Training for the ministry

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod supports four schools that equip students to serve as pastors, teachers, or staff ministers. The four-school ministerial education system serves as an integral ministry of WELS, and exists for the one purpose: to prepare well-trained servants for the church.


Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., is dedicated to preparing men to serve as pastors. In 2010-11, the student body totals 142.

Seminary students learn through a combination of classroom studies and real-world ministry experiences. Each seminary student serves as a full-time vicar during his third year of studies. In 2010-11, working in cooperation with the Board for Home Missions, two-thirds of the seminary’s vicars are serving in mission settings. The Vicars in Missions program aims to place students in congregations with strong supervising pastors, active lay involvement, and a mission mindset.

The seminary continues to expand opportunities for continuing education and distance education through on- and off-campus courses and online distance learning. Grow in Grace, the institute for continuing education, was established at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary with the appointment of Prof. Richard Gurgel as half-time director.


With an enrollment of 724 students during the 2010-11 school year, Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., offers bachelor degrees for early childhood, elementary school, and high school educators; staff ministers; and men training to be pastors. The college also offers a Graduate Studies program with 74 students studying in four areas of emphasis.

Almost 100 MLC students traveled across North America during the summer to offer ministry assistance to WELS congregations.


Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis., and Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich., prepare high school students to attend Martin Luther College. The curriculum emphasizes subjects such as foreign languages, theology, and music. Teens are offered “Taste of Ministry” opportunities, which include shadowing called workers to learn more about their work. Students also are given firsthand gospel ministry experiences on campus and during mission trips.


WELS Lutheran Schools and Ministerial Education provides resources for individuals, teachers, and schools nationwide. Consider supporting these ministries with your prayers and gifts.


Contact WELS Lutheran Schools and Ministerial Education for more information.