President's Convocation 2018

It was a blessing to be able to give the President’s Convocation again this fall. I encourage all to watch it. I want to highlight the four trajectories into the future I discussed in the address.


  • If given permission by our accrediting agency, ILT will begin to operate a Ph.D. program in the fall of 2019. There is a market for our program and brisk early interest in it. Doing the program connects to two of the five reasons articulated back in 2007 as to why ILT was needed. We must both train the next generation of Lutheran professors and teach and engage in a research agenda to reclaim the Lutheran Reformation in ways that connect to the cultural and intellectual horizon of our age.

  • We have been granted permission by our accrediting agency to offer a Master of Military Chaplaincy. We believe that our nation’s military should be served by chaplain’s trained to apply Luther’s doctrine of the Two Kingdoms in proclaiming and witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall begin this in 2019.

  • We shall build ILT’s academic graduate programs to serve Lutherans around the world. Because we shall build Ph.D. programs privileging the study of classical Lutheran theology, we shall become a trusted center internationally for the study of that theology in English.

  • Since undergraduate education in the humanities is diminishing in quality, we shall explore ways to augment our Certificate School by granting multi-year diplomas which shall prepare students for the study of theology at the graduate level and beyond.


In addition, I want to announce the Registrar numbers for the Fall of 2018: The headcount of the graduate school is 47 with a FTE of 33. The headcount of the certificate school is 40 with an FTE of 18. This gives us a total headcount of 87 with a FTE of 51. We are now larger than 10 Lutheran seminaries in North America, and smaller than eight.


God continues to bless the Institute of Lutheran Theology. As I said in the address, ILT does not belong to its faculty, staff, or board, but rather to its students, prayer partners and donors, and, of course, ultimately to God who in Christ has made this journey possible.


President Bielfeldt


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