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.
Student Retention Rate
ILT has a deep commitment to student success. This is indicated by the high retention rates for each program ILT offers. These retention rates also speak to the calling each ILT student feels. Many ILT students are second career students who are called to congregational ministry. Many other students are working within congregational ministry or in theological education and seeking their next credential. For whatever reason students come to ILT, these students are dedicated to the work they do and ILT seeks to support them in the achievement of their goals.
The above graph shows that over 95% of students stay in their program from year to year. ILT works hard to find ways for students to be successful in the completion of their program and to achieve their educational goals. The faculty and staff work with students to remove any hurdles they might face. ILT has ways to help students with learning needs and financial needs, the two largest needs students face.
Student Employment Rate
Alumni Employment After Graduation
ILT students have a high employment rate after graduation. Throughout the education process, students are engaged in the life of the congregation and through internship, many students are already placed in the congregation they will serve after graduation.
ILT Master of Arts, STM, and doctorate students are typically already working in their field and continue in their employment after graduation. Whether in the ministry preparation programs or in the academic programs, ILT students are needed and find ways to serve God according to their callings.
2020-2021 Student Statistics
Graduation rates give the percentage of students from a cohort that were able to graduate in their program within 1.5 times the stated length of the program. The rates reported here do not include undergraduate programs. These programs have just started, and it is not possible to calculate the rate at this time. Newer graduate programs are not included for the same reason. The graduation rates presented here include only the Master of Divinity degree program, the Master of Arts degree program, the Master of Sacred Theology degree program, and the first cohort of the Doctor of Ministry degree program. The overall average of these programs is 47%. This means that on average, about 47% of ILT students can complete their degree within 1.5 times the stated length of the program.
There are many reasons students do not complete their degrees in this timeframe. Some students simply drop out of the program and for various personal reasons are unable to complete it. However, ILT also has students who are working on their programs part-time and complete the program in a time frame which is longer than what is reported.
These rates go back many years to cohorts of students at the beginning of ILT. In those days, ILT had a smaller student body and smaller cohorts of students who started their program of study. The total cohort for the 2019-2020 graduation rate has only eight students of which five were able to complete the degree in the allotted timeframe. The 2020-2021 graduation rate has eleven students with four completing in the timeframe. The 2021-2022 graduation rate is the first to include the Doctor of Ministry degree program. There is a total cohort of 14 students with six graduating within the timeframe.
The graduation rate for graduate students can be misleading. Students study at ILT for many reasons. Some are seeking to get a degree. However, many are looking for continuing education, colloquy courses, or personal education goals which are not related to a degree. Many students also take longer to complete their program because they need to take time off or can only take courses one at a time. This data will be more important for undergraduate students and will be reported when the data is available.
Graduates By Program
Average Number of Years for Completion
M.DIV. Years of Completion
M.A. Years of Completion
S.T.M. Years of Completion
P.M.C. Years of Completion
D.Min. Years of Completion
There is a wide range between students who complete their programs. Some ILT students can work toward their degree full-time and complete the degree quickly. However, because many ILT students are already working in the parish, they take much longer to complete their programs. Because of this flexibility, ILT can have students who would normally not be able to go to seminary or graduate school.
ILT’s undergraduate programs do not have these numbers yet, because the program is only two years old and there are currently no graduates. However, students in the PMC program have been able to complete the program either full-time or part-time depending on their personal circumstances. ILT has strong programs that are doable for students.
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.