Faith development is an integral component of any student’s experience at Luther Seminary. Luther Seminary nurtures a strong faith community through daily chapel, musical ensembles, spiritual formation and ecumenical activities.
Worship activities are coordinated by the seminary pastor and chapel staff.
Worship is at the center of our life together. For that reason we gather for chapel Monday through Thursday as we set time aside for prayer, praise and proclamation of the gospel through word, sacrament, music and silence.
During the Fall of 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are still worshiping online, while looking forward to a time when we can gather together again safely in the Chapel of the Incarnation.
While rooted in the Lutheran tradition, worship of God at Luther Seminary reflects the rich diversity and traditions of our community. From Taizé services to contemporary praise music, to traditional hymnody and global music, we incorporate these varied expressions while making a joyful noise. Faculty, staff, students from all degree programs, international students, and guests from the wider church community all join together to preach and offer their gifts and passions in worship and music leadership.
While recently on hiatus, the Luther Seminary Choir has participated regularly in midweek communion services and other occasions. The choir is open to students, faculty, staff, family members, and friends of the seminary community. During the coronavirus pandemic, the choir has taken a break, but will be finding ways to reconvene in the coming months. All are welcome. The ability to read notated music is helpful but not required. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to keep informed about the Seminary choir’s reappearance!
Other community participation
Luther community members also contribute to worship life through additional volunteer opportunities:
- Assisting Ministers, Communion Assistants, Ushers/Greeters
- Cantors/Songs Leaders who help lead congregational singing
- A pickup brass ensemble which occasionally accompanies worship
- Various instrumental and vocal groups (contemporary and global)
- Liturgical Visual Art
- Liturgical dance and movement
Contact the chapel office if you are interested in volunteering for various leadership roles in worship.
Occasional student recitals, morning and evening prayer services, healing services, hymn sings and festival worship are conducted in one of several chapels on campus:
- Chapel of the Incarnation in the Olson Campus Center
- The Meditation Chapel in the Olson Campus Center
- The small chapel in Bockman Hall
- Historic Old Muskego Church on the campus
* See our campus map for chapel locations!
Grow in relationship with God
Spiritual formation describes a whole host of practices or disciplines that enable us to grow in our relationship with God. Some of the traditional practices include:
- Spiritual reading
- Spiritual direction
- Spiritual care groups
- 12-step support groups
Spiritual care groups
All students are encouraged to take part in a spiritual care group. These small groups provide a regular opportunity for Christian fellowship centered on Scripture, prayer and mutual conversation around vocation and service. Spiritual care groups are open to students in all degree programs and are led by members of the faculty and staff along with Ph.D. students and returning seniors.
Spiritual direction is a practice which pairs an individual who has been trained in the art of Christian listening with a person or a small group of individuals interested in tending to their spiritual lives. Through attentive listening to God and to the Holy Spirit’s presence and movement in the stories, questions, and experiences of an individual, the spiritual director offers wisdom and encouragement to those seeking a deeper relationship with God. Watch a recording of a panel discussion with six local area spiritual directors who offer a great window into this practice.
How do I find a spiritual director?
There are several options:
- Group direction: We have enlisted qualified and trained spiritual directors who are willing to provide group direction at no cost. You may form your own group, or we will help connect you with a group. If you are interested in this form of spiritual direction, contact the seminary pastor at email@example.com
- Individual direction: The following organizations offer individual spiritual direction which you may arrange on your own. Most of these have a fee of $60-75 an hour, but many also say they will negotiate the rate based on the student’s ability to pay.
- Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality, 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul), 651-696-2798
- Christos Center for Spiritual Formation, 651-653-8207, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Loyola Spirituality Center, 389 N. Oxford Street, St. Paul, 651-955-4292
- Benedictine Center, 651-777-7251, email@example.com
The Benedictine Center also offers its space for a quiet time apart as does the Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp in Amery, Wisconsin. Most of the centers listed above offer a wide range of other spiritual practices as well. For instance, the Benedictine Center has a Taizé prayer service on the third Friday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Larpenteur Ave. E, St. Paul.
During the academic year, there are occasional opportunities over Reading Days for students to take part in a hermitage retreat at Pacem in Terris. A hermitage is a holy dwelling place, a simple but comfortable prayer cabin that enables those on retreat from the burdens of everyday life to be more fully attentive to the presence of God. Retreat goers will stay by themselves in the hermitage in order to experience a sanctuary of silence and solitude.
Welcoming diverse Christian faith traditions
Luther Seminary students come from a variety of Christian faith traditions. More than 40 denominations are represented among the 200+ ecumenical students enrolled at Luther Seminary. This represents more than 30 percent of the student body. The seminary recognizes that the presence of and appreciation for individuals from a variety of Christian traditions is one of the strengths of an excellent theological education.
Faculty members at Luther Seminary are Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Christians. This diversity is a gift not only to the seminary, but to the church as a whole.
- Faculty and staff work with ecumenical students to find resources for meeting both degree and denominational course requirements.
- Ecumenical students are invited to gather together informally throughout the school year to build relationships.
Ecumenical students ask important questions, challenge longstanding assumptions and contribute substantively to theological conversation. Students of all denominations benefit from greater ecumenical diversity at Luther Seminary.
Methodist House of Studies
Luther Seminary has a strong community of Methodist students as well as one United Methodist Church faculty member: Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology. Under Dr. Padgett’s leadership, Luther Seminary is bringing these students together to form a Methodist House of Studies. It is not a physical space, but a community where Methodists can come together.
As Methodist students work on their theological degrees at Luther Seminary, the House of Studies will give them the opportunity to:
- Prepare for Methodist ministry: Given the robust seminary curriculum and engagement with local clergy, students can strengthen their own distinct faith identity and understanding of Wesleyan theology to enhance their leadership in Methodist contexts. Find more information about our Graduate Certificate in Methodist Studies.
- Get advice: Alan Padgett serves as a mentor and advisor to students.
- Connect with other Methodists: There are regular, informal meetings with faculty advisors, students and local clergy from the Methodist tradition to build relationships, support and encourage each other, talk about faith matters and connect with others regarding opportunities in area churches.
Questions? Contact Alan Padgett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-641-3221.