Center for Theology & Land (CTL)

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.

Courses for Degree Programs

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.

Field Experiences
  • Rural Plunge – fall semester
  • Rural Immersion – J-term

Other Programs and Courses

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. Learn More here.

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.

Certificate Program and Courses in Rural Ministry

Wartburg Theological Seminary offers online and on-campus intensive courses for members in congregations and pastors seeking continuing education in Rural Ministry.