Historical Timeline

The Seminary and the Church


The World and the Nation
Diderikke Brandt (wife of Pastor Nils Brandt) organizes sewing circles to raise money for seminary students 1850s
Formation of Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Northern Illinois 1851
Norwegian Synod founded 1853



1854 Commodore Perry "opens" Japan to the West
1858 Minnesota becomes a state

First Atlantic cable laid

1859 Charles Darwin writes On the Origin of the Species
Scandinavian Augustana Synod formed 1860




August Weenaas becomes professor at Scandinavian Augustana Synod seminary in Paxton, Ill. 1868
Augsburg Seminary founded in Marshall, Wis. 1869
August Weenaas named president of Augsburg Seminary 1869
1861 Civil War begins
1861 Charles Dickens publishes Great Expectations
1863 Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation
1865 Civil War ends


Nobel invents dynamite
1869 Completion of transcontinental railway
1869 Suez Canal opened
Norwegians withdraw from Augustana Synod 1870
Mrs. August Weenaas assists husband in early days of Augsburg College 1870s
Augsburg Seminary moved to Minneapolis 1872
St. Olaf College founded as co-educational school 1874

Georg Sverdrup named president of Augsburg Seminary

Norwegian Synod's Luther Seminary founded on Hamline Ave, St. Paul 1876






J.D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil Co.
1876 National Baseball League founded
1877 Bell invents telephone
1879 Ibsen produces "A Doll's House"


Mission Society founded with Erick Tou (1889) and J.P. Nogstad (1887) to Madagascar 1885
Anti-Missourian Brotherhood formed 1887
1880 Dostoevsky publishes The Brothers Karamozov
1883 Northern Pacific Railroad completed
1885 Daimler invents internal combustion engine


Federation of Labor founded

Benjamin Harris elected U.S. president


George Eastman perfects "Kodak" camera

Valborg Hovind Stub (Mrs. H. G. Stub) teaches voice at Luther Seminary 1890s
United Norwegian Lutheran Church (United Church) founded 1890
Faculty grows to five 1891
"United Church Seminary" begun in St. Anthony Park, St. Paul 1892
M. O. Bockman elected president 1892
Sverdrup and Oftedal resign as professors of United Church 1893



Lutheran Free Church formed 1897






Beginning of wireless telegraphy
1894 Sibelius composes "Finlandia"


Spanish-American War begins
1898 British obtain 99 year lease on Hong Kong
Augsburg Seminary and College New Main building completed 1901





President Georg Svendrup dies 1907
1901 Queen Victoria dies
1903 Wright brothers make first powered flight
1903 Ford Motor Co. founded
1905 Einstein states First Theory of Relativity
1905 Haakon VII crowned king of independent Norway
1906 San Francisco earthquake
1909 Freud lectures on psycho-analysis in U.S.
George Svendrup (son of Georg) elected president 1911
Half of faculty teach in English, half teach in Norwegian 1911
Lena Dahl (Mrs. T. H. Dahl) starts Women's Missionary Federation, builds mission house at Luther Seminary 1911





Merger of three Norwegian Church bodies forms Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. (Name changed to Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1947). 1917
Hauge Synod school, Red wing Seminary, joins in merger to form Luther Theological Seminary 1917
Hauge Synod's Mission Dove Society (an early women's missionary group) comes into Evangelical Lutheran Church, builds mission housing on campus 1917
Mary Wee (Mrs. M.O. Wee) organizes Seminary Faculties wives 1917
Hamline site sold.
Faculty totals 10
Several Luther Theological Seminary students see active service in World War I 1918-1919
1910 Stravinsky's "The Firebird" premieres




Sun Yet Sen elected president of China
1912 Titanic sinks

Gandhi arrested; passive resistance movement in India grows

1914 Panama Canal opened







World War I begins
1918 Lenin assumes power and founds Soviet Union
1919 Versailles Armistice ends World War I
1919 League of Nations founded

Karl Barth writes The Epistle to the Romans


U.S. House of Representatives moves to curtain immigration

Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary opened in Chicago as seminary of the Synod of the Northwest (ULCA) after split with Maywood, Ill. 1920
Joseph Stump first president 1920
Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary located in Fargo, N.D. 1921
Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary located in northeast Minneapolis until 1940 1922
Augsburg College becomes a co-ed institution 1922
Luther Theological Seminary catalog reflects Norwegian-English bilingual emphasis 1924
First issue of Northwestern Seminary Bulletin published 1924
Women's Missionary Societies provide funds for returned missionaries on Northwestern Theological Seminary campus 1926



Warren Harding elected president
1921 Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" premieres





T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland published
1925 Scopes Trial begins in Tennessee over theory of evolution
1925 Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby published
1926 First demonstration of television
1927 Lindbergh makes first solo transatlantic flight
1929 Wall Street crash triggers Great Depression
M.O. Bockman retires, T. F. Gullixson named president 1930



