Master of Arts
Immerse yourself in the academic study of theology with a master of arts (MA) degree from LSTC. Whether you are interested in church history, systematic theology, interfaith, Bible or other areas of inquiry, our superb faculty and academic partners in Hyde Park make LSTC an ideal place for theological study. A flexible curriculum makes it possible to concentrate work in any chosen field or to complete a more generalist approach to theological study.
LSTC’s curriculum cultivates competencies for leadership in a public church that focuses on community engagement, public witness and social transformation. Distance learners will cultivate competencies for leadership in a public church using each student’s unique setting as the impetus for learning. Chicago’s dynamic urban landscape serves as a classroom for residential students. Theology ultimately addresses the pressing questions and needs of specific contexts.
LSTC MDiv Program Advantages
Leading Lutheran urban seminary
Residential and distance learning
Generous financial support
Dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusivity & justice
Accredited by ATS and HLC
Graduates serve a global community
Areas of Study Concentration
MDiv, MA and MAM students may seek expertise that goes beyond the core curriculum and allows students to gain confidence and discipline in a designated scholarly area. LSTC’s long-held strengths and commitments in the areas of biblical studies, urban ministry, interfaith studies, religion and science, culture-specific, and environmental ministry have led faculty members to create emphases in these areas. MDiv, MA and MAM candidates may develop an area of concentration in any discipline represented by the LSTC faculty.
African American/African Descent Studies
LSTC’s location, distinguished faculty, and ACTS cross-registration provide excellent resources to prepare students for ministry in African American and African descent communities. The Pero Center for Intersectionality Studies offers opportunities for deepening knowledge and celebrating African American and African descent religious and theological experience.
LSTC in partnership with other ELCA seminaries and the ACTS consortium provides a rich set of course offerings in Womanist studies, as well as opportunities for collaborative learning.
Students gain the tools, confidence, and discipline to make Bible study a lifelong activity and to interpret biblical texts creatively for contextual preaching, teaching, and worship.
LSTC has a long history of engagement in interfaith relations, supported by A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice and an endowed professorship of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations. Collaboration with faculty and students from other theological schools and our many interfaith partners in the Chicago area deepen this emphasis.
Latinx Ministry and Theology
Students committed to serving effectively in Latinx communities will find vital resources at LSTC and the surrounding ACTS schools, as well as from shared courses offered through the ELCA and cross-registration with Seminário Evangélico de Puerto Rico. Courses taught in Spanish and English within a bi-lingual context fulfill required or elective course requirements.
Religion and Science/Environmental Ministry
This emphasis establishes competency in various aspects of the dialogue between theology and science with a focus on the urgent issue of climate crisis. Students gain the knowledge and experience to address environmental issues from a theological and a practical perspective in the congregation and other ministry settings.
Community Organizing and Public Leadership
Students will develop skills in public leadership for today’s church in areas as community organizing, social analysis and local narrative theology, antiracism work and evangelism, and stewardship and self/family care.
From our students
“I had never been to Chicago, even to the United States, but I did not feel alone. I was never alone or lost or felt like I didn’t know anyone. My community in Rwanda need their stories to be told… I can’t wait to go home and share all the tools I have. My church needs educated pastors and I am happy to be one of them.”
– Veronica John Mwakasungura (2020, MA)
From our faculty
“I came back to teach at LSTC because I love LSTC. My life was changed here… [My own] questions drew me back to work here because I wanted to explore them with students who will go out and serve in all kinds of ministry settings.”
– Brooke Petersen (2006, MDiv), director of the MDiv and MA programs; coordinator of candidacy; lecturer
History of LSTC
The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) was formed Sept. 4, 1962, when four seminaries consolidated: Augustana Theological Seminary, Grand View Seminary, Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary and Suomi Theological Seminary. Central Lutheran Theological Seminary joined the merger prior to LSTC dedicating its Hyde Park campus on Oct. 22, 1967. In 1983, 10 members of the faculty of Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo. (1974), relocated to LSTC and the two schools merged in 1987 just prior to the 1988 formation of the ELCA. LSTC’s prior locations, mergers and history are a reminder that we have always been a seminary that moves and changes, leaning into a future with confidence in its possibilities and promise.