The Center for Theology & Land, established in 1987, is the rural ministry program of Wartburg Theological Seminary. The mission of the Center is to strengthen rural churches and their communities by:
- Training ministers for work in small/rural churches.
- Providing continuing education sessions for clergy and laity in rural settings.
- Helping empower rural churches for mission in their communities.
Imagining Rural Ministry
This course explores the character of rural communities within the context of American society, and the character of rural congregations within the context of rural communities. In the light of those explorations, this course considers implications for the public ministry of the gospel in rural settings. Particular attention is given to an understanding of relational ministry.
Rural Fiction as Field Education for Rural Ministry
This course explores biblical themes of sin, grace, and redemption in a selection of novels set in rural American communities and considers how the practice of rural ministry might be informed by fictional experience and understanding.
- Rural Plunge – fall semester
- Rural Immersion – J-term
Rural Ministry Conference
The Center for Theology & Land hosts the annual Rural Ministry Conferences that have been held in Dubuque since 1982. Each year’s conference addresses issues and themes pertinent to the wellbeing of rural communities and the ministry of rural churches. Conferences include worship, keynote speakers, workshops, and Bible study, and offer participants a unique opportunity to network with others who are active in and concerned about rural ministry.Learn More.
Rural Concerns Luncheons
The Center for Theology & Land hosts a series of Rural Concerns Luncheons for students, faculty, staff, and other interested constituents of Wartburg Seminary once each month during the fall and spring semesters. These informal gatherings provide an opportunity for people both within and beyond the seminary campus community to present and discuss a range of topics pertaining to the practice of rural ministry and issues confronting rural congregations and rural communities.
Distance Learning and Continuing Education Courses in Rural Ministry
Wartburg Theological Seminary offers each year a schedule of both online and on campus intensive courses that laity and clergy may take for Lifelong Learning, Continuing Education Credit, or for Certificate Credit toward the CTL Certificate in Town and Country Church Leadership. These courses may also be taken for Certification Credit in the WTS TEEM curriculum. Click here to see a listing of current course offerings.
Certificate in Town and Country Church Leadership
This Certificate is designed for clergy and laity who are new to rural ministry and/or want to strengthen their ministry in small town and rural churches. The Certificate program consists of twelve courses, combining foundational subjects such as Bible, theology, and church history with rural ministry and community development. Program requirements are completed through a combination of online and on campus intensive courses, allowing students the flexibility to work at their own pace taking one, two, or three courses at a time.Learn More.