Augsburg Academy closes, height of Depression 1933
Internship year added to program 1934



George Svendrup dies at age 58 1937
Bernhard M. Christensen elected president of Augsburg College and Seminary 1938
Internship program added to curriculum 1939
1930 The planet Pluto discovered
1931 U.S. population hits 122 million
1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected president


Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1935 Dust Bowl
1936 Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at Berlin Olympic games


Chiang Kai-Shek declares war on Japan

1938 Munich Conference between Hitler and Chamberlain
1939 Germany invades Poland
1939 World War II begins

"Gone with the Wind" premieres

Pillsbury Mansion in south Minneapolis bought and refurbished for $50,000 1940
145 women form the Northwestern Theological Seminary Auxiliary 1940
Gracia Christensen (Mrs. Bernard Christensen) establishes "Seminettes" 1940s
Condensed program for preparation of pastors during World War II 1941
Augsburg Seminary and Augsburg College formally separate 1942
Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary football team challenges Luther Theological Seminary to game 1942




The Battle of Britain begins
1941 Hong Kong falls to Japanese



Dec. 7 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

1944 June 6 Allies land on Normandy

Sartre published No Exit

1945 May 8 VE Day, Victory in Europe

Aug. 6 Atomic Age begins with bombing of Hiroshima

1945 Aug. 16 VJ Day, Victory in Japan
1946 First meeting of United Nations General Assembly
1947 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered

India receives independence

1948 Gandhi assassinated
1949 Apartheid begins in South Africa
Student Wives Organization starts at Luther Seminary 1950s
Faculty Wives continues with Nora Rogness' leadership 1950s
B.M. Christensen suggests discussion of merger of Lutheran Free Church with other Lutheran bodies 1950
Gullixson appointed by president Truman to Federal Commission on Resettlement 1952


Gullixson resigns; Alvin Rogness elected president 1954
Concord begins publication as a theological journal 1955
Bockman Hall (Old Main) remodeled 1955
"Seminettes" founded as seminary wives social group 1956
Dr. Clemens Zeidler becomes president of Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary (1957-1976) 1957
1950 Outbreak of Korean War

Britain recognizes communist China




National Council of Church in U.S. founded

1952 Hydrogen bomb tested


Reinhold Niebuhr publishes Christ and Culture




Blacks boycott busses in Montgomery, Ala.
1956 Hungarian uprising suppressed by Soviet troops
1956 Elvis Presley number 1 on charts
1957 Sputnik launched by Soviet Union
1957 Desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Ark.
1958 NASA founded
1959 Fidel Castro become president of Cuba
The American Lutheran Church (The ALC) formed 1960
Lutheran Church in America (LCA) founded 1962




Lutheran Free Church joins The ALC 1963
LCA Board of Theological Education recommends Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary seek closer ties to Luther Theological Seminary 1963
Augsburg Seminary closes and three members of that faculty move to Luther Theological Seminary. Last of total of 710 men graduate 1963
Discussion begins between boards of Luther and Northwestern Seminaries to lease land from Luther 1964
First woman theological candidate accepted 1964
First meeting of Luther-Northwestern Seminary Coordinating Committee to plan integration of the two school's programs 1966



Luther and Northwestern class schedules integrated.

Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary's own building completed on Luther Theological Seminary campus 1967
New Northwestern building on Luther campus furnished with Auxiliary funding 1967
Northwestern Seminary moves to former Breck School site 1967



Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary joins Consortium of Minnesota Seminaries 1969


Dean Robert Roth represents Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary student protest over the Vietnam War to leaders in Washington D.C. 1969
1960 John F. Kennedy elected president
1961 Berlin Wall erected
1962 Cuban missile crisis
1962 U.S. Troops move to support Vietnam
1962 Vatican II convenes
1962 John Glenn first American to orbit earth






John F. Kennedy assassinated
1964 Kenya gains independence; other African countries follow
1964 The Beatles appear on Ed Sullivan Show
1965 Cultural Revolution launched in China
1966 U.S. population nears 196 million
1966 United Methodist Church formed in U.S. with 11 million members
1967 "Six-Day War" between Israel and Arab nations




Hanoi bombed by U.S. planes
1968 Student riots in U.S. and France
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr., assassinated
1969 Neil Armstrong sets foot on Moon from Apollo 11
1969 Golda Meir becomes prime minister of Israel
1969 Woodstock Festival
1969 Ho Chi Minh dies
The Bell becomes news and development publication 1970
First women ordained in The American Lutheran Church (The ALC) and Lutheran Church in America (LCA) 1970
Kathryn Ulvilden Moen organist and choir director at Northwestern Seminary 1970




Northwestern and Luther Seminaries invited by University of Minnesota to have seminary students enroll in Human Sexuality course 1972





