Lay School For Mission

Lay School For MissionLay School For Mission Information

Sponsored by the Northern Great Lakes Synod

Enroll in the Lay School for Mission!

— Grow in Faith.

— Develop your Spirituality.

— Discern your Baptismal Vocation.

— Learn more about Prayer, the Bible, and the Church?

All this and more is available in the Lay School.

Lay School for Mission Purpose

Lay School For MissionThe Lay School for Mission provides a unique educational opportunity in a number of sites around the Synod.  To find a similar opportunity one would need to travel to seminaries in Chicago, St. Paul, or Dubuque.

Lay School classes are taught by pastors and qualified lay persons.  There is no tuition for classes; the only cost is for books, transportation, and any meals.  Although some academic work may be required, grades are not assigned, and students learn what they want to learn, at their own pace.  The full Lay School experience covers five semesters of 60 hours each, taught over two and a half years.  Students can also choose to take classes part time, or just take specific classes.

While “graduates” of the Lay School are not entitled to any specific position in the church, they are equipped to engage in greater ministry within congregations.  They acquire new ministry skills and increase their understanding of scripture and theology.  Most of all they deepen their faith and discipleship.  All this happens as they gather on a regular basis with others, creating a caring community that learns and grows together.

Lay School For MissionLay School classes are open to all members of the Synod.  We also welcome persons from other Christian traditions to be a part of the experience.  Their presence adds to the richness of the learning!

Anyone with an interest in growing in faith, discipleship, knowledge, and skills, is encouraged to consider Lay School classes.  Imagine the impact on the ministry of your congregation if the pews were filled with persons who have grown in faith and discipleship, and who have new insights and skills in the work of Jesus Christ!

For more information, or a curriculum description contact Pastor Warren Geier, Dean of the Lay School for Mission,  906-486-4351

Lay School Campuses

Escanaba (MI) – Christ the King, Coordinator: Rev. Stephen Gauger, 906-474-9353,

Marquette (MI) – Messiah, Coordinator: Rev. Warren Geier, 906-486-4351.

Hancock (MI) – Finlandia University, Coordinator: Pastor Soren Schmidt

Minocqua (WI) – Calvary Lutheran Church
Coordinator: Rev. Devon Barrix, (715) 277-4983

St. Ignace (MI) – The Lay School also engages in a cooperative ministry with the Presbytery of Mackinac through the classes of the Lay Academy meeting at Zion Lutheran Church in St. Ignace and in the northern lower peninsula. For more information, contact Pastor David Tielbar (906) 643-7870 –

Curriculum and Course Description


            At one point it seemed unlikely that we would be able to offer all of the classes scheduled for the Fall 2018 semester, but thanks to the cooperation of our pastors, we will have a full schedule of five classes!  Five classes does present some scheduling difficulties as for part of the semester three courses will be offered which means during those weeks we will start a little bit earlier than in the past.  Hopefully, that’s not an inconvenience.  Unlike last fall, all classes will be offered on Tuesdays which has been our normal practice.   

  • The Fall 2018 Semester will begin on September 4 and will continue every Tuesday until late November.
  • Classes will be held at Messiah, Marquette (305 W. Magnetic) with Pastor Warren Geier as the site coordinator.
  • Five classes will be offered in the Fall 2018 semester (please note the datesand times for each class as they do vary)

Spiritual Development     September 4-October 23  (2-3:30pm)   (8 sessions)

An exploration of spiritual practices, especially prayer, and how as we develop them they develop us in our faith journey. There will be an emphasis on engaging in spiritual practices, not just learning about them.  (Pastor Doug Norquist; Community Lutheran Parish, Palmer/Suomi))

Pentateuch     September 4-October 9  (3:30-5:30)  (6 sessions)

A study of the first five books of the Old Testament. The stories of the Pentateuch will be examined, not merely as history, but as theological statement. The legal material will be considered in light of our contemporary culture. (Pastor Warren Geier; Bethany, Ishpeming)

Christian Theology II   Second Article           September 4-October 9 (6-8pm)  (6 sessions)

A study of the second article of the Nicene Creed concerningwho Jesus is and what he represents, and what is it about the human condition that necessitates Christ and the cross? What are the historical foundations, especially regarding the nature of Christ?  (Pastor Steve Solberg; Immanuel, Negaunee)

Lutheran Confessions          October 16-November 20 or 27)        (6-8pm) (6 sessions)

This course will introduce and explore the Lutheran confessional documents, especially the Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Large Catechism.  Other confessional documents will also be noted.    (Pastor Allan Johnson, Messiah, Marquette)

Ethics             October 23-November 13    (3:30-5:30)  (4 sessions)

As people of faith we often struggle with the proper response to the issues of the day. This is a course on ethical behavior in light of the cross and Gods call to righteousness. (Pastor Jim Duehring; NGLS Assistant to the Bishop)

Normally we don’t hold classes during Thanksgiving week but that is subject to change at the discretion of teachers and students.

A reminder that there is no tuition; the only cost is for books and instructors do the best they can to keep that within reason. Many of the books can be bought used which can also provide significant savings. Students have been responsible for purchasing their own books.

As is always the case, we need new students! It should be emphasized though that one does not have to sign up for all the classes, one does not have to complete all the classes in a certain period of time, one does not even have to complete all the classes ever.  You can take as much or as little as works for your schedule and your interests. There is reading to do outside of class and some teachers suggest an occasional short paper but the program is designed to be flexible.  Also, please note that Lay School is not designed to produce Licensed Lay Ministers. While that is a possibility and some graduates have gone in that direction and some have gone on to seminary, most students are just interested in growing in faith and becoming more active in their own congregations.

To register for classes, or for more detailed information or if you have specific questions, contact your pastor or Pastor Geier (486-4351;

Northern Great Lakes Synod
1029 North 3rd Street
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone: 906-228-2300
Fax: 906-228-2527DonationsOnLine Donations

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