Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology


The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has, from its very beginnings, been an immigrant church, formed by German immigrants who came to this country seeking religious freedom and new opportunities.  Today, in the twenty-first century, a new wave of immigrants is arriving in our land, and here in the Mid-Atlantic region, we are reaching out to bring the Gospel and to form new congregations.

These new congregations need pastors and deaconesses who speak the language and know the culture of the people they serve.  They also need to possess a firm understanding of Lutheran theology.  The Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) offers a specialized program for men and women who want to serve immigrant and English as a Second Language  (ESL) communities as pastors or deaconesses in North America.

The Southeastern District usually has six or seven students, mostly African immigrants, enrolled in EIIT at any given time.  One such person is Joseph Lewis.  Joseph is a refugee from the Liberian civil war who came to this country and found himself homeless on the streets of DC.  He was taken in and aided by one of our congregations, and today is married to a woman he met at church. He went on to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice and works as a sergeant for the Metro Transit police department.  

Joseph also heard God’s calling him to enter the ministry, and in the Fall of 2016, he enrolled in the EIIT program at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. 

The four-year cost of tuition for EIIT students is $37,965.00.  This does not include any travel, housing, meals, books, and other costs that may be associated with the program.  A recent policy by the seminary provides a tuition discount of 1/3 or $11,840.00, but that still leaves a total of $26,125.00 or $6531.25 a year to be covered by the student, the congregation, or through scholarships provided by the Southeastern District or through people like you partnering with MALIM.

For more information on the EIIT Program, visit their website: