The purpose of the Journal is to provide a vehicle for articles of historical interest about the Lutheran Church with special reference to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  It is also hoped that the Journal will stimulate WELS members to pursue research in Lutheran history.

The interest of the Journal is not simply the past for its own sake.  In authorizing the publication of the Journal, the Institute’s Board of Directors stated as one of the Journals purposes to “contribute to understanding our WELS identity and background.”  Like Plato’s shadows in the cave, some things can be seen only against the proper background.

The current editor of the Journal is Prof. John Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.  Inquiries can be directed to him at [email protected].

All past issues of the Journal, up through Volume 36 (2018) can be downloaded below.  All files are PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. Note that all of these journal files were re-scanned and converted to PDF files in early 2012-2014, greatly improving the quality of what had formerly been available.

For newer issues (2019-), please contact the editor.  There will usually be about a two year wait for issues to be added to the online database.


Looking for resources to help you with your ministry? Find downloadable files and resources on the WELS Resource Center.


View the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry leadership directory for specific area of ministry contact information.