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Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

Answer the call. Bring change to the world through the power of the Gospel.

At Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) we teach, form and nurture women and men for public ministry in a context that is Christ-centered, faithfully Lutheran and ecumenically committed.

Our focus is on preparing students to excel in a variety of ministry settings—youth and family ministry, music ministry, faith formation, chaplaincy and directors of faith-based non-profit organizations. 

Students Come from Many Denominations

We believe that being Lutheran means being in relationship with other denominations. That’s why many of our students are Methodists, Baptists and from other denominations. We provided a Christ-centered campus community uniting racially, economically and culturally diverse individuals in worship, study and prayer.  

Points of Distinction

  • Only ELCA seminary located in the southeastern United States.
  • Only seminary in South Carolina approved for training United Methodist clergy.
  • Designated a Reconciling in Christ institution. We have made a public commitment to offer hospitality and welcome to all who enter our academic programs.
  • Only one of seven ELCA seminaries to offer military chaplaincy certificate, which combines two of the greatest callings a person can receive: to serve God and to serve others.

Full-Tuition Scholarships

We are committed to offering generous scholarships to students of all denominations, up to full-tuition grants. ELCA students who receive a Fund for Leaders tuition grant receive an LTSS grant which covers up to the full cost of on-campus housing.

ATS Accredited

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Learn More →

Request Information

Take the next step toward completing your master's degree at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.


Popular Programs of Study

Seminary students bible study
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

55 credits, two-year program
The MACM enables graduates to serve in a number of ministry areas, depending on the specific credentialing requirements within your denominations. The MACM provides the necessary educational and formational requirements for ELCA students desiring to serve as Deacons. Learn More →

LTSS chapel service
Master of Divinity

92 credits, three-year program
The MDiv curriculum seeks to shape the entire person for faithful service to the church and to the world. The major components of the curriculum are fourfold: Religious heritage, cultural context, personal and spiritual formation and ministerial and public leadership. Learn More →

Rev. Dr. James Thomas and student
Master of Theological Studies

55 credits, two-year program
MTS includes a 28-hour core curriculum and then you can craft the remaining nine courses to fit your academic and professional goals in any of the following areas: biblical studies, Christian theology, church history, preaching, Christian education, pastoral care and worship. This degree is open to students from all denominations. Learn More →


Master of Arts Religious Leadership (online)

The fully online Master of Arts in Religious Leadership is an interdisciplinary program that combines courses in leadership and foundational scripture and theology. The program is designed with the working adult in mind—complete at your own pace, full-time or part-time. Although delivered online, full-time faculty are located on LR’s Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia, S.C., campuses, providing you with the ability to video conference as needed.

Students from a traditional ministry setting will gain practical leadership knowledge and a skill set that goes beyond knowledge acquired from a seminary degree program. If you work for an organization or agency that requires fluency in scripture and theology, this program will prepare you to better understand your organization’s work in a theological framework. Learn More →

Take the Next Step

Achieve your personal calling and career goals. Enroll in an LTSS master's degree program where your ambition and dedication will prepare you for what's next. Our enrollment counselors are here to help you explore your options and advance your career.

Virtual Information Sessions
Simply complete the request for information form at the top of this page to receive individualized guidance through a Zoom virtual meeting.

Jennifer Shimota

The Rev. Jennifer Shimota, MDiv
Coordinator of Seminary Enrollment

Joshua Wullenweber

LTSS is beautifully diverse and made up of students of every age, race, gender and orientation. I found my way to LTSS via the Air Force after serving 11 years on active duty. After realizing God was calling me to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, I was so thankful to find a great community of faith and learning so close to where I grew up. Although the distance to home is what initially drew me to consider LTSS, it was undoubtedly the loving community that caused me to stay.”

—Joshua Wullenweber ’20, Master of Divinity


Select topics that interest you
  • LTSS - Innovative Teaching

The Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL) Speaker Series invites prominent religious figures and authors to share their work and beliefs with audiences at LRU and the LTSS. The IFL at LRU, in conjunction with the Academy for Faith and Leadership (AFL) at LTSS, endeavor to provide programming that contributes to and enriches "a culture of the intellect" that is theologically based and directed to Christians of all traditions.

Read more about Institute for Faith and Learning


Get to know the dynamic city of Columbia where LTSS students live, work and learn.



A Reconciling in Christ Seminary

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Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Seminary and adopted this statement of inclusion in May 2017.
We, the academic community of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, confess that we are given to each other by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to be an ever more welcoming community as we are ever more conformed to the image of the Triune God, a diversity in unity. The Gospel compels us to go beyond civility or tolerance to love our neighbors as ourselves. We seek to be a safe and gracious community which confesses that all persons are created in the image of God.

We recognize that people experience a diversity of sexualities and gender identities, and we welcome all persons into full participation in the life of our community. As an academic community, we expect and invite continued dialogue which, in mutual love, welcomes disparate voices while rejecting any disparagement of others. We wish by this statement to assert our commitment to learn and practice a radical hospitality toward all persons and their families, sharing each other's joys and burdens, successes and failures, hopes and heartbreaks, in recognition that our shared faith is embraced by God's promise in which all are being reconciled to God and each other in Christ by the Holy Spirit.​ 


As part of its re-accreditation process, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit November 16-20, 2020, by a team representing The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). The public is invited to submit in writing comments on any matter related to the quality of LTSS, its academic programs, or its qualifications for accreditation. Comments must be received by November 1, 2020 and will be made available to the visitation team.

Please submit any comments to:

Dr. Brent Driggers
Self-Study Director and Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Lenoir-Rhyne University
4201 North Main Street
Columbia, SC 20203