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Pre-seminary course catalog

2024-25 catalog edits in-progress

Advisor: JASON MAHN, Conrad Bergendoff Professor in the Humanities; Professor (RELG)
B.A., Gustavus Adolphus; M.A., Luther Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Emory University

The Pre-Seminary program prepares students for entry into divinity schools and seminaries, where they prepare to be ordained ministers, youth and family leaders, community advocates, and for other religious leadership positions. Divinity schools and seminaries do not require any particular undergraduate major, although they do desire a strong background in the liberal arts and humanities, with particular focus on religion, philosophy, music, Greek, and other disciplines. Accordingly, Augustana does not offer a pre-seminary major, but offers relevant courses, experiences, and advising to assist students majoring in any field. A Major in Religion is most common and beneficial among pre-seminary students. Students intending to pursue a Masters of Divinity (MDiv.) degree in seminary also benefit from a Minor in Biblical Languages (through Classics).

To develop the skills needed for divinity school/seminary and the profession of church ministry, students are encouraged to take COMM-101 Public Speaking; GREK 101 and 102 Elementary Greek; PSYC-130 Survivor Advocacy; RELG-273 Jesus of Nazareth; RELG- 362 Race, Ethnicity, Religion; RELG-370 Suffering, Death & Hope; and other appropriate courses in consultation with the pre-seminary advisor.

Pre-seminary students may take the one credit directed study, RELG-399 Working with Faith, more than once. This course directly explores the calling to and work of Christian ministry by discussing memoirs and other reflections from innovative Christian leaders; an exploratory trip to ELCA and other seminaries is often a component of the course.

All students considering careers in religious leadership should contact the pre-seminary advisor, who will help craft an academic plan appropriate for each student, as well as point students toward internships, study-away opportunities, leadership within campus ministries, part-time work at area churches, gap-year programs, and other experiences that help them discern and develop their callings to ministry.