Church Interpreter
Training Institute


The Church Interpreter Training Institute exists to equip church members, professional church workers and ASL interpreters through specialized instruction to assist and to serve the Christian Church in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who are Deaf.

  • Focuses on Biblical studies, American Sign Language (ASL) instruction, facial and body expression studies, religious vocabulary review, Deaf culture studies, Scripture interpretation, liturgy interpretation, sermon interpretation, hymn and song interpretation and special interest topics.
  • Provides opportunities for participants to gain knowledge and skills by learning through the experiences of other students and instructors, insights from seminary and university professors, daily worship services and devotions.
  • Is an intensive summer institute for beginners as well as experienced interpreters in Christian churches.
  • Holds shorter regional seminars that occur throughout the year at a variety of locations.
  • Prepares people in meeting the demands of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who are Deaf.
  • Is open to participants from all Christian denominations who confess the Holy Trinity

More than 30 years ago, CITI was established to improve the skills of interpreters in church settings in signing the Word of God to the people who are Deaf in Christian congregations. As a Christian ministry, provided by the joint partnership of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, founder of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations in Mill Neck, New York, CITI has equipped hundreds of church interpreters to serve the Christian Church. In recent years Lutheran Friends of the Deaf has expanded the CITI program by offering shorter seminars held in churches and on the campuses of universities and colleges throughout the United States.


“CITI was a wonderful and valuable experience. The program gave me hands on learning and experience with interpreting in a church setting. Throughout the program, I grew in my ASL ability through classes, immersion and real interpreting opportunities.”

Marie Former CITI Student

“CITI is the ultimate training opportunity for those who would like to strengthen their ministry while improving their skills. So often in our congregation I speak about how God deepens us through His Word and widens us to be able to see/reach beyond ourselves. CITI accomplishes both of those things by spending not only priceless time in the classroom, but precious time with the Lord.”

Rev. Gerard Bolling Former CITI Student

“Before CITI I was too fearful to stand up in front of the congregation to interpret; after attending CITI I had the confidence to sign. It is the best learning opportunity I enjoyed. Now I have a solid foundation and the tools to interpret.”

Sandra Former CITI Student