Affiliated Students

affiliatedAffiliation as Part of the ELCA Candidacy Process


Lutheran candidates seeking rostered ministry within the ELCA who wish to study at a non-Lutheran seminary must affiliate with an ELCA seminary. The ELCA candidacy process requires that affiliated students complete the equivalent of a "Lutheran Year" at an ELCA seminary, engaging a specified course of study and appropriate contextual education requirements. Affiliation must be approved by the candidate's synodical candidacy committee.

Students who wish to affiliate with Trinity must apply for admission through Trinity's Admissions Office. Affiliated students pay a one-time administrative fee of $900. The seminary expects candidates seeking affiliation to do so at the start of their graduate studies.

Affiliated students may choose from one of two options:

  1. They may complete their M.Div. degree at a non-ELCA seminary and work with Trinity for their internship and "Lutheran Year" requirements (see "Affiliation Options" below)
  2. They may complete their M.Div. degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary after beginning their study at a non-ELCA seminary, working with Trinity's associate dean and registrar to assure that courses taken elsewhere will transfer into Trinity's M.Div. degree program. Students will fulfill Trinity's contextual requirements and complete their coursework at Trinity, including those courses required for the "Lutheran Year." (see "Affiliation Options" below)
The primary contact person for affiliated students is Dr. Diane Hymans, Associate Academic Dean.

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Affiliation Options

  • Affiliated students earning the M.Div. from Trinity must complete at least 30 semester hours of course work at Trinity, with 24 of the final 32 hours to be taken at Trinity.

    The following courses are required


    Before Internship

    • Introduction to Worship (3 credit hours)
    • Lutheran Confessions (2 credit hours)

    Other courses which must be completed before internship may be taken at another seminary. These other courses are listed in the Trinity catalog. Before taking courses from another seminary, students should check with Trinity’s associate dean or registrar to be sure that they will count as required pre-internship courses. Options for completing the worship and identity courses should be discussed with the associate dean as early as possible in the student’s seminary program.

    Following Internship

    • Pastor as Theologian (2 credit hours)
    • Pastor as Leader (3 credit hours)
    • Being Lutheran in America (2 credit hours)
    • Senior Preaching Option (2 credit hours)
    • New Testament Option (3 credit hours)
    • Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures Option (3 credit hours)
    • Electives – 2 courses required (2-3 credit hours each)

    Affiliated students must complete at least 30 hours of coursework at Trinity Lutheran Semiary in order to receive a Trinity M.Div.. Additional courses may be taken at Trinity either before or after internship to bring the total credit hours up to the required 30 credits. The final 24 hours of credit for the degree must be taken at Trinity.

    Note on contextual requirements: Ministry in Context (MIC), Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and Internship must be arranged through Trinity Lutheran Seminary. MIC and CPE must be completed before internship.
  • Affiliated students earning the M.Div. from a non-ELCA seminary must come to Trinity to complete the “Lutheran Year” requirement of the ELCA for ordination.

    The following courses are required


    Before Internship

    • Introduction to Worship (3 credit hours)
    • Lutheran Confessions (2 credit hours)

    These two courses must be completed before Trinity will place a candidate in an internship site. Options for completing these courses should be discussed with the associate dean as early as possible in the student’s seminary program.

    Following Internship

    • Pastor as Theologian (2 credit hours)
    • Pastor as Leader (3 credit hours)
    • Being Lutheran in America (2 credit hours)
    • Senior Preaching Option (2 credit hours)
    • New Testament Option (3 credit hours)
    • Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures Option (3 credit hours)
    • Electives – 2 courses required (2-3 credit hours each)

    Students may take their Lutheran Year courses by:
    1. Enrolling as a non-degree student at Trinity, or
    2. Applying to Trinity’s Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree program. Many, but not all, of the Lutheran Year required courses can be credited to the S.T.M. degree.

    Note on contextual requirements: Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) must be completed prior to internship, but it can be arranged through another theological school. Internship must be completed under Trinity’s supervision.

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