According to STLToday.com, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson last fall became one of 100 students in the distance education program at the Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Missouri. Classes include “Lutheran Distinctions,” “Preaching I II,” “Introduction to Worship” and “Scripture and Faith.”
The popularity of online seminary programs is growing among mid-career students, like Ellefson, who would otherwise find it difficult to pursue full-time theological education.
Classes begin each Monday, though homework is posted a few days earlier in case eager students want to get a jump on their classmates. On Tuesday nights, Ellefson and eight other students wired in from around the country sit in on a two-hour live session with a professor teaching from a Concordia classroom. Once a week, he meets with The Rev. Jon Bjorgaard, pastor of Shepherd of the Desert, to discuss that week’s work. Finally, late in the week, he uploads his homework for the professor to grade.
“It makes higher education possible for me,” Ellefson said. “As a guy my age, to be involved in any kind of higher larning is a great thing. And so far, it’s worked.” He has learned to keep his faith and his onstage persona separate, he said, and in his songwriting, he tries to “stay away from darker themes.”
“Some people want to morph things together into one, but I have a hand in both worlds,” he said. “I love praise and worship music, and I love heavy metal.”
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Ellefson recently started MEGALife Ministry, a Christian-based ministry focused on serving all people in their development of faith. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the ministry is designed to help engage the needs of both churched and un-churched individuals and families worldwide.
Through the endowment of MEGALife‘s music ministries, personal testimonies and captivating multi-media, it offers a dynamic center for developing a faith in Jesus Christ, especially to those who are new to Christianity or seeking a new church home.