Pastors with Alternate Training (PAT) is a programme of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), approved and ratified by the synod’s convention in the year 2002. The purpose of the PAT programme is to provide LCC with pastors for extraordinary circumstances in unique ethnic, cultural, or geographical situations where Word and Sacrament ministry is not readily available. It is overseen by the LCC President’s Ministry Council and administered by Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines.
Candidates for the office of holy ministry in LCC are normally formed through residential seminary education. PAT candidates receive theological education and training on a part-time basis while at the same time working in their secular job and at their congregations or PAT site. The residential seminary and PAT programmes are not meant to compete with or mirror each other, but rather to recognise and expound the contextual nature of theological education for those whom the Lord of the Church is calling to serve in extraordinary circumstances and contexts, and who possess a variety of experiences and capabilities. The PAT programme is designed to deliver basic and foundational theological education using a variety of learning strategies, methods, and environments.