Skip to main content

Northwest District (LCMS) Mission Training Center Records

Identifier: NWD.34
The records reflect the change in names and programs that preceded the name Mission Training Center. The records contain governing body minutes, program materials, samples of publicity documents, newsletters, course descriptions, and reports. Also included are pertinent essays and study documents from various sources that assisted in the ongoing development of the program.


  • 1981 - 2012

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use Note

The Northwest District Archives is the owner of the materials in the Mission Training Center Collection and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Northwest District Archives before any reproduction use. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. The status of copyright is governed by the Copyright Law of the U. S. (Title 17, U.S.C.). In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.


2.5 Linear Feet


Records of the Mission Training Center from its beginnings to 2012.

Historical note:

The Mission Training Center traces its beginnings to the late 1970s when, in response to needs of congregations scattered throughout the Northwest (especially Alaska), a movement began to make use of lay assistants in congregations. Established by the 1980 convention of the Northwest District, a Lay Ministry Committee began to study the feasibility of using lay assistants in congregations of the District. A paper entitled, A Theology of Lay Ministry, by Dr. Robert Schmidt, laid out a rationale and a program for developing lay ministers. The 1982 convention resolved both to do further research and to initiate a Lay Ministry program for the District. The appointed Lay Ministry Committee (Task Force) produced a curriculum and procedures for certifying candidates. In 1984 Dr. E. P. Weber, retired President of Concordia University, accepted the call to become the first part-time Director of the program. An office was established on the campus of Concordia University, and the program began with 12 enrollees. As the program matured, the name changed from "Lay Assistant-Ministry Program" to "Lay Assistant Program" to "Leadership Advancement Process", retaining the LAP acronym. Governance at first was through the Lay Assistant Program Task Force; in 2003 a Board of Directors, in association with the Northwest District, became the governing body. A close working relationship between the Northwest District and Concordia University was always maintained.

Using several models to deliver courses, the program was designed to help lay leaders in congregations to develop their skills and knowledge for more effective ministry on various levels.

After a decade of collaboration with an east coast partner, Mission Training Center, the LAP merged with the Mission Training Center in May, 2011, in order to enhance its mission of equipping mission service leaders. In May, 2013, the management and administration of the newly-formed and expanded Mission Training Center program in the Northwest District came under the direction of the Center for Advanced Lutheran Leadership at Concordia University.


The files are arranged by broad subject and then chronologically within each subject.

Separated Materials

Student records are confidential and not included in this collection.
Guide to the Northwest District (LCMS) Mission Training Center Records
Nolan R. Bremer
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Northwest District (Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod) Archives Repository

Northwest District Archives
Concordia University
2811 NE Holman St.
Portland Oregon 97211-6099 USA