read the story in the paper by clicking here.
I am not so much interested in this story, but in the way the SMP program is now being used. Besides, with a name like David Ellefson, you'd think he would already have been a Lutheran Pastor (former pipe smoking and lutefisk eating kind of Lutheran Pastor who feels right at home in Cosby sweaters and clerical shirts in all the latest colors).
When the LCMS adopted this short cut to spending three years at the Sem and a vicarage, the reasons seemed salutary and urgent enough -- minorities who could not be uprooted from their home but needed to be trained to work among ethnic groups requiring intimate knowledge of the culture and language. Sure, this wasn't the only thing mentioned but it figured prominently in the decision to combine other short circuit paths into one more uniform way to ordination. It even offered the hope of cleaning up the mess of those non-ordained already serving in justified arrangements (lay ministers, deacons, etc., doing Word AND Sacrament ministry supposedly contrary to our Confessions and our own polity). But, in the interest of finding say, a Korean or Sudanese to serve their own population, even some who had reservations thought that a more churchly program that shortened the coursework was not a terrible thing. So the thing got passed.