News & Events

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

2024 Graduation Ceremony Date

The date for ILT’s Upcoming Graduation Ceremony is Thursday, June 6, 2024.

This will be the third Graduation Ceremony held in Brookings, SD for ILT students. All alumni who have graduated from ILT in the past are welcome to participate in this ceremony. It does not matter what year you graduated. You are welcome to walk this summer. There will also be an alumni sponsored dinner on Wednesday evening and a graduation banquet after the ceremony on Thursday.

The ILT Board of Directors and the faculty will be at the ceremony and dinner. Please consider coming this summer to celebrate your academic achievement and visit with those that make ILT possible. All other ILT supporters are welcome to come to Brookings and participate.

If you wish to participate in the ceremony, please contact Kelli Anawski to RSVP.


Photos from the 2023 Graduation Week 


Graduation Ceremony


Graduation Reception Dinner with family and friends.


Alumni Dinner

Terese Whitten Ordination


On Sunday, February 18, 2024, Rev. Terese Whitten was ordained at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oregon, IL by Bishop Dan Selbo of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). Rev. Terese is now serving Good Shepherd Lutheran Parish which includes St. Paul and St. John Lutheran Church in Creston, IL.

Among the clergy attending the ordination service were Bishop Dan Selbo, three of her classmates from ILT (Rev. Teresa Peters, Rev. Chère Riedel and Vicar Aaron Dawson). Other pastors included Rev. Carl Rasmussen, Rev. Carlin Ours, Dean of the Great Rivers Mission District and Rev. Tom Thorstadt. Local clergy from both the NALC and LCMC attended this joyful celebration.

Dr. Jacobson Publishes New Book


The book Pain in the Belly: The Haugean Witness in American Lutheranism written by Assistant Professor Dr. Thomas Jacobson, is a history of Haugean movement in Norwegian Lutheranism, especially in North America. It is a slightly revised version of his dissertation from 2018.

The book description says:

Contemporary American Lutheranism is an amalgamation of various influences and ethnic traditions, yet the contributions and enduring identity of the Haugeans, a Norwegian sub-tradition known for their variety of pietistic expression, have received little attention from historians in the process of American Lutheran merger of the previous decades.

This book takes a closer look at the Haugean tradition within American Lutheranism and its distinct emphases. Most importantly, it demonstrates how this group of Lutherans carried forward their tradition within larger organizations. Seeking to serve as positive spiritual leaven within the larger batch of dough of the Lutheran tradition, the leaven of Haugeanism was not universally appreciated, causing for some “pain in the belly” upon consumption of this dough.

Copies can be ordered from Amazon or directly from Dr. Jacobson at a reduced cost. Contact him at his email by clicking the button below.

Order from Dr. Jacobson

Order from Amazon

📚Spring Semester Begins 1/25/24!

New Semester Starts at ILT!

The spring semester will begin on Thursday, January 25, 2024. This will mark ILT’s 15th spring semester. In the spring of 2009, ILT began to offer courses for graduate credit. In that semester, there were two students in one course, New Testament Greek. This semester, ILT will be offering a total of 58 courses and we believe there will be record spring enrollment with students in 12 different programs. ILT has certainly grown in the last 15 years!

Please pray for our students as we begin this next semester. Many of our students are trying to juggle work commitments, ministry commitments, and financial concerns as they prepare for the ministry God has called them. They can certainly use your prayers as they take classes and face these struggles. Please also consider giving to our financial aid fund. ILT students do not go into debt to fund their studies and they depend upon the generosity of donors who support them by helping to make the tuition less of a concern for them.

Give to our Financial Aid Fund

If you are interested in taking courses, please contact us. There is still plenty of time to discuss your options and to enroll before the semester begins. If you have any questions, please contact Joel Williams at admissions@ilt.edu.

Merry Christmas!❄️👼

Grace and peace rest upon you who have come to be the ILT family! I trust that your Christmas plans are proceeding apace and that the celebrations will reflect both the wondrous news the angels announced to the shepherds and the sentimentality of that precious baby Jesus’ birth. While the celebration of the season often goes overboard on the sentimentality which includes the buying, the decorating, and the cooking, let us not forget the good news brought by the heavenly messengers to those on the hills of Bethlehem tending their flocks.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-13).

That heavenly messenger brought those shepherds good news, the best news the world has ever heard. The good news was even accompanied by a sign: a babe lying in a manger. You most likely will not find a babe in a manger. But you will find a preacher in a pulpit. That preacher is your very own messenger sent by God to deliver the best news the world has ever heard directly to your ears. This Savior… this Christ the Lord… has come to be your Savior… Jesus Christ has come for you! That is good news, indeed!

