Martin Luther University College

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Martin Luther University College

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Other form(s) of name

  • Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada
  • Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

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Martin Luther University College (Luther) in Waterloo, Ontario is an institution of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It offers undergraduate, masters and PhD programs, and also operates a number of centres of study and practice. Luther is federated with, and is the founding institution of, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Luther was founded in 1910 as the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada, the first Lutheran seminary in Canada. It was established by the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America to form pastors for Lutheran congregations in Canada. In 1911, the Seminary opened in Waterloo, Ontario with a class of four students.

As the Seminary grew it expanded into new teaching areas. From 1914-1929 it operated Waterloo College School, an all-boys high school offering pre-theological education leading to senior matriculation. In 1924, the focus shifted to higher education when the seminary established Waterloo College of Arts, a non-theological honours degree program affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. Waterloo College Associate Faculties, offering science and engineering programs, was launched in 1957.

In 1959, the seminary received a revised charter from the province of Ontario. Waterloo College Associate Faculties became the University of Waterloo. The charter also established Waterloo Lutheran University, a degree granting university composed of two units – Waterloo University College (formerly Waterloo College) and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (formerly the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada).

Waterloo Lutheran University became a public institution in 1973, and was renamed Wilfrid Laurier University. Waterloo Lutheran Seminary remained a federated college of the university.

In 2018 the school began operating as Martin Luther University College, although the institution's legal name remains Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. At the same time, the Luther building, a Karl Krushen design constructed in 1963, underwent major renovations.

Presidents and Executive Heads of the seminary have included:
Ottomar Lincke (Acting President) 1911–1914
Preston Laury (President) 1914–1918
C. H. Little (Acting President) 1918–1920; 1929–1931; 1942-1944
Emil Hoffman (President) 1920–1925
A. A. Zinck 1926–1927
Ernst Neudoerffer (Executive Head) 1927–1928
Nils Willison (Executive Head) 1928–1929
Frederick Clausen (President) 1931–1942
Helmut Lehmann (President) 1944–1952
Ray Houser (President) 1954–1968
Ulrich Leupold (Principal – Dean) 1969–1970
Delton Glebe (Principal – Dean) 1970–1984
Richard Crossman (Principal – Dean) 1984 – 2005
David Pfrimmer (Principal – Dean) 2005 – 2015
Mark W. Harris (Principal – Dean) 2015-


Waterloo, Ontario

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