Degree Programs
Mission & Strategic Plan



Pastoral Practices

Sustainable Wartburg

Wartburg Theological Seminary (WTS) 

Wartburg Theological Seminary serves Christ's church through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by being a worship-centered community of critical theological reflection where learning leads to mission and mission informs learning.

The community embodies God's mission by stewarding resources for engaging, equipping, and sending collaborative leaders who interpret, proclaim and live the gospel of Jesus Christ for a world created for communion with God and in need of personal and social healing.

Degrees and Programs:

Wartburg Theological Seminary offers three graduate-level degrees, Master of Arts, Master of Arts Diaconal Ministry, and Master of Divinity; TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) Certificate; and Diploma in Anglican Studies. All accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

All three Masters Degrees offer the option for Distributed Learning Programs, which combine online learning, intensive courses on-campus, and residential formation.

The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS) is a program of Wartburg Seminary and the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. LSPS educates women and men for ordained ministry through TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministry).

Student Enrollment:

Wartburg Seminary has an average student population of 180 students in all degrees and programs. The average student age is 37 years old.


Wartburg Theological Seminary is located in Dubuque, Iowa which is known as the "Masterpiece on the Mississippi" featuring a rich history and natural beauty. The city of Dubuque was named the 2010 "Best Small City to Raise a Family" in the nation by The seminary campus is located in a welcoming residential neighborhood and features housing for single, married, and students with families.


The roots of Wartburg Seminary go back to the missionary efforts of Wilhelm Loehe in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria. Pastors sent out from Neuendettelsau founded an educational institution in Saginaw, Michigan in 1852. The following year the school moved to Dubuque, and in 1854, seminary education began. Three years later, adverse economic conditions forced a move to St. Sebald in Clayton County, Iowa, where the name Wartburg was chosen. In 1875 expansion necessitated a move to Mendota, Illinois, where the seminary remained until 1889, when it returned to Dubuque.


Wartburg Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15275-1103, (412) 788-6505,, and by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 230 South La Salle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (800) 621-7740, The seminary is approved for the degree programs it currently offers: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and the Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry. The seminary is approved by ATS for a Comprehensive Distance Education Program. The seminary was reaccredited in 2008 for a ten-year period.

Educational Effectiveness:

Wartburg Theological Seminary (WTS) educates graduates for leadership roles in church and society: pastors, diaconal ministers, chaplains, youth workers, missionaries, teachers, and other vocations. More than 90% of WTS students and graduates are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which has a comprehensive candidacy process with strong evaluative feedback loops between the school and its main employment organization.

Assessment of learning-both quantitative and qualitative-establishes a baseline during the admissions process, continues throughout all stages of student learning in the school's curriculum, and includes evaluation by graduates. This assessment demonstrates the effectiveness of the school's educational processes in preparing graduates for securing employment in church and society. The degree programs of WTS prepare leaders with requisite theological understanding and ministerial skills, which are assessed through the stated curriculum outcomes, the Twelve Pastoral Practices. Evaluation by leaders of the ELCA demonstrates the educational effectiveness of the school. Data from longitudinal assessment consistently indicates that students make continual growth throughout the educational process and that graduates rank higher than 4 (on a scale of 1 to 5) in relation to the stated curriculum outcomes. Detailed information is available upon request to the Office of the Academic Dean

Wartburg Theological Seminary
333 Wartburg Place, PO Box 5004, Dubuque, IA 52004-5004
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