*Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly indicated Dave Ellefson's status with the band Megadeth. He continues to play bass with the band. This article has been updated to reflect that fact.
in welcomed students back to campus for the fall quarter last week, including many who worked for years in a profession before deciding to pursue a life of full-time church work. And while Dave Ellefson is one them, his first career is* a bit unconventional—he plays* bass in the heavy-metal band Megadeth.
Now, he's studying to be a Lutheran pastor.
Ellefson is enrolled in the school’s Specific Ministry Program (SMP). As part of Concordia’s distance learning program, Ellefson will work with a local mentor pastor, view online video lectures and take several intensive weeklong sessions at Concordia in Clayton.
In an interview with Jenny Charlesworth of AOL’s heavy-metal website Noisecreep, Ellefson described his decision to enroll in the Clayton-based seminary.
“I actually just got accepted to go into a seminary program within the Lutheran Church; they bring up people within the congregation, it's a graduate level course," Ellefson told Noisecreep. "I'm fairly well steeped in the world, and having been clean for several years, that's kind of a natural progression for my walk.”
Ellefson grew up in a Christian household. Both of his parents were active in the church. His mother’s Wurlitzer organ was the first musical instrument he spent time with. As a teenager, he traded in the church organ to spend hours with a bass guitar in his hand.
Now, Ellefson will spend his time in the pulpit.
Megadeth often is regarded as a pioneer in American heavy metal. The band formed in 1983 and, apart from a few inactive years, continues to play concerts. The band's front man, Dave Mustaine, also has returned to the Christian faith.