event at Martinsburg

Education for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(21 November 2022)

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We've moved all the continuing education to this new page because continuing education is not just for clergy. Both laity and clergy will find offerings here. Some are for laity only. Some are for clergy only. Some are for both. That said, there is denominational encouragement for clergy (and even requirements for certain classes of clergy). If you are clergy (or a congregational mutual ministry committee member), please review the general introduction for clergy continuing education.

The education event matrix below is a quick way to skim our offerings. Click on the linked text to learn about each. Check beck periodically to find out what new thing is being offered.

Some educational events are recorded and available for viewing at a later date. Beneath the education event matrix, you find the archives matrix.

We've had a lot of events that are now behind us and have begun work on the next series. Check back again and do be sure to take a look at the offerings from our colleagues across Region 8. Those are posted separately on Facebook (click here for more info).

Your Input Sought

Here are some things that are in the works, upon which we would like to have your opinion.

  • Workshops for Congregational Leaders: We are asking congregational leaders to tell us what would be helpful in the way of workshops and resources for the discharge of their offices. If you are a pastor or congregational lay leader, please respond to our very short survey. Click here for more information.


Upcoming Events Date
Melanchthon's 1521 Loci Communes
28 Nov 2022
Thursday in Black: A Conversation with Malagasy Women Church Leaders
1 Dec 2022
LARCUM: Evangelism? 8-10 May 2023 John XXIII
National Workshop on Christian Unity
8-11 May 2023
Parliament of World Religions
14-18 Aug 2023
Symposium for Evangelical Lutheranism in Appalachia (SELA)
26-28 Oct 2023
Gettysburg Seminary
Clergy and SAMs

Don't forget to check out the offerings from the other synods of Region 8

Recorded Past Events Date
WVCC: Dementia-Friendly Worshiping Communities Webinar
8 Dec 2021
Zoom & Facebook
ELCA: Anger Webniar
30 Nov 2021

Clergy Continuing Ed
Page Map

In General

WV-WMD typically holds two main clergy cont. ed events each year, one in fall, the other in winter. More about that below.

It is worth noting that CA97.2.7(a)(1)(a), an action of the Churchwide Assembly, encourages "a minimum of 50 contact hours per year of intentional continuing education, or 150 contact hours each three-year period." N.B., a contact hour is defined (as found on the rostered leader's annual report to bishop) as 50 minutes of class time or the equivalent. Time in worship, at meals, etc. does not count as contact hours.

Who would go to a doctor or a lawyer who did not engage in continuing education? Arguably, the stakes are higher when it comes the the clergy. Congregations should, therefore, not think of continuing education as a reward or a benefit but as an investment. Mutual ministry committees should discuss continuing education plans with their clergy and support education that will advance the professional develop their clergy and, in turn, advance the ministry.


Clergy, if you have been attending webinars, zoom conferences, etc., related to COVID-19 (e.g., the synodical one organized by DEM Sherri Schafer and held April 30) where the purpose is education, training, or information sharing (and not planning or mutual support), you can count the hours as contact hours for purposes of continuing education. N.B. the definition of contact hours supra.


Since 2000, the WV-WMD Synod has recommended sabbaticals for clergy every seventh year of service in place. Mutual ministry committees and call committees should review the Synod's recommendation. It can be found linked on the Clergy Compensation page.

Region 8Region 8 Continuing Ed Sharing

There has been lots of new postings on the Region 8 fb page. It's good to see this much activity, and it is especially good to see us all moving beyond our synodical silos.

Synods across Region 8 hold continuing education events, and, on occasion, the Region sponsors an event jointly. It is often, though not always, possible to join another synod for its event. Be sure to check with the appropriate sponsor. If, however, the event is listed on the Region 8 Facebook Page, you may assume that it is open to clergy from across the Region. Check it out.

4 of 8

NWPA, Allegheny, USS, and WV-WMD are teaming upon a variety of projects that are of specific interest to those of us with small cities, towns, and rural territory. These projects include some continuing education offerings.

First Call Theological Education

CA95.6.55 ...To require, by the fall of 1997, that all newly rostered pastors and lay leaders participate, throughout their first three years of ministry under call, in structured programs of theological education, designed and supervised by their synods, according to churchwide standards;....

