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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.

End of Fiscal Year Letter

End of Fiscal Year Letter

Grace and Peace to You in the Name of the Risen Lord!

We need your prayers and financial support now more than ever! Do you know that 3,544 Catholic parishes in America lack a priest? Are you aware that a recent Barna study revealed that 38% of pastors in America are considering leaving full-time ministry, with roughly 50% of all millennial pastors thinking about calling it quits? You have heard that senior pastors are retiring at record numbers, but did you know fewer younger people go into the ministry each and every year?

The ELCA reports a pastoral shortage of “at least 600.” One in four of the ELCA’s nine 100 congregations can no longer afford a pastor. The LCMS, LCMC and NALC are facing pastoral shortages as well, with more people retiring from the clergy rolls than joining them. The number of young people studying in seminaries continues to decline in almost all denominations.

The Institute of Lutheran Theology is not insulated from the general trends of society. While it is true that we have continued to grow while other Lutheran seminaries are shrinking, our enrollments in pastoral programs are not increasing as quickly as they once did. However, ILT’s seminary and graduate school, Christ School of Theology, continues to grow and is now larger than many long-established seminaries. Compare our “full-time equivalent” (FTE) students of 68.3 with the following Lutheran institutions and their reported FTEs.

  • Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (ELCA): 46.3
  • Pacific Lutheran Seminary (ELCA): 40
  • Trinity Seminary (ELCA): 35
  • Concordia Lutheran Ontario (LCC): 14
  • Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon (ELCIC): 11
  • Concordia Lutheran Seminary Edmonton (LCC): 7

ILT is within striking distance of the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago (ELCA) and Martin Luther University (ELCIC) in enrollments and, if trends continue, will surpass them in the next 2-3 years. Not only that, ILT spends far less to educate students than any of these institutions. How have we done this? ILT leads the way as an innovator in online theological education. For the last 15 years, ILT has developed seminary education that keeps students and their families rooted in their communities and nurtured in their congregations while we bring the seminary classroom to our students, wherever they are.

As other seminaries weaken, ILT stands strong. Despite enrollment declines in seminary education everywhere, ILT continues to grow. Despite the rising costs of theological education everywhere, ILT continues to keep costs in check. We don’t want our students to take on huge debts. We deliver our program efficiently, economically, and to God’s glory. But we need you! We can’t do it without individuals and congregations providing financial assistance. If ILT is going to influence the looming pastoral shortage, it must have the means to do so. Will you stand with us? Will you help us counter the coming pastoral shortage? Please consider investing deeply in ILT.

Our fiscal year ends June 30th, 2022. Could you help us with a gift of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 or more? If your budget does not allow this, we are happy with any gift amount. We are all in this together. We must have pastors for the future, and ILT is committed to producing pastors for the future.



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