Preprofessional program

Prepare for seminary or a vocation as a religious professional with pre-ministry studies at Luther College.

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Why Study Pre-Ministry?

Are you interested in helping others experience more meaning, perspective, and understanding in their lives? If so, pre-ministry studies at Luther College might be a good fit for you.

Why Study Pre-Ministry at Luther College?

Luther’s religion department can help you pursue vocational interests in ordained parish ministry, youth ministry, chaplaincy, Christian education, or pastoral counseling.

Our religion faculty has significant experience in helping students prepare for seminary studies and careers as religious professionals. Many of our faculty members have taught in seminaries and divinity schools. Some are also ordained clergy with experience serving parishes.

You’ll benefit from the combined experience of Luther’s faculty members. They’ll provide you with excellent mentoring if you’re interested in pursuing seminary studies and a variety of religious vocations.

Program Highlights

Knowledgeable Faculty

Luther faculty will prepare you for seminary and work in other religious traditions.

Real-World Experience

Expand your knowledge beyond the classroom with an internship at such places as the Nobel Peace Prize Forum (Minneapolis, Minn.), Mayo Clinic Transplant Center (Rochester, Minn.), Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy (St. Paul, Minn.), and Lutheran Outdoors in South Dakota (Sioux Falls).

Financial Assistance

If you’re interested in pre-ministry, we offer scholarships specifically for students studying religion at Luther.

What You’ll Learn

All courses taught in the religion department at Luther are beneficial if you intend to enter seminary. Pre-ministry studies at Luther will help you gain a level of competency in biblical literature, Christian traditions, and many other religious traditions (which is not always possible in denominational seminaries). Luther faculty teach courses in Judaism, Islam, East and South Asian religions, and interfaith studies. These courses prepare you to serve as a leader and facilitator in interreligious dialogue. They’re also useful in building bridges between many different religious traditions in a globalized, pluralistic world.

Sam Scheidt
It's important to learn about other people's beliefs and practices in order to get a clearer picture of the world at large.
Sam Scheidt '18

Careers and Outcomes

Many Luther pre-ministry graduates attend seminaries within the college’s denominational body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Others choose to study in other denominational seminaries and divinity schools. Luther pre-ministry graduates also often participate in service and volunteer programs across the world, including the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission Program and Lutheran Volunteer Corps.

Our religion department will work closely with you to pursue your vocational interests in ordained parish ministry, youth ministry, chaplaincy, Christian education, or pastoral counseling.

ELCA Seminaries

  • Luther Seminary
  • Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • Wartburg Theological Seminary
  • Trinity Lutheran Seminary
  • United Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia

Other Seminaries and Divinity Schools

  • Harvard Divinity School
  • University of Chicago Divinity School
  • Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Union Theological Seminary

Is a religion major required for seminary?

A religion major or minor is not a requirement for admission to most seminaries or divinity schools. However, many students who graduate from our religion program later tell us that their coursework at Luther gave them a much-needed foundation upon which to build in seminary or divinity school.

Luther pre-ministry graduates appreciate the opportunity to take courses in multiple religious traditions, particularly since courses in traditions beyond Christianity are not always offered in denominational seminaries.

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