The 1995 ELCA Churchwide Assembly mandated continuing education for the first three years of called ministry. The synods of Region 8, compacting, even during the preceding two-year pilot phase, to establish a region-wide approach, developed a program featuring an annual plenary retreat and regular geographical cohort groups. The annual 3-day retreat is held in early November not far from Gettysburg, PA. The geographical cohort is currently run on a synodical basis with the bishop having direct oversight. The cohort has begun meeting on a nearly monthly basis. All new first-call pastors and deacons and their respective congregations or agencies will be contacted by the bishop with details related to FCTE. The national policy document can be downloaded here.

FCTE Region 8 Plenary

When information becomes available, we'll post it. For now, assume it will be in October or November 2023.

The Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event

Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC), Chair
Pr. Ben Erzkus (MVMC)
  Pr. Sally Bartling (PC)
Vacant (OKVC)

The Planning Team

At the Winter 2018 Synod Clergy Cont. Education Event, the presbyteral college elected to establish a committee for the design, planning, and management of synod sponsored clergy continuing education with one representative from each of the four conferences. Synod Clergy Cont. Ed, as we currently have it configured, provides approximately 12-17 per year, assuming attendance at both events.

Serving on the the Continuing Ed Committee we have Kevin Mackey (OKVC), Sherri Schafer (UOVC), and Ben Erzkus (MVMC), and Sally Bartling with Bp. Riegel as an advisory member. Synod clergy should feel free to talk to their conference's team about ideas and concerns related to continuing ed.

Thanks are owed to The Revs. Christine Olson (past chair), Paul Schafer, Casey Linemann, Ryan Heycock, Ruth Bullwinkle, and Kevin Mackey for their, now concluded, service on the team.

Spring 2023

Planning is now underway for the Spring 2023 event. Everything is up in the air. As soon as we have a date, venue, and topic, we'll let you know.

SatterleeAAR: Fall 2022: My Burden Is Light with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Craig Satterlee

The Fall 2022 Event is history, and, based upon the texts and emails from participants, it was a success on all counts but especially with respect to the educational component. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Craig Satterlee, Bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod, ELCA, (click here for a biographical sketch), lectured on the topic of his upcoming book, My Burden is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching.

The event was held over the course of three days, 16-18 November 2022, at Cacapon Resort State Park. This is the first time that the synod clergy cont. ed event has been held at this park. The facilities were excellent. Unfortunately, a cold snap militated against some of the outdoor recreation options, but that did not get in the way of participants enjoying the setting and local amenities.

Attendance was strong and included pastors from Lower Susquehanna, Southwest Penn, and Delaware-Maryland.

Extra Offerings

Sometimes we through in a continuing ed offering specifically for clergy that is beyond our usual biannual event.

JTAAR: "God Is Fair? Life Isn't? A Discussion of Job"

The Rev Dr. JT Miller, pastor of Zion Lutheran, McGregor, TX, delivered a Stimulating lecture on the Book of Job on Wednesday, 27 July 2022, to a gathering of clergy and laity, representing six different judicatories.

Miller is the first to try out our "Working Vacation" invitation. He is spending a little over a week on the Mountaintop, providing pastoral services to the Aurora-Redhouse Parish. While among us, he consented to provide the lecture.

Some participants decided to take advantage of their time in the highest-altitude incorporated city in West Virginia, renting a cabin at Blackwater Falls. Rumor has it that some excellent sausages in cider was served up for dinner. A confirmed report of Pr. Ruth Bullwinkle beating out four others at hearts has been received. Folks planning on joining us for the Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Event at Cacapon State Park should consider the recreational opportunities afforded by the venue (and maybe challenge Bullwinkle to a card game).

Past Events

Peruse our past events and get a sense of what we do.


The pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc with our LARCUM plans. The planning team has been meeting and adjusting matters as conditions warrant. Here's what's happening....

                2019 Michelbach, Crump, Felici, Smith

LARCUM Spring 2023: Evangelism?

