Master of Divinity
At the heart of LSTC’s master of divinity (MDiv) program is our commitment to equip students to bear witness to the gospel and be agents of social transformation in our changing church and world. Whether you’re seeking to be ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament or to further your academic studies, our MDiv program allows you to concentrate on building competencies for ministry rather than just fulfilling requirements for a degree.
Our new distance learning track grows out of LSTC’s commitment to equity and inclusion. With the DL-MDiv track we make LSTC’s Public Church curriculum accessible to national and international audiences who may prefer or require a distance learning experience. Students in this track develop theological and pastoral skills while remaining in their home context. We offer a more traditional, residential track, where the dimensions of your life as a student are enhanced in the rich urban context of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
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
“Even at distance I feel connected… I have found family, I have found home in the ELCA, they have been so eager to help… I realized this was the place that I should be to train me theologically to become a minister within the ELCA.”
– Juan Manuel Arias Perea (Current MDiv student, previously a distance learner)
From our faculty
“I started theological education almost 40 years ago…When I see someone thriving in their ministry or thriving in their educational career, I think, ‘this is a worthwhile investment.’”
– Peter Vethanayagamony, professor of church history
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.