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 the 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 the following two options:

  1. They may complete their M.Div. degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary after beginning their study at a non-ELCA seminary, working with Trinity's 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)
  2. Complete the M.Div. degree at a non-ELCA seminary and work with Trinity to fulfill their Internship and Lutheran Year requirements (see "Affiliation Options" below)


AFFILIATED STUDENTS MAY COMPLETE THESE REQUIREMENTS IN ONE OF TWO WAYS:

  1. They may participate in Trinity's two-year Internship experience, during which they will take both on-campus intensive courses and online courses to complete their Lutheran Year requirements. (See the Trinity Academic Catalog for more information on the 2+2 M.Div cirriculum.)
  2. They may complete a one-year, full-time Intership, followed by a Lutheran Year, most of which can be completed through short-term, on-campus intensive courses or online courses.
The primary contact person for affiliated students is Dr. Diane Hymans, Associate Academic Dean. Students will also work closely with Lee Richards, Registrar, and Sister Becky Swanson, Director of Contextual Education.


Affiliation as Relationship

Affiliation Options

  • “Candidates at non-ELCA seminaries should plan their M.Div. programs in regular consultation with their ELCA faculty advisors in order to make the best possible use of the resources of the non-ELCA seminary and to include in their affiliation plan a program design for the year of residency at an ELCA seminary that will accomplish the goals for which the year is intended.” (2005 Candidacy Manual, B-6)

    Students who begin the affiliation process after July 1, 2015 and who intend to earn the M.Div. from Trinity must complete at least 30 credit hours of course work at Trinity, with 24 of the final 32 credit hours to be taken at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Students must earn a minimum of 89 credit hours total in order to graduate.

    Requirements to be Completed at Trinity Lutheran Seminary Before Internship:
    • Introduction to Worship (3 credit hours)
    • Lutheran Confessions (2 credit hours)
    • Ministry in Context (MIC) must be arranged through Trinity Lutheran Seminary and completed before Internship.
    • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) must be arranged through Trinity Lutheran Seminary and completed before Internship.

    While there are a number of other courses that must be completed before Internship, these do not have to be taken at Trinity. Please see Trinity’s Academic Catalog for a list of these courses. Before taking courses from another seminary, students should check with Trinity’s Registrar to be sure they will count as required pre-internship courses. Options for completing the worship and confessions courses should be discussed with the Registrar or Associate Academic Dean as early as possible in the student’s seminary program.

    Requirements to be Completed at Trinity Lutheran Seminary During or After Internship:
    • Being Lutheran in America (2 credit hours)
    • New Testament Option (3 credit hours)
    • Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures Option (3 credit hours)
    • Senior Preaching Option (2 credit hours)
    • Systematic Theology Option (3 credit hours)
    • Theological Leadership (3 credit hours)
    • One J-Term Elective (3 credit hours)

    Additional courses from Trinity may be taken either before or in conjunction with the Internship / Lutheran Year experience to bring the total credit hours up to the required 30 credit hours.
  • “Candidates at non-ELCA seminaries should plan their M.Div. programs in regular consultation with their ELCA faculty advisors in order to make the best possible use of the resources of the non-ELCA seminary and to include in their affiliation plan a program design for the year of residency at an ELCA seminary that will accomplish the goals for which the year is intended.” (2005 Candidacy Manual, B-6)

    For ordination in the ELCA, students who begin the affiliation process after July 1, 2015 and who intend to earn the M.Div. from a non-ELCA Seminary must complete at least 24 credit hours of course work at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and must also work with Trinity to complete their Internship experience and the Lutheran Year requirement.

    Requirements to be Completed at Trinity Lutheran Seminary 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 Academic Dean or Registrar as early as possible in the student’s seminary program. CPE must also be completed prior to Internship, but it may be arranged through another theological school.

    Requirements to be Completed at Trinity Lutheran Seminary During or After Internship:
    • Being Lutheran in America (2 credit hours)
    • New Testament Option (3 credit hours)
    • Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures Option (3 credit hours)
    • Senior Preaching Option (2 credit hours)
    • Systematic Theology Option (3 credit hours)
    • Theological Leadership (3 credit hours)
    • One J-Term Elective (3 credit hours)

    Students may complete their Lutheran Year courses by:
    1. Applying 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.

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