10 … 14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? 15And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? …Romans 10:14f
For bishops in rural America, these words of St. Paul ring with truth and urgency. In dioceses like Kansas, Western Kansas, West Missouri, Nebraska, and others, many of our people worship in small struggling congregations. Congregations that may number only 10 or 20 on Sunday morning. Yet, these 10 or 20 need to be fed. And this begs the question of how we will feed our people in these small, struggling churches.
The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM) was founded to answer this question. BKSM was created to respond to St. Paul’s question by raising up women and men who are sent to proclaim the Good News in small places.
While each diocese recruits in slightly different ways, we are essentially looking for members of small congregations who are already serving in leadership capacities. Through prayer and conversation, we urge these folks to consider the ordained ministry as a Deacon or Priest.
If they agree, then BKSM steps in to offer the educational component needed for training. Education may not delve too deeply into theology or in-depth Bible Study. Still, we hope to make faithful pastors who will tend to their flock’s spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. Pastors who will feed the faithful with the Body and Blood of Christ. Who will bless, baptize, marry, and weep with their people, always offering to their congregation the Grace and Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.