A Brief History of LTS

LTS has been equipping the leadership of the church in Canada and abroad for nearly a century.

In 1913 the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Manitoba and Other Provinces founded the Lutheran College and Seminary (LCS), which finally settled in Saskatoon in 1915. In 1939 the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America established the Luther Theological Seminary, first on the campus of the Lutheran College and Seminary and then, in 1946, on a separate campus in Saskatoon. For almost twenty years, Lutherans in Western Canada maintained two theological schools with varying degrees of cooperation between them.

A merger occured in 1968, turning the two organization into the present LTS Saskatoon, with a faculty of six and a student body of thirty.

In 1968 the school moved to its present location on the University of Saskatchewan campus and into close proximity with ESC (The College of Emmanuel and St. Chad) and SAC (St. Andrew's College). Even at this early stage, a sense of collaboration was evident in that students registered in one school were free to take classes in the other two schools. In the same year, an arrangement was reached with Central Pentecostal College. In 1969 LTS, ESC and SAC established a Graduate School of Theology which would later be known as the Graduate Theological Union of Saskatoon.

The GTUS became today's Saskatoon Theological Union, sharing courses and supporting the Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

As the ELCIC moves into a new model of ministry, LTS is changing. In the late 1980s, LTS established a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree, oriented toward providing interested laypeople with an introduction to theology. For those interested in the diaconate, LTS has a MTS with a major in Diaconal Ministry and a Diaconal Certificate program. In cooperation with the four Western synods of the ELCIC, the Lay Academy offers cross-synod lecture and discussion presentations; in Autumn 2019, curriculum will be available for training courses to prepare lay and local leaders.

In 2012, LTS made one of the most radical changes in its history, moving away from the residential and semester-based model of education to a flexible-delivery model. Onsite courses are now almost entirely offered in an intensive format, requiring students to be on campus for one or two weeks at a time. Online course offerings are expanding. Hybrid courses, with students in the classroom are joined by students participating electronically from home, are becoming more common.

In the summer of 2020 LTS moved to a smaller, more up-to-date facility, housed within the St. Andrew's College building on the University of Saskatchewan campus.  This has allowed us to be more closely engaged with our partners in the Saskatoon Theological Union (STU). LTS is becoming a "Small Footprint, Big Impact" school. Our reach is growing, even as we operate more efficiently in less space.

Presidents of Predecessor Seminaries

Lutheran College and Seminary 1913-1965

  • Juergen Goos, 1913-18
  • Heinrich W. Harms, 1918-31
  • Werner Magnus, 1931-1936
  • Nils Willison, 1937-1949
  • Earl J. Treusch, 1950-1955
  • Otto A. Olson, 1955-1958
  • Walter H.P. Freitag, 1962-65

Luther Theological Seminary, 1939-1965

  • John R. Lavik, 1939-1953
  • Olaf K. Storaasli, 1953-1959
  • George Evenson, 1959-1965

Lutheran Faculty of Theology

  • Thomas P. Solem, 1965-1966

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon

  • William Hordern, 1965-1985
  • Roger Nostbakken, 1985-1996
  • Faith E. Rohrbough, 1996-2004
  • Erwin Buck, 2004-2005
  • Kevin A. Ogilvie, 2006- 2015
  • Michael Nel, 2015-2017
  • William Harrison, 2017-present
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