Annelotte Svendsbye forms united group called, LTS Women 1974
Alvin Rogness resigns 1974
Lloyd Svendsbye elected president of Luther Theological Seminary 1975
Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary receives Association of Theological Schools accreditation 1975
Faculty Wives re-emerges as its own group 1975
Full-fledged Development Department formed 1975
Lloyd Svendsbye elected Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary president 1976
"Maximal Functional Unification" between Luther and Northwestern Seminaries begins 1976
Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary library moved to Luther Theological Seminary's Gullixson Hall 1976
Northwestern bookstore merged with Luther bookstore 1976
Food service merged, though two sites exist on campus 1976
2,000 women members of Auxiliary 1977
Master of arts degree program started 1977
First woman in administration post, Elizabeth Beissel, as assistant dean of students 1977
Curriculum revision follows self-study 1977





Charles DeGaulle dies
1971 "Fiddler on the Roof" longest running Broadway play



Vietnam War expands with bombing in Cambodia
1972 Nixon visits China
1973 Lyndon Johnson dies
1973 U.S. troops withdraw from Vietnam
1973 Violence between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland at new high
1973 "Energy Crisis" at peak


Richard M. Nixon is impeached and resigns presidency over Watergate
1975 Communists seize Saigon





Fifth Assembly of World Council of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya
1976 U.S. celebrates bicentennial







Pol Pot comes to power in Cambodia




President Jimmy Carter warns of national "malaise"
1978 Camp David Accord between Israel and Egypt
1978 U.S. Congress debates Equal Rights Amendment
1978 917 die at Jonestown, Guyana
Lloyd Svendsbye advocates full merger of two schools with joint board support 1980
Lay School of Theology starts with 150 students 1980
Word & World, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary journal debuted 1981


Full merger secured and name changed to, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary 1982
Diane Jacobson first woman in tenure eligible position 1982
Cross-cultural concentration master's degree adopted

Paul Knutson appointed as first campus pastor




Chapel of Incarnation and Campus Center dedicated.
Chapel of the Cross retained.
Faculty supports development of doctoral program 1985
Half of student are second-career students 1986




Former bishop Gib Fjellman serves nine-month interim presidency 1987
Doctor of theology degree program begins 1987
"Singing the Faith" annual Reformation event begins 1987
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America formed 1988
(September) David L. Tiede elected president of Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary 1988
David Preus, former presiding bishop of The American Lutheran Church, named first director of Global Mission Institute 1988
Auxiliary name changed to Luther Northwestern Friends 1989
Faculty Wives group ceases. Friends organization covers many functions. late 1980s



Ronald Reagan elected president
1981 AIDS first recognized as disease






Sandra Day O'Connor first woman on Supreme Court

Walter Mondale selects Geraldine Ferraro as democratic vice-presidential candidate





Mikhail Gorbachev becomes USSR leader/reformer
1986 Martin Luther King Day celebrated first time
1986 Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl
1987 Minnesota Twins wins World Series
1987 Wall Street crash


Iran Contra Hearings begins
1988 George Bush elected president




Federal deficit hits $3 trillion
1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration put down
1989 Berlin Wall comes down
1989 Exxon "Valdez" causes largest ever oil spill
1989 San Francisco earthquake
Rural Ministry program begun with appointment of C. Dean Freudenberger 1990
Master of sacred music degree program begins 1990



Seminary clusters begin. Luther Theological Seminary linked with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif. to form Western Mission Cluster 1992
Revised curriculum implemented/faculty divisions revised 1993
Library bar codes all books, fully automating collection 1993
Faculty and staff offices fitted for computers 1993
Islamic Studies master of arts degree program begins 1993
School's name changed to Luther Seminary 1994

Non-ELCA Lutheran students make up 13% of student body. 18% (nine individuals) of faculty are women. 50% of student body is female.

Bea Vue-Benson ordained as first Hmong (woman) pastor 1995
Smoking banned in seminary buildings 1997
Augsburg Publishing and Seminary Bookstore share space 1998
1990 U.S. responds to Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
1990 Germany reunified under Helmut Kohl
1990 Gorbashev visits Minnesota
1991 "Desert Storm" in Iraq
1991 Soviet Union dissolved; Cold War ends
1992 War begins in Bosnia








Bill Clinton elected president



Yitzhak Rabin assassinated in Israel


Hong Kong returns to Chinese control
1999 President Clinton impeached but not convicted
14% of students are ecumenical, 37 non-Lutheran denominations, 50 int'l 2000
"Centered Life" initiative begun 2001
Richard Bliese appointed Academic Dean 2003
David Tiede retires as president after 18 years
Richard Bliese named president
D(istributed) L(earning) M.Div program begun 2007


2000 Disputed presidential election decided by Supreme Court, Bush elected
2001 9/11 - Two planes crash into World Trade towers in NYC
2001 U.S. invades Afghanistan
2003 U.S. invades Iraq