Church Interpreter Training Institute (CITI)

The origin of CITI:

   In summer 1983, The Mill Neck Foundation funded lodging, food and materials for a three-day workshop for Lutheran pastors at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Dr. George Krause, then Professor of Ministries to the Handicapped there, and three Lutheran pastors to the Deaf taught a sign language workshop to 24 pastor of the Indiana District and one social worker.

   An estimated 4,000 members of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod were hearing impaired, but the Synod had just 56 pastors, lay workers and missionaries in full-time Deaf work in the U.S. No major church bodies were significantly reaching Deaf populations.

   In 1985, The Mill Neck Foundation launched CITI (Church Interpreter Training Institute), an intensive six-week summer course at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS), Fort Wayne, with a $50,000 grant.  Dr. George Krause initiated the program and Rev. Robert Muller helped to teach sign language courses to laypeople and pastors from churches across the country. The goals? To reach the Deaf through interpreted Bible study classes, recreational activities, Sign Language instruction, Sunday school and worship.

   After its second summer 60 adults were trained for work with the Deaf.  By 1986, CITI was holding its basic program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and a later advanced program at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  Lowell Fein served as  coordinator of the 1988 CITI with 43 students from around the world.

Mueller, Robin R. "Church Interpreters Training Institute." Planted in Faith... Nurtured in Hope... Grown in Love... Mill Neck at the Millennium. Kutztown, PA: Kutztown. 2001. p. 135.