Journey Together: A Competency Based TEEM Program

In response to the call of the Spirit and the needs of the church for faithful leaders to steward the Gospel of Jesus Christ particularly in underserved communities that worship in languages other than English, Wartburg Theological Seminary has created a Competency Based Education approach to the ELCA’s TEEM pathway to the ministry of Word and Sacrament.  The program – Journey Together – will free people to pursue the call to ministry placed upon them by the Holy Spirit.

Competency Based Education is similar to an apprenticeship model of education that values learning in context through the rhythm of praxis and reflection. Journey Together values learning in community, a value that is commensurate with the Wartburg way of embodying theological education. Formation takes place in three distinct learning communities: local parish, a mentor-mentee group, and with a personal assessment team. As language and culture play critical roles in the formation of head, heart, and hands for ministry, the program will be available fully in the candidate’s first language. Journey Together will launch with parallel tracks in English and Spanish.

Learning Communities

There are three primary formative communities that accompany the student throughout their program: local parish, assessment team, and mentor group.  Given the dispersion of communities, each participant will require some orientation and formation in their role and responsibility accompanying the student throughout the program

Think Journey Together could be right for you?

Check out these stories from other students and graduates in our traditional TEEM program to see if Journey Together could be right for you!

Enedina Casarez Vasquez
TEEM Student
Lutheran Seminary Program SW

Philip Deng
TEEM Student
Wartburg Theological Seminary

Rev. Heidi Hagstrom
2018 TEEM Graduate
Wartburg Theological Seminary

Rev. Phouthaly Onelangsy
2019 TEEM Graduate
Wartburg Theological Seminary

Dianne Pritchard
TEEM Student
Wartburg Theological Seminary


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Identifying Partners

Student, congregation, ELCA synod, and Journey Together Program Director partner together during a candidate’s journey through the program. To get started, the synod and congregation OR student should identify themselves as a possible fit for Journey Together.

First Conversations

Wartburg Admissions and Contextual Education staff, synod, student and/or congregation should connect with each other to discuss fit, potential, and questions about the Journey Together program.
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Begin Admissions Process

If you are a potential student, complete an inquiry form and the WTS Admissions team will be in touch with you soon to talk more about next steps in the admissions process and information to begin your online application.

Approval & Acceptance

If Journey Together has been discerned to be a good fit for all partners involved and the candidate is approved by the ELCA, student will be admitted to the program and the student will be ready to begin as a Journey Together student!

Studies Begin

Learn more about how the program begins, how it progresses, and the roles of the people accompanying the student on the Journey Together program by emailing

Questions? We can help.

Students: for more information, contact or call 563-589-0274.

Synods and Congregations: for more information, contact or call 563-589-0220.

Any other questions: email