Postponement Coming to an End

LARCUM 2020 was initially postponed until May 2021 by the planning team because of the pandemic. Unsure of what COVID-19 restrictions would be in place in September (affecting both venue and travel for both participants and presenters) coupled with the fact that a good number of LARCUMites would classify as vulnerable, postponement seemed reasonable this past summer. Our caution proved warranted.

Now we're shooting for 8-10 May 2023, at John XXIII. The topic will be "Evangelism?" the focus not being on the how but rather on the why. The planning committee will post updates as plans evolve.

Old Info

The next WV Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic-United Methodist Tetralogue will be held 14-16 September 2020 at the John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston, WV. The topic will be evangelism, and we are using the working title, "Evangelism?" until things take more shape. That working title should give you a clue as to the current direction. Based upon conversation with attendees at the conclusion of LARCUM 2019, the focus is to be on the why of evangelism (and the other theoretical concepts that relate to it) rather than the how. +Riegel, responding to a question on line wrote, "We have no shortage of techniques, but we do seem to have a motivation." He also pointed out that the mainline churches already share many of the same resources related to the how of evangelism, but whether they share the same rationale between them or even within their own histories is something to be explored. Mark you calendars. For those with facebook, an event has already been created: https://www.facebook.com/events/962456230758841/. RSVP with either "going" or "interested" to stay connected for updates over the course of the year.

LARCUM 2019, held under the "Christianity & Civil Government: History, Theology, Implications (for Citizens, Pastors, and Institutions)," was very well attended with 49 registered. The Lutherans were there in force---and the envy of all the other denominations. If you would like to check out some pics and posts from LARCUM 2019, click here.

Lutherans interested in LARCUM may want to consider joining Team Wittenberg, our very own LARCUM fb group for Lutherans. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2828820697146887


SCALDers had been thinking about holding SCALD III in the spring of 2020, but the pandemic came. Well, we're thinking about it again. No definite time and place has been selected, but late mid to summer is looking like a real possibility. So, it's time to start dusting off paper ideas. This is be an in-person event.

(Symposium for Central Appalachian Lutheran Dogmatics) is designed as a day of theological discussion, employing the symposium model. Presenters give papers with discussion of those papers open to all participants. It is about providing an intellectually engaging and profitable opportunity for rank and file pastors and lay theologians (amateur and professional) to test their all too often private ruminations among those capable of being critical and convivial at the same time.

SCALD II, meeting in Keyser, WV, on 21 Feb 2019, saw a doubling of attendance over SCALD I, with 30 participating, representing 6 ELCA judicatories (WV-WMD, LSS, Allegheny, MNYS, NC, and Del-MD). There were 2 non-ELCA folks there (TEC and UCC). There were 6 laity and 24 clergy. One of the lay participants, a seminarian from LSTC, even road the train overnight to attend.

Hadaway SCALD ISCALD papers...

    • The Rev. Matt Day --- Suicide and the Church's Answer: A Theological Primer on the Theology of Suicide and How the Church Should Respond
    • The Rev. Elizabeth Leigh Hadaway --- The Babylonian Captivity of the Clergy Spouse
    • The Rev. Brian McClinton --- My Church Council President Is a Montanist: Is That a Problem? -- Brian McClinton
    • The Rev. Mike Hadaway --- Holding Fast: Ecumenism, the Answer to the Saviors Prayer or a Betrayal of Dogma?
    • The Rev. Jerry Kliner --- The 95 Theses 500 Years On: What's Settled, What Is Still in Dispute?
    • The Rev. Christine Olson --- Ask, Search, Knock. Opened? A Case for a Theology of Prayer in a "Just Do It" World
    • The Rev. Brian McClinton --- "You mean we can't sing Pass it on in Church": Hymnody and the theological importance in Christian education
    • The Rev. Jonathon Jenkins --- A (More) Trinitarian Baptism
    • Vr. James Demmel --- On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Kierkegaard
    • Dr. Eric Crump --- Shameless - and Mindless: A Proposed ‘Sexual Reformation’ in Need of Enlightenment

Until the SCALDers get a proper page set up, you can indicate your interest in SCALD III by visiting SCALD II's facebook event and posting in the comments thread. That way the SCALDers will know to let you know about SCALD III.

