Martin Luther College

Pictured above: The Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society sponsored a card-signing event for Martin Luther College students during fall 2023. The students wrote notes to missionaries and their families.


Martin Luther College (MLC), New Ulm, Minn.:

  • 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 for ministry in partnership with WELS mission fields; and
  • provides programs of continuing education that meet the ministerial needs of WELS.

For more information, visit


undergraduate enrollment


education/staff ministry majors


preseminary majors



states represented in student body


countries represented in student body


Graduate Studies enrollment



Did you know?

Martin Luther College launched a new and improved curriculum for child development
associates titled the CDA Prep Series. The Child Development Associate credential is considered the best first step in early childhood credentialing. Learn more at


Competency-Based Education

On Aug. 21, 2023, Martin Luther College installed seven new faculty members. Doctors Martin and Nichole LaGrow (front row, left) are helping develop the college’s new nontraditional elementary education degree. Martin is the instructional designer and Nichole serves as the program director.

Beginning in January 2023, Nichole began putting the pieces into place for this new degree program, which utilizes Competency-Based Education, a method that awards degrees based on proven competence instead of credit hours, taking into account students’ past experiences and previous job skills. Competency-Based Education is an alternative pathway to ministry for those who are unable to move to New Ulm for a traditional on-campus program. It allows WELS members to obtain education degrees while staying in their own communities and their own jobs—some of which are in WELS schools.

The first students to enroll in the program will begin coursework in fall 2024. For more information, visit


Excited to serve

One-hundred sixty-six students graduated from Martin Luther College on May 13, 2023. Many of them also received their first calls into full-time ministry that day. Pictured below are Maria and Josiah Klatt at MLC’s assignment service. The Klatts were assigned to serve at Apostles, San Jose, Calif. Josiah is a staff minister and Maria teaches fourth grade.


Early ministry experience

When preseminary students step on campus as freshmen, it’s an eight-year journey to the pulpit, which can feel distant and daunting. A new field experience at Martin Luther College, known as Early Ministry Experience 1, now provides early encouragement to men on this journey by taking them directly into the life of a congregation for several days.

Matt Koelpin, Zach Maedke, and Ben Schoch (pictured) participated in the pilot of the program in spring 2023. They traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to shadow Micah Koelpin (also pictured), who is pastor at Our Savior–San Antonio West, a young daughter congregation of Our Savior–San Antonio East.

They participated in the worship services at Our Savior, helped with the congregation’s Easter outreach program, learned how to write and format a devotion, discussed the ministry and the logistics of a mission congregation with Pastor Koelpin, and visited members. As Zach noted, “I’m glad I’m just a first-year and I have seven years left, because I have a lot more to learn!”

The experience taught Matt that “being a pastor doesn’t just revolve around what you do on Sunday and how you get people to church. . . . It’s also just being a friend to your neighbors, helping out in every and any way you can. . . . I have a newfound passion for going out and talking to people, initially about their lives, and then, more importantly, about God’s Word.”

Thank you to Martin Luther CollegeInFocus for the information and photo