Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM)

Sean Ramsey for TEEM LSTC

"I can not say enough great things about the TEEM Program at LSTC. I am a newly appointed Synodical Authorized Minister serving as a Pastor in the ELCA. At the same time, I have a full-time career that has high demands on my time. The TEEM Program was God sent as I was looking for ways to balance both my desire to be obedient to God’s calling and manage my demanding career. The program has been flexible enough that classes fit around my schedule at the church and work."

Sean Ramsey, current LSTC TEEM student and Synodically Authorized Minister at Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL.

What is the TEEM program?

Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) is a leadership formation process in the ELCA designed for those who meet established criteria. The TEEM process responds to ministry needs of the ELCA.

The LSTC TEEM program prepares candidates for ministry by providing a solid grounding in Lutheran theology and the Lutheran Confessions to enable candidates to articulate a Lutheran theological perspective. In addition, LSTC provides an opportunity for candidates to participate in current theological conversations and to establish relationships with future colleagues in ministry. LSTC is committed to providing coursework, field education and mentorship in intense collaboration with synodical staff and TEEM procedures.

How does the TEEM program work?

TEEM candidates are individuals currently serving in an emerging ministry site that is identified by a synod bishop. A synod bishop provides a recommendation to LSTC for the candidate to be admitted into the TEEM program. If the candidate is accepted, they complete academic and practical ministry requirements at LSTC. Upon completion, they seek approval by a Candidacy Committee and once approved, normally serve their first call in the ministry site identified by a synodical bishop.

How is the TEEM program at LSTC unique?

LSTC offers both a coursework-based and a intensive-based TEEM trajectory.

Coursework-Based Certificate Program:
We offer a strong cohort program, which means students that enter the program will proceed through the coursework together. True to LSTC’s commitments, each TEEM cohort will be actively supported by academic mentors, as outlined in the TEEM manual. LSTC TEEM candidates can elect to take coursework for credit or they can audit the course. If they take the course for credit, they can use those credits toward an MDiv at LSTC if they choose to. If TEEM students audit the course, faculty will be provided with criteria for how they assess the progress of the students. LSTC’s TEEM program is based on six courses taught at LSTC that cover the competencies listed in the TEEM manual. The competencies that are not covered via coursework will be addressed through workshops.

Intensive-Based Certificate Program:
TEEM candidates in this program will need to be on campus three times per year (Orientation/August, January, and May). The program consists of 16 course intensives as well as 8 workshops. Courses are a day and half and take place in the last week of August, the second week in January and the third week in May. These offerings are not eligible to be counted toward an academic degree at LSTC. NOTE: The certificate based version of LSTC's TEEM program is currently under construction. More information about the program will be available by Fall 2022.

Where can I learn more about the TEEM program's criteria and expectations?

The ELCA Candicacy Manual maps out the criteria for acceptance into TEEM, the TEEM process, steps in candidacy for TEEM, and internship/clinical pastoral education requirements.

For a list of synod staff contacts, vist the ELCA website's search page.

The 2022-23 Coursework Based TEEM Manual and the 2022-23 Joint PLTS/LSTC Intensives Based TEEM Manual are also great resources.

Contact Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers at or 773.575.2437 to explore the TEEM program further or to ask any questions.

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