Accreditation and Affiliation

Luther Seminary is accredited through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

Accreditation Agency contact information

The Association of Theological Schools  
10 Summit Park Drive 
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 
Phone: 412-788-6505 
Fax: 412-788-6510 

The Higher Learning Commission 
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 
Phone:  800-621-7440 / 312-263-0456 
Fax: 312-263-7462 

In addition, Luther Seminary has ecclesiastical commitments:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

As the sole member of the corporation, the ELCA and its policies govern Luther Seminary.  Luther trains and prepares students for ministry in the ELCA and coordinates with ELCA bodies in the endorsement, candidacy, and assignment processes.

United Methodist Church (UMC)

The University Senate of the UMC reviews and approves theological schools for the education of persons preparing for United Methodist ordination. Luther Seminary is listed among approved seminaries.

2015 SELF-STUDIES and public comment

The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) has scheduled Luther Seminary for a comprehensive evaluation on Feb. 23-26, 2015, and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will be completing their comprehensive visit during Mar. 2-4, 2015. 

In preparation for the visits by the accreditation evaluation committees, the Luther Seminary self-study team has conducted a required self-study to assess Luther Seminary against the ATS Standards and HLC Criteria. Through the efforts of the team and numerous contributors among the Seminary community (including Board, Faculty, Staff, and Students), we have prepared two self-study documents, one for each evaluating body: 

2015 ATS Self-Study for Luther Seminary

2015 HLC Self-Study for Luther Seminary

As part of its responsibilities to the membership and to the public, the ATS Commission on Accrediting invites third-party comments on schools scheduled to receive visits. Comments are particularly welcome regarding the General Institutional Standards and the Educational and Degree Program Standards. Please email comments to the Director of Accreditation Services at by February 1, 2015. 

The public is also invited to submit comments in writing addressing substantive matters related to the quality of Luther Seminary and its academic program based upon the HLC Criteria. Comments may be submitted on the Commission's website form or sent to:

Public Comment on Luther Seminary
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

All comments must be received by February 1, 2015.

State and Federal Compliance

Luther Seminary conducts its operations in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations: 

Luther Seminary is incorporated as a 501c3 organization as a part of the ELCA.  The Board of Trustees is a separate 501c3 organization (see standard 7 for complete description of governance and structure). 

As a non-profit educational organization LS follows federal, state and local laws in several broad categories:

  1. In relationship to students:  Financial Aid, FERPA, ADA, MN state health laws
  2. Academics: textbook, copyright, many sections in Title IV
  3. Facilities:  Inspections and licenses from local authorities (State of MN, City of St. Paul, Ramsey County) in relation to fire, health, safety and food handling
  4. Development and fund raising
  5. Tax-exempt status (federal and state of MN)

Observation and compliance with federal and state laws related to the operation of a 501c3 organization are of critical importance.   Other significant federal laws which apply to Luther Seminary are the Department of Education Title IV; employment and anti-discrimination legislation such as the American with Disabilities Act and the US Department of State authorization to sponsor international students and scholars.

Enrolled and prospective students can request a copy of the accreditation reports that includes documentation of the above mentioned commitments, by the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Andy Keck at