BTW, in the photo at right is The Rev. Elizabeth Hadaway, at SCALD I, delivering her paper, "The Babylonian Captivity of the Clergy Spouse," a very interesting critique of commonly held ideas about the role of the clergy spouse in light of Augustana XIV, XVI, and XXIII.

Other Opportunities

Melanchthon Loci
                Communes 1521Melanchthon's Loci communes: Book Study

Plans are coming together for a book study on Melanchthon's Loci communes.

What we know:

  • We know that we will be meeting by Zoom.
  • We know that the sessions will be one-hour.
  • We know that it will usually be Monday afternoons at 3:00 p.m..
  • There will be some Mondays that we will skip because of scheduling issues.

What we do not know:

  • We don't know how fast this will move. Ideally, we could say that we will knock off a chapter each session, but who knows? We may move faster or slower depending upon the will of the group. There may even be times when we breeze through multiple chapters and then slow down for an intensive study of a particular chapter.
  • There may be times that we enlist the aid of experts for particular topics.

It is not required that someone be at every session. We're all busy, and you're not getting a certificate from an state-accredited agency for this. You are more than welcome to invite a friend for any particular session. Our first session was held on 19 September 2022, 3:00 p.m.—just because you missed the first session (or any subsequent session) doesn't mean you can't jump in. Here's the schedule (which, of course, is subject to change) from this point forward:

Monday, 19 September 2022, 3:00 p.m. Introductory material by editor/translator
Dedicatory Letter
Basic Topics of Theology or Christian Theology in Outline
Monday, 26 September 2022, 3:00 p.m. The Power of Man, Especially Free Will
Monday, 3 October 2022, 3:00 p.m. Sin
Monday, 10 October 2022, 3:00 p.m. The Law
Divine Laws
Monday, 17 October 2022, 3:00 p.m. Councils
Vows of Monks
Judicial and Ceremonial Laws
Human Laws
Monday, 24 October 2022, 3:00 p.m. The Gospel
The Power of the Law
The Power of the Gospel
Monday, 31 October 2022, 3:00 p.m.
Justification and Faith
Monday, 7 November 2022, 3:00 p.m.
The Efficacy of Faith
Love and Hope
Monday, 14 November 2022, 3:00 p.m.
The Difference Between the Old and New Testaments and the Abrogation of the Law
The Old Man and the New
Mortal and Daily Sin
Monday, 21 November 2022, 3:00 p.m.
Private Confession
Monday, 28 November 2022, 3:00 p.m.
Participation in the Lord's Table

fb groupWe will use the first edition of the Loci communes as the base text with cross-referencing to the other editions to mark the development of Melanchthon's thought. You will want to find yourself a copy of the 1521 Loci communes. There are several editions out there. Two of the most common are

  • Commonplaces: Loci Communes 1521, Christian A. Prues, trans. (CPH, 2014);
  • The Loci Communes of Philip Melanchthon: With a Critical Introduction by the Translator, Charles Leander Hill, trans. (Boston: Meador, c.1944);  and
  • Melanchthon & Bucer, The Library of Christian Classics Series, Wilhelm Pauck, ed. (Westmintser John Know Press, 1997) — a benefit of this edition is that you also get Martin Bucer's De regno Christi.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with securing later editions in addition to the 1521.

You can also find the Latin text online on Google Books here.

You may also join the "Melanchthon Reading Group" Facebook group.

To register for the book study, click here, or we can't let you know how to login.

FLMThursdays in Black: A Conversation with Malagasy Women Church Leaders

This event is explained on our Social Ministry page. In short, we have the opportunity to be in conversation with our sisters in Madagascar on 1 December 2022, 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit the Social Ministry page to get access to the Zoom links.

National Workshop on Christian Unity

The National Workshop on Christian Unity will be held in Milwaukee, WI, 8-11 May 2023. For more information, visit the NCWU website.

Parliament of Word Religions

Parliament of World Religions - Chicago

The 2023 Parliament of World Religions will convene in Chicago, 14-18 August 2023, under the theme, "A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights." This conference is open to anyone. There is a lot more information than we can put on this page, so, click here, to visit the Parliament of World Religions website. If registered by 15 December 2022, you can save $325 ($225 compared to $550 at the gate the day the conference opens). There is also a much lower student rate.