God rest you merry!
Rev. Timothy J. Swenson
Dean of Chapel
Institute of Lutheran Theology

End of the 2023 Fall Semester


The fall semester is quickly coming to an end. This semester, there are over 130 students in courses ranging from the Bachelor’s degree to the Master of Divinity degree to the Ph.D. All ILT students are working hard to achieve their educational goals and complete the final assignments due before finals week, which is next week.

Will you please pray for our students as they enter winter break and prepare to come back in January? The students are working hard to not only complete their current courses, but to also work within their ministry context. There are many things pulling their time and attention. Please pray that God is with them in all the things they are currently going through.


Please also consider contributing to the financial aid fund to support our students with the greatest financial need. 

The two things working against student success are 1) time, and 2) money. While it is up to the students to prioritize the time that it will take for them to complete their studies, it is up to the church to provide for the financial need of its pastors and teachers. Please prayerfully consider contributing to the financial fund. This fund helps students so that they do not have to carry the financial burden alone. The ILT staff are committed to ensuring that ILT students graduate without debt. We rely upon your help to make this commitment a reality.

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If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing Leon Miles.

🌊Make Waves of Change this Giving Tuesday

Navigating the Waves: Your Chance to Make Waves of Change this Giving Tuesday!

Picture This: Standing on the edge of the Red Sea, facing challenges, and trusting in the divine hand that guides us toward the promised land for the Institute of Lutheran Theology. As we navigate these waters, your support becomes the wind in our sails, propelling us toward a brighter future.

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🌟 Encouraging News: Our sails are filled with the winds of progress. Enrollment is surging, faculty is top-notch, and the vision of the Center for Congregational Renewal is becoming a reality. We’re on the cusp of something extraordinary.

📜 Our Clear Mission: We’ve asked the Lord for guidance on two critical missions—to cultivate a new generation of pastors rooted in Holy Scriptures and Lutheran theology and to provide immediate assistance to congregations in need. The answer is clear: renew and reinvigorate right thinking and preaching to stand against the tide and bring hope to churches across North America.

💰Financial Crossroads: Yet, we stand at a financial crossroads. The pressure is real, and we’re on the verge of budget cuts that could hinder our progress toward God’s calling. ILT needs your support now more than ever.

🤲 Join the Quest: I stand with you in this quest. Foreseeing our financial challenges, I’ve chosen to volunteer my time, foregoing any salary from ILT. My commitment to ILT and its promising future has never been stronger.

🚀 Your Chance to Make a Difference: Will you join me in the quest to bring right thinking and preaching back to congregations across North America? Your generosity can make a significant impact. Our goal is to raise $250,000 over the next two months, and every donation, big or small, contributes to our shared journey.

🙏 Pray and Act: Take a moment to pray and consider making a generous gift today. Your contribution will help us navigate these waters and steer toward a future where hope and renewal abound.

Let’s make waves of change together!

Yours in Christ,
Dennis Bielfeldt, Ph.D.

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Learn More About How Your Support Helps ILT

Introducing Table Talk II

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Table Talk II, marking a new season of thought-provoking discussions and spiritual exploration.

Unlike our previous seasons, which followed a three-year lectionary, Table Talk II will now embrace a one-year lectionary. The first one will be sent out in our Monday Morsels email newsletter on Monday, November 27.

In this email, we’ll share the reasons behind this exciting shift, offering insight into how this change will enhance our collective journey of faith. Thank you for being a valued part of the Table Talk community, and we look forward to embarking on this new season together.

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Table Talk’s New Chapter

After twelve remarkable years exploring the three-year lectionary, we’re excited to celebrate this milestone and dive into a new historical chapter. Starting this Advent, Table Talk II embraces the rich narratives of the one-year lectionary, a time-honored tradition that has graced the church for centuries. As it has come down to us, it customarily receives some modifications provided by the church body publishing it. This particular version of the historic one-year lectionary is drawn from the Lutheran Service Book commonly used in Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregations.

Reasons For Taking Up This Historical Liturgy

In our ever-changing world, innovation is the norm, and the three-year lectionary was a groundbreaking testament. Yet, the one-year lectionary offers a unique perspective. Beyond continuous biblical narration, it annually repeats crucial scripture texts, weaving them into the fabric of the church year’s themes and fostering a tradition that deepens over time. It aligns with the timeless concern for preserving past traditions, echoing Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:3. This repetition becomes a shared language, fostering conversations, supporting beliefs, and providing solace in troubled times. As the saying goes, “Repetition is the mother of learning.”

