Visit WLS

Our Campus

Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary has been at its location in Mequon, Wisconsin, for over 75 years. With a beautiful 80-acre campus full of park-like features and a main complex resembling the Wartburg Castle, the seminary is a beautiful home for the study of Christ’s life-giving gospel. Call 262-242-8100 to schedule a tour.

Photo Tour

Campus Buildings and Grounds

The central seminary building complex resembles the architecture of the Wartburg, where Luther translated the New Testament into German. The impressive seminary tower divides the building into two areas: the residence hall and the dining hall lie to the west; the administration-classroom building, the chapel, and the library to the east. The residence hall, consisting of eight units, can accommodate about 80 students. The dining hall contains the kitchen facilities and a dining area seating approximately 150.

In 2004-05 the chapel was renovated. The redesigned worship space now houses a baptismal font, freestanding altar, and piano. It enjoys greatly enhanced technological capabilities. It also allows for flexible seating. The chancel windows, reredos, and lectern from the previous chapel have been preserved in a new preaching classroom.

The administration-classroom wing contains the offices of the president, vice-president, dean of students, dean of chapel and director of the Pastoral Studies Institute, the business office, and five classrooms. Attached to this wing of the building are the chapel and the library. Three additional classrooms and the synodical archives are located in the area beneath the chapel. The mission advancement offices are located on the west side of the arch, opposite the administration-classroom wing.

An auditorium-gymnasium, with a seating capacity of 1,200 was constructed in 1986. This building provides facilities for interscholastic and intramural sports. It also houses a racquetball court and a weight room equipped with free and machine weights and other fitness equipment. Outdoor recreational facilities include a softball diamond, a soccer field, and a tennis court.

The library building was constructed in 1968, and in 1997 an on-line catalog was completed. The catalog is also on the Internet via the seminary’s website. The building also contains office and workshop space, a faculty room, private study rooms, and a multipurpose assembly room. Numbering over 58,000 volumes at present, the library’s collection of books and periodicals has grown slowly but steadily with the aid of a modest annual synodical subsidy and a number of generous gifts and bequests. The library provides bibliographic services not only to students and faculty, but also to pastors, teachers, and lay people throughout the synod.

Our Story

The Theological Seminary of the Wisconsin Synod was formally opened in the fall of 1863 at Watertown, Wisconsin. Instruction in theology was initially given by Professor Edward Moldehnke, Ph.D., in the school building of St. Mark’s congregation. On September 14, 1865, the synod’s college, first known as “Wisconsin University” and then as “Northwestern University” opened its doors, and for five years the seminary was operated in conjunction with it.

In 1870, the students of the theological department were transferred to Concordia Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri, in accordance with an arrangement made with the Missouri Synod to conduct a seminary jointly.

Eight years later, the Wisconsin Synod reopened its own seminary, this time in Milwaukee, where it remained from 1878 until 1893, though not always in the same quarters. It was housed first in private residences and later in a remodeled building in Eimermann’s Park, now 13th and Vine Streets.

An important milestone in the synod’s history was reached in 1892 when a federation of the synods of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan was effected. Because of the increased enrollment, a new and larger seminary building was erected at 60th and Lloyd Streets in Wauwatosa and was dedicated in 1893.

In 1929, the seminary’s current building complex was erected on an 80-acre site in the present city of Mequon, just outside the west limits of the village of Thiensville, about 15 miles north of downtown Milwaukee.

In 2013 we celebrated our 150th anniversary. Watch the 150th anniversary video, which was made to commemorate this milestone. Contact us for a Power Point presentation for your classroom or confirmation class.