The church offers a wide range of vocational choices to young people who wish to enter some type of Christian service. There is a continuous need for pastors, foreign missionaries, parapastoral workers, social workers, and Christian teachers at all levels of instruction. These workers must have a broad, thorough liberal education with specialized training in their chosen field. Men and women planning to enter church vocations should plan their programs of study in consultation with the members of the religion faculty, and the campus pastors.
Although the specific entrance requirements vary from school to school, the basic academic requirement for admission to a theological seminary is a bachelor of arts degree. Many seminaries, including all of those of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, require a working knowledge of Greek. In addition, preseminary students should be well-grounded in such areas as history, English, philosophy, modern languages, psychology, and sociology.
The course of study generally recommended for those preparing themselves as layworkers or parapastoral workers in the church consists of a religion major supported by courses from the humanities and the social sciences.