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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.



Wartburg Theological Seminary will continue to discern the changing leadership needs of the church and address them through strategic, innovative initiatives that meet the theological and practical challenges of theological education for the sake of the gospel in the world.

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Wartburg Theological Seminary will be recognized in the ELCA and beyond for excellence in its capacity (a) to prepare servant leaders for churchly ministries that sustain faithful traditions and pursue unfulfilled possibilities; (b) to steward wisely the church’s theological heritage, its institutions, and its human and financial resources; and (c) to produce graduates who are valued by those they serve and by those who oversee their ministries because of their faithfulness, effectiveness, churchliness, collegiality, and innovation.

Wartburg Theological Seminary will be recognized by potential and current students, faculty, staff, graduates, the church, and a larger public for a distinctively fruitful culture of learning in community, a culture that engages residential, commuting, and distributed learning students, in degree and certificate programs, for Christ’s mission to the world.

This culture builds on the Lutheran tradition exemplified in Wilhelm Loehe by being worship-centered, communal, diaconal, missional, and global committed both to the church’s confessions and to a living faith, and allowing for open questions. Wartburg’s reputation attracts top-quality students who can benefit from and contribute to this community and culture through its Dubuque and Austin based programs.

Wartburg Theological Seminary’s residential and distributed MDiv and MA and MA-Diaconal Ministry degree programs, Classic TEEM and Journey Together: Competency Based TEEM, plus other certificate programs, its lifelong learning work, and its scholarly and ecclesial work are and will be widely recognized for excellent core and complementary faculty, adaptive curriculum, and innovative approaches that enable fruitful blending of critical theological thinking with reflective learning through the practice of pastoral and diaconal ministry.

Wartburg Theological Seminary will be recognized as exercising the highest level of responsibility, integrity, and good stewardship and as pioneering and unsurpassed in operating with a business plan that is realistic and effective in undergirding the seminary’s mission.


Strategic Plan 2021-2023

Wartburg Theological Seminary’s three Year Strategic Plan was adopted by the Wartburg Seminary Board of Directors in February 2020.