chapel and on Sundays, we are becoming accustomed to hearing worshipers sing nearly everything in rich harmony, but the experience is no less joyful or inspiring even as it becomes familiar to our ears.
“As director of the Deaconess Programme at LTS, Deborah will readily tell anyone who is interested to hear, ‘I am for the women.’ Her interest and her responsibilities extend to all aspects of the living and learning environment as it impacts the deaconess students. Deborah has been teaching two courses for the deaconess students: Introduction to Deaconess Ministry and Theology of Lutheran Worship/Altar Guild. She also provides ‘Supervised Prep’ for the deaconess students twice per week after lunch. The prep period encourages a regular discipline of study in addition to providing opportunities for students to ask questions as they study. Students have regularly used this time wisely and also have asked questions in nearly every prep period. The arrangement seems to be meeting its intended goal of supporting the academic endeavors of the deaconess students.”