The Institute of Lutheran Theology has fully-credentialed faculty members and a complete staff to serve students and faculty. The Institute provides a quality theological education equal or superior to that of any graduate seminary. The Institute of Lutheran Theology has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education to grant degrees at the Master’s and Doctoral levels.
The Christ School of Theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology is an Associate Member of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), but not an Accredited Member with the ATS Commission on Accrediting.
The Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) has two separate schools Christ College and Christ School of Theology. Christ College is the undergraduate school and offers associate and baccalaureate degree programs as well as certificate programs. The Christ School of Theology is ILT’s graduate school and includes the seminary. The data for each school is reported separately and together. As you go through the data provided here, please realize that these two schools serve very different student bodies. Undergraduate students are typically trying to complete a two-year or a four-year degree, while the graduate students are in degree programs which vary depending upon the needs of the program.
Overall, ILT shows success with its students. There is both a high retention rate as well as a high employment rate. The graduation rate is lower primarily because many students are part-time and take longer than a typical full-time student would take to complete their degree programs. This can be seen by the average number of years it takes ILT students to complete their degree programs. ILT remains committed to student success and we work with students individually to ensure that they can achieve their academic goals.
Student Retention Rate
The retention rate is based on the percentage of students who studied at ILT in the fall of 2021 and continued to study in the fall of 2022 (the does not include students who completed their program and graduated). The total retention rate is 92.76%. This means that almost 93% of students who studied at ILT in the fall of 2021 and who did not graduate, continued their studies in the fall of 2022. ILT generally has a high retention rate year over year. Many ILT students persist in their studies year to year.
Christ College (ILT’s undergraduate school) has a retention rate of 80.77%. Christ College provides associate and baccalaureate degree programs as well as professional certificate programs. Students in Christ College are more apt to transfer in and transfer out than those in the graduate school.
Christ School of Theology
Christ School of Theology (ILT’s graduate school) has a retention rate of 96.74%. The Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Master of Sacred Theology degree programs each have a 100% retention rate in 2022. Students in these programs are generally committed to their studies and show high levels of persistence. Regardless of their program, Christ School of Theology students show high retention rates each year.
Student Employment Rate
Alumni Employment After Graduation
During the 2022-2023 academic year, one hundred percent of the students who graduated were placed in employment. In the past ten years, 98.04% of students who graduated found employment. Many ILT students come with a clear calling and employment opportunities are already available to them.
Christ College had an employment rate of 100% in 2022-2023 and has a 90.70% employment rate over the last ten years. Students who graduate from the Pastoral Ministry Certificate program are eligible to serve in the LCMC congregation, and most do. Many of the B.A. students are preparing for seminary. There has only been one B.A. graduate so far, but this student continued in the seminary and is currently serving in a NALC congregation.
Christ School of Theology
Christ School of Theology has a 100% employment rate in 2022-2023 and a 96.08% employment rate over the last ten years. Most of the Christ School students have employment before they begin or before they complete their studies. Many of these are pastors serving in congregations and are seeking continuing education or a specific credential.
The ILT board and administration are committed to helping students graduate debt-free. There are many scholarships, financial aid, and payment opportunities for students so that they do not need to take out student loans. Because of this, the discount rate (the amount of total tuition and fees which was covered by scholarships and financial aid) was 50%.
The discount rate is calculated by adding all the various discounts, scholarships, and financial aid students receive and dividing that by the total tuition and fees. What this tells us is the percentage of the total tuition and fees, which were paid by other sources and not the students. The larger the discount rate, the less tuition that students were required to pay.
The Christ College students had a total discount rate of 37%. Because there are fewer full-time students and many do not qualify for financial aid, the Christ College discount rate is lower than that of the graduate school. There are, however, scholarships and financial aid available for full-time students.
Christ School of Theology
The Christ School of Theology discount rate is 64%. There are many sources of scholarships and financial aid for students in the graduate school. Many students receive scholarships or grants from their congregations or foundations. These students also receive assistance from the ILT financial aid fund.
It is important to all of us that money is never the only reason why people do not study at ILT. We are committed to helping students financially because we believe the education they receive is important for the various callings that God calls them into. To this end, the discount rate has been increasing every year for the last few years. This is only possible because of the generosity of donors who contribute through scholarships, grants, and financial aid.
The graduation rate is a calculation that identifies the percentage of students from a cohort who are completing the program on time. This rate gives the percentage of students who graduate in 1.5 times the stated length for a full-time student to complete the program. For example, the Christ College academic catalog states that a full-time student can complete the Pastoral Ministry Certificate (P.M.C.) program in two years. The graduation rate for this program is the percentage of students who finish in three years (1.5 x 2). In the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program, a full-time student can complete the degree in four years. The graduation rate for this program is the percentage of students who finish in six years (1.5 x 4).
In Christ College, 25% of students completed their programs in 1.5 times the stated full-time length for completion. As of the spring of 2023, there has only been one B.A. graduate, who finished in five years. The rest of the graduates in Christ College are P.M.C. students. The students in this program a all second-career students who are taking courses part-time. There have been very few students in the history of ILT who have been able to complete the P.M.C. as full-time students. This is why the graduation rate is so low. We have had many students graduate from programs at Christ College, by most are part-time and take many years to complete the program. (See data on average years of completion.) Over the last two years, we have enrolled more full-time B.A. students, and we expect this number to go up as these students complete their program of study.
Christ School of Theology
Christ School of Theology has a graduation rate of 50%. While many students in Christ School of Theology programs are part-time, there are a larger number of students who can take courses full-time and complete their studies in a normal length of time. You can see by our high retention rate that students do persist in their studies, however, many of them are required to take part-time courses and to complete their studies in a longer than normal period of time.
Average Number of Years for Completion
The average number of years for completion shows how long it takes students to complete the program over the last ten years. As you can see from these numbers, the majority of ILT students are part-time and take longer than usual to complete their degree or certificate programs. Many ILT students are non-traditional, meaning that they are coming back to school after taking time to start a previous career and have a family. Because of this, many ILT students continue to work full-time, have family commitments, and take courses at a slower-than-normal rate.
ILT, being an online school, gives many the opportunity to study who otherwise would not be able to because they cannot move to a traditional campus. ILT’s online model makes it possible for people to study who otherwise would have no options. This does mean, however, that students take longer to complete their programs than is normal.
Because ILT does not participate in Title IV programs. ILT students cannot apply for student loans or federal assistance. ILT, through the generosity of donors, supplies financial aid and tuition payment programs to assist students in the payment of tuition. ILT is committed to making an affordable education available to all who are accepted to any educational program. Money should never be the only reason a person does not become a student at ILT. Because of this commitment, ILT students graduate with no debt.
Campus Safety Report
Because ILT is an online campus, very few if any students come to classes and live on the physical campus. Occasionally, there have been students who stay for a time in Brookings and come to events. There have been no reported incidents of crime on campus. Online students have reported no crime related to the classes or communication with the students at ILT.
The Institute of Lutheran Theology is committed to strict financial accountability and standard financial practice. ILT strives to meet the highest standard set by the accreditation agency and to show transparency.