Teachers and licensure

Why does WELS not require their teachers (K-12) to have their state teaching licenses? Also, why does WELS call teachers for positions where their degree qualifications do not line up (for example, a teacher with a degree in physical education teaching science)?

Martin Luther College (MLC), where I presently serve, states this on its website: “Students who successfully complete program requirements and meet the Minnesota requirements for licensure are eligible for a Minnesota license. To ensure that all teacher graduates are assignable anywhere in our country, MLC requires all teacher graduates to be eligible for a Tier 3 Minnesota license.”

Once MLC graduates receive their assignments, even though they have their Minnesota license, the state to which they are called may ask the graduates to also be licensed in that particular state.

In addition, Martin Luther College conducts a Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Program to work with teachers who graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College or Martin Luther College before 2002 “to be eligible for their initial Minnesota teaching license or add-on to an existing Minnesota license” (MLC Website).

Schools that extend calls for specific teaching responsibilities might consider the gifts, abilities and teaching experiences of individuals, along with their degree qualifications. It can also happen that a school is not able to find a “specialist” at a time a position needs to be filled and a person with other qualifications is called. As a recent answer explained: “Even though the Call is divine and from God, our process is a human one. That means that, while we try to do the best we can, the process itself might not always work as we intend it to work.”