Earn your degree online at your own pace, with the option to continue working your full-time job and fulfilling your daily obligations. All of our classes are held in an online format. We meet in virtual classrooms via Microsoft Teams. ILT students and faculty are able to interact with one another, hold open discussions, ask questions and ultimately learn just as if they were in a normal classroom.

Pastoral Ministry Certificate

Pastoral Ministry Certificate

This twelve-course program is designed to prepare leaders with no prior theological training to successfully provide pastoral leadership for a congregation. Coursework in the Pastoral Ministry Certificate Program provides a solid introduction to Biblical interpretation, Lutheran theology, church history, and ministerial practice.

Program Overview

Zero Student Debt

Our goal is for every student to graduate with no debt. Our donor-sponsored financial assistance makes that possible.

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Total: $0.00


$400 per Credit Hour
*Tuition cost is subject to change. Additional costs may apply.

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Total: $14,400


Consists of 12 courses in the areas of biblical theology, historical and systematic theology, and pastoral theology.

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Total: 36 Credits

Expected Timeline

Full-time students can finish this degree in 2 years taking 3 courses a semester.

Total: 2 Years

*Additional costs may apply. (Application fee, books, costs associated with researching and producing the independent projects or the final project or thesis, etc.) are also the responsibility of the participant.

Course of Study

The Pastoral Ministry Certificate program provides a foundation education in Lutheran pastoral ministry. This program is designed to help lay people serve their congregations in the absence of a pastor.

Course RequirementsCredit Hours
BT 221: Principles of Biblical Interpretation3 Credits
BT 311: Old Testament Theology and History3 Credits
BT 321: New Testament Theology and History3 Credits
PTE 241: Christian Apologetics3 Credits
HST 201: Systematic Theology I3 Credits
HST 321: Luther and His Catechisms3 Credits
HST 331: Lutheran Reformers and the Book of Concord3 Credits
PT 401: Pastoral Theology and Care3 Credits
PT 411: Lutheran Worship3 Credits
PT 421: Proclaiming God’s Word2 Credits
PT: One Credit Elective1 Credit
A Total of Two (2) Courses from the Following Courses:
HST 301: History of the Early Christian Church3 Credits
HST 302: History of the Medieval and Reformation Christian Church3 Credits
HST 303: History of the Post-Reformation Christian Church3 Credits

*All work must be in the student’s field of study. 

After completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of Scripture and theology, including exegetical skills and tools to discern God’s Word as law and gospel.
  • Gain pastoral experience in the congregational setting.
  • Display basic competencies in preaching, worship, and pastoral care.
  • Appropriate a theology appropriate to the pastoral office.
  • Completion of online application form.
  • Proof of completion of secondary education and transcripts from any post-secondary schools.
  • A letter of recommendation from a pastor, teacher or mentor.
  • Entrance writing evaluation.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a
    score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) that is not more than two years old. Normally, minimum acceptable scores for the TOEFL are 26 on the speaking section and 24 on the writing section. Minimum acceptable scores on the IELTS are 8 on the speaking section and 6.5 on the writing section. Please request that your score be sent to ILT. ILT’s DI Code for the TOEFL is 5745. More information concerning TOEFL can be accessed at the Education Testing Services website. Information regarding the IELTS can be found at their IELTS website.
  • Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Copy of an official photo identification.
  • Admissions interview with Director of Enrollment Services.
  • Practicum: Students preparing to serve in congregation ministry are required to participate in a practicum during the first 30 credits of their program. This practicum will consist of working with a pastor in a local congregation for 5-10 hours a week. Practicum students will meet with the practicum coordinator twice a month (or at least once a month) throughout each semester until they have earned 30 credits or more.

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