Preparing Servant Pastors for
Free and Living Congregations
The Free Lutheran Seminary in Plymouth, Minnesota is a graduate school of theology with a focus on training future pastors and Christian leaders. FLS trains men who perceive God’s call to service in a local congregation, the mission field, or other areas of pastoral ministry.
Since 1964, FLS has been preparing servant pastors for free and living Lutheran congregations. FLS offers a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree in a three-year classroom format and one-year internship.
Seminary training at FLS includes three years of classroom instruction on a beautiful campus in suburban Minneapolis. The fourth year includes a one-year congregation-based internship in a Free Lutheran congregation, with an experienced AFLC pastor as supervisor.
If God is leading you to explore full time pastoral ministry or to simply prepare for whatever ministry lies ahead, we hope this website provides clarity and answers to what your next step could look like.
Community life at FLS is Christ-centered and oriented around learning and fellowship. As students study the Bible and theology together, relationships grow. Spiritual life is a priority among the student body. Each morning begins with a student-led devotional and prayer time.
Chapel is a highlight during the week as students and families gather for worship and preaching of God’s Word. Frequent campfires in the summer provide a way for students to stay connected through life’s ups and downs. The campus playground becomes a gathering spot for parents of small children to catch up on life.
On-campus housing provides students and families a supportive community and the convenience of a short walk to classes. Campus housing is based on availability, given the limited number of apartments. Applications for housing are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Three beautiful housing buildings with townhouse-style apartments are located directly across from the seminary classroom building. Most apartments have two bedrooms plus an office/3rd bedroom with laundry facilities in each apartment. Apartments come equipped with appliances, window coverings, wireless internet, phone service, and central air conditioning.
The Student Handbook provides further details regarding Free Lutheran Seminary community lifestyle expectations and policies. It provides specific guidelines on lifestyle expectations, dress code, residential life policies and procedures, disciplinary situations, and process, along with disciplinary grievance procedures. All students who have been accepted to the seminary will receive a Student Handbook, which will serve as a guideline for student conduct and campus life.
When are classes held?
Classes are held Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and noon. Class periods run fifty minutes. Each morning begins with student-led devotions and prayer at 7:40 a.m. Students also enjoy a 20-minute break between 2nd and 3rd hour classes.
Are students able to work part-time jobs while in seminary?
Most students work a part-time job in the afternoons. Students usually find it feasible to work up to 20 hours per week while maintaining a full-time course load.
Where do students find part-time jobs?
The Minneapolis and St. Paul metro provides a great market for part-time jobs for students. Most students have no problem finding jobs with reasonable pay. These have included warehouses, construction jobs, church staff positions, Information Technology and computer work, retail or sales, etc. A limited number of campus jobs are available mostly in the area of maintenance and food service.
Do wives usually have jobs?
Some wives work and some don’t. It depends on the financial needs of the family. When it is necessary for wives to work, the job market in the surrounding area provides many great options.
How do students pay for seminary?
Each year, many students enter seminary unsure of how their tuition and living expenses will be covered. Students are almost always blown away by the way God provides. Most students receive substantial financial aid provided by generous givers to seminary scholarship programs. Some students receive support from their home congregation. Others receive help from family or friends that want to assist in their training for future ministry. Through scholarships, gifts, and part-time jobs, God provides for needs of students and families. Most students are able to finish seminary debt-free.
What fellowship opportunities are available for wives?
The Seminary Wives Fellowship meets twice a month for spiritual encouragement and social outings. Meetings often include a guest speaker or a book study and a time to pray together. Social outings have included games nights, arts and crafts demonstrations, coffee shop gatherings, and bonfires.
How is housing availability determined?
There are 12 apartments available in seminary housing. Students wanting to live on campus must fill out a housing application. Availability is determined by the order in which applications are received. In addition, because the units are designed for families, couples with children are given priority.
Are students able to enroll in part-time classes?
Yes. Students can take part-time classes. In these cases, tuition is charged on a per-credit hour basis. A separate application process is available for part-time students. See the admissions page or catalog for more information.