The Parliament of World Religions is the biggest and most diverse religious conference in the world. It first convened in 1893, in connection with the Chicago World's Fair. The Parliament travels the world, and the last time it was in North America was Toronto 2018. The last time before that was Chicago 21993. So, if you are interested, you may want to jump on this opportunity because it may not be back within easy striking distance in the near future, and Chicago is a very easy trip by train from our territory.

Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic: LHSMA2022 Annual Meeting and Program — Postponed

Postponed — The meeting of the Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic has been postponed; the new date has yet to be set. Check out the site from time to time for new developments or sign up for The Bishop's Roadshow.

LHSMA will hold its 2022 conference on Saturday, October 15, on the Gettysburg Seminary campus, beginning at 9:00 a.m..

The program is free; there is a $10 cost for lunch.  No lunch cost for high school, college, and seminary students. Registration is required. To register, complete the registration form (see second page of this document in PDF or MS-Word) or register online at www.LutheranHistoricalSociety.com

The keynote lecture will be The Art of Exegesis: An Analysis of the Life and Work of Martin Hans Franzmann, presented by The Rev. Matthew Borrasso. Borrasso holds an S.T.M. from United Lutheran Seminary (2018). He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Birmingham (UK) researching the practical effects of Lutheran hermeneutics in the LCMS and ELCA regarding issues of human sexuality. His presentation focuses on his St. Paul, Biglerville Prize winning book.

A panel discussion titled, "Church Record Keeping in a time of the COVID pandemic: What should we keep?" will discuss what congregations should keep from their experience with the pandemic including how to handle digital records. The panel will feature The Rev. Dr. Maria Erling,
Professor of Modern Church History and Global Mission, United Lutheran Seminary, and Victoria Jesswein, Assistant Archivist, United Lutheran Seminary Library.

A flyer may be downloaded and reproduced at your convenience in either PDF or MS-Word.

Standing Resources


Select Learning provides access to quality theological learning experiences for personal, congregational and professional learning. Using outstanding seminary and college instructors and ministry practitioners, Select Learning combines high quality DVD-based video courses, customized study materials, proven textbooks,and online learning to create effective and flexible theological exploration opportunities. Select Learning is a member of the Lay School for Ministry Network of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


Blumhardt fbReading Group: Blumhardt's Action in Waiting

Last year, we explored Johann Arndt's master work, True Christianity. This year, we fast forwarded a few centuries and dove into Action in Waiting by Christoph Blumhardt.

Christoph Blumhardt has a fascinating biography, involving both healing ministry, spiritual revival, and politics, but he saw something even greater, saying,

I do not want to suggest that it is of little importance for God to heal the sick; actually, it now is happening more and more often—although very much in quiet. However, things should not be promoted as though God’s kingdom consists in the healing of sick people. To be cleansed is more important than to be healed. It is more important to have a heart for God’s cause, not to be chained to the world but be able to move for the kingdom of God.

Although the book study has wrapped up, you still engage engage in conversation through the Christoph Blumhardt Reading Group. Click here to learn more.

Dementia-Friendly Worshiping Communities

The West Virginia Council of Churches held a webinar on Dementia-Friendly Worshiping communities on 8 December 2021 with The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry. Berry wrote the book When Words Fail: Practical Ministry to People with Dementia and Their Caregivers and co-authored, Dementia Friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy, and Faith Communities.

The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry received a Masters of Religious Education from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a Masters in Patient Counseling and a postgraduate certificate in aging studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. During Kathy’s tenure at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, she provided spiritual care for residents with dementia diagnoses, their families, and the staff who care for them. For the last five years, Rev. Berry has offered the “When Words Fail” seminar for clergy and lay leaders throughout Virginia and she speaks regionally and nationally about spirituality and dementia.

A recording of the webinar can be watched on the WVCC Facebook page.

Anger Webinar

Barb Keller offered a webinar for clergy on anger for ELCA clergy, via Zoom, on 30 November 2021. A recording is available. Contact the bishop or the D.E.M. for access.

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West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
304-363-4030  +  Porter@WV-WMD.org