Luther Seminary

“To educate leaders for Christian communities called and sent by the Holy Spirit to witness to salvation through Jesus Christ and to serve in God’s world.”
Description of PhD Program
Luther Seminary has restructured its PhD program. Applications for the new program are now being accepted for admission in Fall of 2018. Deadline for application and all supporting documents is January 1, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by February 5, 2018.

The primary thrust of the program is to equip participants to be global leaders in the 21st century worldwide, ecumenical and missional church. Participants will be expected to develop and articulate biblical, theological and/or ministerial themes and approaches that recognize the interdependence and interconnectedness of local church, global church and the world. It is a goal of the program that these themes and approaches shall be developed in dialogue with the traditions of the Reformation and the contemporary ecumenical landscape. Students will develop a thorough and deep understanding of the Christian confession of faith; will engage critically in the prevalent themes of local and global civil societies in view of the mission of the church; and will develop constructive responses to 21st century global challenges, such as environmental sustainability and social, cultural and technological change. Participants will be prepared for placement primarily in areas of theological education and church leadership, but will also develop the skills necessary for work in research centers, NGO’s, global multilateral organizations, human rights associations, etc.

This PhD program model is designed to give students flexibility to propose and engage in a course of study that is individualized, interdisciplinary, integrative, contextual, and cross-cultural in nature. Creative interdisciplinary conversation is a primary thrust of the program. Students in consultation with their principal adviser and the Graduate Studies Committee will craft a concentration that embodies their research interests and provides coherence to their study. These areas of concentration include the study of Scripture, church history, theology, liturgy, pastoral care, leadership and the practices of ministry.

Tuition Assistance
Students will receive a financial aid award that will minimally include (a) a full tuition scholarship, plus (b) a living expense stipend of $32,000 over four years of the program. ELCA co-sponsored students will receive no funding for family living expenses and travel during their two residential years.

Each student shall be required to be in residency for at least two years of the program. All students will be in residency their first year and their fourth year (thesis-writing year). In the case of international students, the second and third year is to be spent in the student’s context. The student will return once in those two years to the seminary for a 4-6 week period of residency for coursework, the comprehensive examination and thesis proposal workshops (see paragraph nos. 10 and 16). Domestic students will be strongly encouraged to propose, arrange and participate in a semester-long immersion experience during the second year. This experience should take place somewhere in the global south or in a suitable alternative location approved by a student’s principal adviser and the Graduate Studies Committee.

Financial Aid-Fellowships
Financial aid is available for students in the post-master of divinity degree programs. Federal Direct loans are accessible by completing a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Tuition scholarships are available through the Graduate Theological Education Office.
Hispanic/Latina/o Faculty
Guillermo C. Hansen
Associate Professor of Global Christianity, Societies and Cultures & Martin Luther King Jr. Chair of Justice and Christian Community
Hispanic Centers and Programs
Luther Seminary offers a Master of Divinity – Concentration in Spanish Language for Ministry
Library Resources-Special Collections
The Library is an essential part of the educational program of Luther Seminary. It holds over 250,000 items. In addition, the library subscribes to approximately 500 periodicals and regularly expands its collection of video, audio, microfilm and online resources.

Special collections include the Carl Døving Hymnology Collection of about 1,000 hymnbooks and the Jacob Tanner Catechism Collection with translations of Luther’s Small Catechism in 170 languages and dialects. The Special Collections Room, accessible by appointment, houses all pre-1800 volumes and features unique items such as a 1531 edition of the Augsburg Confession printed in Wittenberg.

Students have access to an additional 500,000 volumes available in the other four theological libraries of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools. Reciprocal borrowing privileges are extended throughout the Consortium.

All collections may be searched through dedicated search terminals in the library, as well as through the library’s web page. The web page also provides links to digital resources, to the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools catalogs, and to additional research resources.

Other Resources
Luther Seminary is a member of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools (MNCTS), formally organized in 1971. Other member schools are:

  • Bethel Theological Seminary (Baptist General Conference)
  • Luther Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
  • School of Theology at Saint John’s University, Collegeville (Roman Catholic)
  • The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas (Roman Catholic)
  • United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (United Church of Christ)

The consortium makes the resources of the participating faculties and institutions more readily available to students from each participating school, strengthens the degree and continuing education programs of the schools, provides a channel for inter-faculty fellowship and discussion and advances ecumenical understanding.

Together, the five theological libraries of the consortium hold more than 500,000 volumes. These holdings constitute the most significant resource in religious studies between Chicago and the Pacific Coast.

HTI Scholars
Andrés Roberto Albertson


Contact Information

The HTI person to contact for information on PhD studies at Luther Seminary is:

Name:     Dr. Dirk Lange
Title:        Associate Dean of Graduate Theological Education
Phone:    651-641-3234

Person in Charge of Enrollment:

Name:       Ms. Jessi LaClear Vatcha
Title:          Director of Enrollment Services
Phone:      (651) 641-3422