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In this episode of Under the Fig Tree, host Rev. Micah Glenn is joined by temporary host Kati Gaschler (while Dr. Benjamin Haupt is on sabbatical) in a thought-provoking discussion with Jacob Manning, a second-year Master of Divinity student who is preparing for next year’s vicarage. Jacob grew up in California. His father was a pastor and his mother, a director of Christian education (DCE). He knew from age 7 that he wanted to be a pastor someday. For years, the family led a church that didn’t have a permanent building and would have to set up everything for a service and tear it down afterwards. That nomadic church experience has shaped his view of the church. “I feel like the church is everywhere,” he says. “We are the church. We are the people of God. And so I look at the building of the church, and I’m like, it’s really cool. It’s really awesome. At the same time, God is everywhere. God is present everywhere. Even in a small ballroom of a hotel, God is still there.” Jacob’s father experienced some hurt as a pastor but that didn’t dissuade Jacob from the pull to pastoral ministry himself. “You learn so much from just the people you talk to,” he says. “I think that’s honestly the greatest joy of ministry, which is also probably the deepest sorrow — people. … The people in a church are some of the most amazing things in the world.” He also shares some advice for others who are considering a church work career: “In spite of your concerns, in spite of your worries, in spite of your questions, you should come. If you’re thinking of doing this, but you have this question or you have this worry or this thing that happened to you awhile back, don’t let that stop you. You should still pursue it. You should see what’s going on at the Seminary. There’s a lot of great things happening here, a lot of formation that’s going to happen. Maybe your question will be answered. Maybe it won’t. … Don’t let worries, concerns, questions stop you from coming here to the Seminary.” In the recurring segment, “Ripe for the picking or leave it on the tree,” hear how the trio feel about multicolored pens, Trivial Pursuit, church coffee, peanut butter and more!

“Under the Fig Tree” is a video and audio podcast of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. New video and audio episodes are added weekly each Monday during the academic year. “Under the Fig Tree” can be found on YouTube, the Seminary’s Scholar site ( and most podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Those interested in vocational ministry are invited to join the Seminary contact list at Request-Information. You can learn more about Concordia Seminary at or by contacting the admissions team at [email protected] or 800-822-9545.


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Laity; Ministers; Future Seminarians; Future Deaconesses

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