Another compelling reason for taking up the historic one-year lectionary: It offers Martin Luther as a guide, with traditional readings preached by Luther himself, found in Luther’s Church Postils and House Postils.

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Appreciation for the Trinitarian Essence of the One-Year Lectionary

We can visualize the one-year lectionary as a Venn diagram, with intersecting circles marking the Time of Christmas, Time of Easter, and Time of the Church.This unique structure, with Good Friday/Easter at its core, guides us through the church year’s flow. With a heightened focus on penitence and repentance, it aligns with Luther’s call for a life of repentance. Get ready for a distinctive journey from Advent to an Easter resolution in Christ, including the special Sundays leading up to Easter, Septuagesima (70 days), Sexagesima (60 days), and Quinquagesima (50 days).
Download the Venn Diagram

Resources for Use with the One-Year Lectionary

Ready to explore the One-Year Lectionary? Your first stop is the ILT website under the Table Talk tab for the reading list, OR you can download it by clicking the button below.
Download the One-Year Lectionary

Check out Rev. Randy Asburry’s insightful presentation for a deeper understanding.
Download Rev. Asburry’s Presentation

For further exploration, consider print resources like:

  • Planning the Service: A Workbook for Pastors, Organists, and Choirmasters by Ralph Gehrke (CPH, 1961)
  • The Sermon and the Propers (4 volumes) by Fred H. Lindemann, again published by CPH (1958)

Asburry also recommends the online gem, Lectionary Central, a goldmine for sermons by Martin Luther on the texts we’re about to delve into.

Subscribe to Monday Morsels!

Kickstart your week with Monday Morsels, our weekly newsletter thoughtfully crafted by the Institute of Lutheran Theology. Authored by Pastor Timothy Swenson, this newsletter features the Table Talk and Epaphras Prayer Letter, designed to deepen your faith.

Gain access to valuable content by subscribing to Monday Morsels!
Click the button below to subscribe and engage in a weekly experience that enriches your understanding of faith.

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More than a Newsletter

Monday Morsels goes beyond the typical newsletter—it’s a source of enlightenment and communal connection. Pastor Timothy Swenson’s Table Talk is a free weekly devotional aligned with the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) used by SOLA Publishing. It serves as a resource for personal reflection, family devotions, and congregational use, extending God’s teachings through the lens of Jesus Christ.

Table Talk Highlights:

  • Printable Insert for Weekly Services
  • Personal or Family Devotional Material
  • Aligned with Revised Common Lectionary
  • Provided Weekly, Free of Charge

Epaphras Prayer Letter:

Named after The Apostle Paul called Epaphras, saying of Him, “He is always wrestling in prayer for you…” (Col.4:12), the Epaphras Prayer Letter encourages support for ILT through focused prayer. Delivered weekly, this letter provides uplifting thoughts and specific prayer concerns, aligning with ILT’s mission to cultivate faithful preachers and teachers of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Pray with Purpose:
  • Inspirational Thoughts
  • Weekly Prayer Concerns
  • Support ILT’s Mission

How to Use Monday Morsels:

  1. Personal Devotional: Discover solace and inspiration for your individual spiritual journey.
  2. Family Devotional: Foster meaningful connections through shared reflection with loved ones.
  3. Congregational Insert: Share Table Talk’s wisdom with your congregation, promoting unity and shared faith.

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Subscribe to Monday Morsels today and give every Monday a moment of reflection, growth, and connection.

Is your church seeking a new pastor?

Additionally, if your church is on the lookout for a pastor, we’d love to help! We post your opening on our website and feature it in our Monday Morsels newsletter. Email admissions@ilt.edu with the job position/church details. Let us know when the position is filled, so we can promptly update the post.

Professor Jack Kilcrease at 2023 NELA Conference

Professor Jack Kilcrease at the North European Luther Academy: Exploring Scripture, Tradition and Lutheran Theology

Professor Jack Kilcrease of Christ School of Theology and Christ College will be speaking at the Old Latin School in Wittenberg, Germany between October 29th and November 1st, 2023 at the North European Luther Academy conference. He will deliver two lectures. The first will be on the topic of Scripture and Tradition, and the second will cover the doctrine of scriptural inspiration and inerrancy in historic Lutheran theology. These topics are connected with Professor Kilcrease’s earlier book, Holy Scripture (2020), published by the Luther Academy as part of the confessional Lutheran dogmatics series. Other speakers at the conference will include confessional Lutherans theologians from Scandinavia and Germany, such as Knut Alfsvag, Gottfied Martens, and Armin Wenz.

View Itinerary

 

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