Martin Luther College

The mission of Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., is to train a corps of Christian witnesses who are qualified to meet the ministry needs of WELS and who are competent to proclaim the Word of God faithfully and in accord with the Lutheran Confessions and the Book of Concord. In fall 2018, 764 undergraduates were participating in this training.

To meet the current ministry needs of WELS, Martin Luther College

  • prepares men for pastoral training at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary;
  • prepares men and women for service as teachers and staff ministers in the synod’s churches, schools, and other institutions;
  • prepares men and women for other church ministries, both full- and part-time, responding to the needs of WELS;
  • prepares international students (pictured, right) for ministry in partnership with WELS mission fields; and
  • provides programs of continuing education that meet the ministerial needs of WELS.

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Did you know?

Martin Luther College’s staff ministry program celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. The program prepares students to serve as specialized workers at WELS churches, schools, and parasynodicals. Students are given a background in theology and trained in skills like counseling and leadership. Upon graduation, staff ministers may be called to assist with youth and family ministry, evangelism, music and worship, administration, and more.


Ten Martin Luther College (MLC) students volunteered with WELS Christian Aid and Relief to help with the cleanup and rebuilding of Amazing Grace, Panama City, Fla., following Hurricane Michael. “These students had so much energy and enthusiasm,” says Elizabeth Zambo of Christian Aid and Relief. “They gutted the church and parsonage that had been flooded, ripping out drywall and insulation. It was messy work, but they never complained.”

“It was an eye-opening experience,” says Hailey Stade, a sophomore at MLC. “I had no idea what to expect until we crossed the bridge to Panama City. Buildings were flattened. Every tree you saw was on the ground or bent in half. Power lines lay all over the sides of streets and sidewalks. Large boats were tipped to their side in the water, and a building was considered lucky if it even had some of its roof intact.”

“This experience was definitely life changing,” notes Becky Pruss, a junior. “When people who have lost so much still greet you with a smile and genuine conversation, it puts everything in perspective. Our God is definitely greater than the storms that may come our way in life. It really showed me that every day is an opportunity to live your faith.”

Izak Jirik, a freshman, says, “I saw the hope we have in Christ bless the members of Amazing Grace. Faith in Christ not only has eternal blessing, but it provides us amazing peace here in a sin-stricken world.”

Student Teaching

“My student teaching experience in the Lutheran grade school was such an eye opener!” says Elissa Koch (pictured). Koch taught first grade at Bloomington Lutheran, Bloomington, Minn., during the fall of 2018. “Growing up in the public school system, I never knew how much I was missing by not having God’s Word being present each and every day through Bible lessons, encouragement, and even the occasional discipline. Up until this experience I was impartial to public school teaching, and now I want nothing more than to teach in our Lutheran grade schools and share God’s Word every single day.”


In May 2018, 29 students earned their Master of Science in Education degrees and one student earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration degree from Martin Luther College. In addition, 145 undergraduate students earned their bachelor’s degrees, including 36 preseminary students and 109 education students.



International Service

Preseminary student Caleb Christopher (pictured, front left) spent the summer of 2018 sharing Jesus with people in Ukraine. “This trip was the experience of a lifetime,” notes Christopher. “It changed my outlook on outreach and the power of God’s Word.” For over a month, Caleb assisted two churches—aiding them in worship services and vacation Bible school programs. “I was able to convey Jesus’ love to kids whose language I hardly spoke,” says Caleb. “The experience gave me friendships that will last into eternity and taught me that God’s love spans cultural and linguistic borders.”

About two dozen 2018 MLC graduates are now teaching abroad. Some were assigned to congregations, and some opted to teach in conjunction with a WELS world mission field. In the last 10 years, 145 MLC graduates have opted for international service in 13 countries.