Home » PALS

PALS Helping pastors and their wives transition from seminary to congregation.

PALS (Post-Seminary Applied Learning and Support) is a collaborative effort of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and its districts.

The PALS  program brings recent seminary graduates and experienced pastors within the same District together to provide support, encouragement and practical learning.

Northern Illinois District President Allan Buss joined facilitators Pastor Leonard and Lori Payton during a PALS gathering.



















In the Northern Illinois District we are truly blessed to have Rev. Dr. Leonard Payton and his wife, Lori, as our PALS facilitators. Together they serve St. John, Forest Park.

Leonard and Lori participated in the PALS program 15 years ago after he graduated from seminary.

Leonard says:

“From a human resources and financial perspective, to have a pastor ‘flame out’ in their early years is a catastrophe. To invest in these workers is an investment that answers our prayers to send workers into the field for the harvest.

This program has a HIGH VALUE. It is tremendously important for a new pastor to have access to an experienced pastor who can offer counsel while having no authority over them. Facilitators are sounding boards that are safe in a way a District President or Circuit Visitor may not be.”

Lori adds:

“This program adds much to support the wives of our new clergy. Speaking from experience, the front line of support is found in the home.”

We have an opportunity to support our new pastors in their new journey. In many ways their ministry is more complex and challenging than early years.

The PALS program is supported by Synod, the District and the parish where our new pastors serve. Unfortunately, not every congregation can afford this much-needed support.

The cost of PALS is $1,900 to $2,100 per pastor, per year. Much of that cost is covered by Synod and the District. The cost includes an annual retreat, quarterly gatherings, expenses of the pastor to attend and their facilitators. It also covers specialized programs for spouses and numerous other interactions.

Please prayerfully consider investing in the potential and energy found in our recent Seminary graduates as they begin their first call. A call where they will enjoy both the labor . . . and the harvest within the fields they have been placed.





You can find more information at www.lcms.org/how-we-serve/education/pastoral/post-seminary-applied-learning-and-support.

Also, follow them on Facebook.

This is Our Northern Illinois District!