See the Affiliated Candidates page for detailed information about affiliating (i.e. you are an ELCA candidate who is attending or who has attended a non-ELCA theological school and need to affiliate with an ELCA seminary to complete requirements for candidacy).
1. Explore Affiliation Options
- Best for candidates who only need a couple of courses (i.e. six or less courses), which could include internship – a theological review panel (TRP) will need to be completed for any course recommendations below the six-course requirement
- May be completed as a general non-degree student (1-7 courses) or Graduate Certificate student (8 courses)
- Can apply for any academic term (i.e. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
- Does NOT qualify for financial aid
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Lutheran Ministries
- Best for candidates who need eight or more courses, including CPE and/or internship
- Applicants must have already received an M.Div. degree from a non-ELCA seminary within the past 10 years (if earned more than 10 years ago, please see non-degree)
- If admitted, may transfer up to 8.0 credits from their M.Div. degree, leaving 8.0 remaining credits, including internship and capstone project
- Can only apply for a Fall term start
- Qualifies for full tuition under the Jubilee Scholarship (capacity limits apply)
Master of Theology (Th.M.)
- Best for candidates who may eventually pursue doctoral-level theological coursework in the future – includes six courses and mastery of languages and thesis
- Applicants must have already received a previous graduate-level theological degree
- Can only apply for a Fall term start
- Does NOT qualify for full tuition scholarship – may qualify for limited scholarship support for the first year of study only
2. Prerequisites and Application Deadlines
- Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited college or university
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0+ on a 4.0 scale
If applying as a non-degree affiliate for any term, application must be completed at least 60 days in advance of the desired term of enrollment.
If applying as a degree student for the Fall term, application must be completed by the following deadlines:
- Early Priority – December 1, 2023
- Domestic Applicants Final Deadline – June 1, 2024
The online application and all supporting documents must be submitted to complete your application. Your application will not be considered by the admissions committee until it is complete.
3. Submit Online Application
Submit the online application (below) to begin the process. You will be asked to provide detailed information and will respond to a series of questions related to the non-degree or degree program for which you apply. You can save your progress and return to submit your online application at any time. Please be prepared to provide the contact information for your recommendations (described in more detail below).
Once your initial application is received, you will be sent an email that walks you through the next steps in the application process and notifies you of your missing materials. You can check your online admissions portal at any time to track your application progress.
4. Submit Supporting Documents
Please request official transcripts from every college or university from which you have received credit. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Admissions Office by the issuing institution (we cannot accept opened transcripts received from applicants themselves). The most efficient and preferred method is to request electronic parchment be sent to email@example.com. You can also have the institution mail transcript to 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108 (please send via USPS to ensure proper delivery during mailroom hours, M-F, 10 am – 3 pm). Once received, your online application portal will be updated.
Please submit a resume with relevant vocational, ministry, leadership and service experience (no more than 2 pages) – you will submit this through your online application portal.
At the time of submitting your online application, you will be asked to provide contact information for two recommenders.
- Pastor/Ministry Mentor Recommendation
- Teacher/Academic Recommendation (Alternate: Work Supervisor if you graduated over five years ago)
The online application portal will contact your recommenders at the provided email addresses with the appropriate recommendation forms.
As an applicant seeking ordination into rostered ministry, you will be required to submit the following additional supporting documents to complete your application:
- Authorization for release form – you will submit this through your online application portal.
- Candidacy Confirmation and Update form indicating the expected date of your entrance interview or candidacy status (to be completed by a judicatory, synod or candidacy committee representative) – the Admissions Committee may also request full entrance into candidacy or equivalent process on a case-by-case basis.
If your previous GPA falls below the 3.0 minimum you will also be asked to submit a Statement of Academic Readiness – you will submit this through your online application portal.
5. Once Your Application Is Complete
Once we have received your online application and all supporting documents and your application is complete, your file will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Luther Seminary has a collaborative review process that requires sufficient lead time before the Admissions Committee meets. If your application and all of your supporting documents are not received within the lead time accounted for in the above application deadlines and needed to ensure a thoughtful review, it may not be reviewed until the following committee meeting. Admissions Committee meeting dates are not public.
You will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision through your online application portal. If you are accepted, you will be asked to send affirmation of intent forms to the Admissions Office through the online application portal.
If admitted to Luther Seminary your next steps before registering for courses:
- Submit an affirmation of intent to the Admissions Office through the online application portal.
- Pay the affiliation fee. All ELCA affiliates candidates shall affiliate with their seminary of affiliation upon successful Entrance into ELCA Candidacy. For students who affiliate with an ELCA Seminary by paying the affiliate fee within 6 months of being granted Entrance, the fee will be $1,600. For students who affiliate after this 6-month period, the fee will be $2,000 across all ELCA Seminaries.
- Work with Contextual Learning staff and Candidacy Committee to build Candidate Plan
- Work with Contextual Learning and Student Services staff to complete Healthy Boundaries Workshop, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), and StrengthsFinder 2.0