Martin Luther College
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This article deals with the WELS-affiliated tertiary institution in Minnesota. See Luther College for the ELCA institution in Iowa.
|Affiliation||Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod|
|President||Rev. Mark Zarling|
|Location||New Ulm, Minnesota, USA
50 acres (20 ha)
|Colors||Red, Black & white|
Martin Luther College (MLC) is the college of ministry operated by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Located on a 50-acre (20 ha) campus in New Ulm, Minnesota, United States, the college prepares men for pastoral training at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and men and women for service as early childhood teachers, elementary, and secondary teachers and staff ministers in WELS churches, schools and missions. A faculty of 82 educators serves approximately 800 students during the school year. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its teaching program has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching.
Old Main, Dr. Martin Luther College
Old Main from the northeast
|Location||College Heights, New Ulm, Minnesota|
|Area||Less than one acre|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|MPS||Brown County MRA|
|NRHP Reference #||79001208|
|Designated NRHP||December 31, 1979|
Dr. Martin Luther College was established in 1884 by the Minnesota Synod to train Lutheran pastors and teachers working in Minnesota. Northwestern College was established in 1865 by the Wisconsin Synod to train Lutheran pastors in Wisconsin. In 1892, when the Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan Synods formed a federation called the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States, it was agreed that Northwestern College would become the primary college for training men to serve as pastors in the new synod's churches. This purpose was carried out by Northwestern College on its campus in Watertown, Wisconsin, from 1865 to 1995.
It was also agreed that Dr. Martin Luther College would discontinue its pastor training course and would become a teacher training college. Graduates of Dr. Martin Luther College would also teach in any of the new synod's schools.
After several years of study and discussion, the WELS in convention voted to amalgamate its two training schools at the New Ulm, Minnesota campus. The new school, named Martin Luther College, opened its doors for the 1995–1996 school year.
The original building of Dr. Martin Luther College, the 1884 Old Main, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 for having state-level significance in the themes of architecture, education, and religion. It was nominated as a leading example of Gothic Revival architecture in Minnesota and a distinctive symbol of local religious education.
About Martin Luther College
For the 2010–2011 school year, Martin Luther College (MLC) has approximately 710 students and 75 faculty members. The average class size is 17, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1.
A high percentage of students come from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod's Ministerial Training schools, Luther Preparatory School and Michigan Lutheran Seminary. Of the remaining percentage, many students come from Area Lutheran High Schools that are affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. A smaller percentage comes from public schools and international programs.
The campus is composed of 12 buildings: Old Main (Administration, Computer Labs, Classrooms), the Link (ties together Old Main and the Wittenburg Collegiate Center - Administration, Science Laboratories)the Wittenburg Collegiate Center (classrooms, auditorium), the Luther Student Center (cafeteria, student union, gymnasium, power plant), a Library, a Music Center (piano, organ, voice instruction, band and choir rooms), a Music Hall (formerly known as the Aula, MLC's first chapel - organ and piano practice rooms, Music Technology Classrooms), and the Chapel of the Christ (dedicated in 2010) along with the four dormitories listed below.
Students at MLC live in one of four dormitories: Augustana (Primarily sophomore-senior women), Centennial (primarily freshman women), Summit (primarily junior and senior men), or Concord (primarily freshmen and sophomore men).
Students have the ability to participate in a variety of co-curricular and extra curricular events, such as Forum (Drama), Intramural sports, Student Senate, and other clubs and events. Students also produce several publications, including the Knight's Page (student magazine) and Studium Excitare, a journal of confessional language studies.
Any students who choose the teaching track are given the opportunity to gain valuable experience by participating in student teaching programs. Teachers in training will be placed in area schools, ranging from preschool to high school, and help to develop lesson plans for the school's students.
Many Students are involved with the music department. MLC boasts 20 pipe organs available to students for practice, including the 42-rank Backer Memorial Organ in the MLC Auditorium and the 57-rank Schantz Organ in the Chapel of the Christ. Also, piano and voice lessons are common, in addition to a Wind Symphony, four Choirs, and co-curricular Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Handbell Choirs.
Off campus life is popular, with students frequenting local business, restaurants, plus nearby Vogel Arena (swimming, field house, racquetball) and Flandrau State Park for swimming and hiking. Trips into Mankato (a 30-minute drive) are also popular for shopping at River Hills Mall and other big name stores. Day trips to the Twin Cities are also popular for concerts and other events.
Other events hosted by the Student Senate and the school provide popular entertainment, including Homecoming, Winter Carnival, Swine Sizzler (pig roast), band nights, an annual Ski Trip, an annual Art Museum trip, puzzle and card tournaments, Arbor Day, Evangelism Day, etc.
Those students who complete the program offered by the Studies in Pastoral Ministry department continue their education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin. Those students who complete the requirements of the Studies in Educational Ministry department (with an emphasis in elementary, secondary, or early childhood education or a preparation for a parish staff ministry position) become candidates for a call, or assignment, to serve in a Lutheran elementary or high school operated by a WELS congregation. Students who attend Martin Luther College in preparation for the Lord's Gospel Ministry "have made a choice to place their lives at the disposal of the church. They will accept assignment to any location and any slate of duties that meets the church's needs as opposed to their individual preferences. Put another way by Philip Leyrer: "where the church needs him is His preference"
Dr. Martin Luther College's nickname was the Lancers and school colors were maroon and gray. Northwestern College's nickname was the Trojans and its school colors were black and red.
Currently, Martin Luther College offers the following sports: Men's Cross Country, Soccer, Football, Basketball, Tennis, Baseball, Track and Field, and Golf; Women's Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Softball, Track and Field, and Golf.
Opportunities are also available to play hockey and baseball in annual matches with Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. The school also offers a variety of intramural sports for students who do not wish to compete in intercollegiate sporting events.
- Higher education in Minnesota
- List of colleges and universities in Minnesota
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Brown County, Minnesota
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Old Main, Dr. Martin Luther College". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
- Gimmestad, Dennis (January 1979). "Minnesota Historic Properties Inventory Form: Old Main, Dr. Martin Luther College" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- Leyrer 2006, p.94
Leyrer, Philip (2006). "Two innocent questions about teacher training in the WELS". The Lutheran Educator 46 (3): 92-96.