The Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary was founded in 1967 to train members of the body of Christ for Christian ministry, primarily in the Lutheran Churches. Reverend Kenneth Hendrickson, Dr. Uuras Saarnivaara and Dr. Albert Saari were the incorporators and original board. Dr. Uuras Saarnivaara served the Seminary as dean from its inception until 1987. Reverend Wayne Juntunen was called in 1982 to serve as the assistant dean on a full-time basis and served in that capacity until June of 1991. Reverend James Weidner was called in the fall of 1988 to serve as the Professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Hermeneutics. In June of 1991, he became the president of the Seminary. Throughout the history of the Seminary, several pastors have been used as instructors in the department of pastoral ministry.
The majority of graduates are pastoring congregations in the Apostolic Lutheran Church of America. Other graduates have served or are presently serving congregations of the ELCA and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Some graduates serve in various capacities with mission organizations and independent ministries. A few have graduated and gone on to ministries in other Church bodies.
Statement of Purpose
The Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary is incorporated as a non-profit religious organization whose purpose is to establish and maintain a theological institution for the training of Christian ministers and workers.
The Seminary is unreservedly dedicated to “holding fast the faithful word” of the Holy Scriptures (Titus 1:9). It acknowledges the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (in their original autographs) as the inerrant and wholly reliable Word of God which is the supreme and only norm and rule of faith and practice of the Christian Church. It also subscribes to the Apostles’ Nicene and the Athanasian Creeds and accepts the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord in the sense these Confessions themselves declare in the introductory parts of the Formula of Concord.
Whereas many people today find little or no relevance in Christianity to their every day lives; the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary bears witness to a living, dynamic Christ who speaks to each new generation. It is through His Word that we find meaning in our present condition and we have hope for the future. His Word is timeless in that it is God’s message proclaimed once and for all. It is not relative nor to be dismissed as time-conditioned nor meant only for its original audience. This proclamation was spoken with power, remains as such today and always will be. However, His word is also time-bound in the sense that it must always be proclaimed in human history. Each generation must hear it anew. The gospel of Christ is spoken into the present and it needs to be heard in the present.
The Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary is devoted to the proclamation of this Word. Its stance is best described as orthodox, evangelical, conservative and Lutheran. Its orthodoxy, conservatism and Lutheranism as evident by its position regarding the Word of God and the confessions of the Church. Its evangelical thrust is manifested by its concern for the salvation of souls through the proclamation of the Gospel. It is not controlled by any church body. Therefore, it accepts students from any Lutheran circles, and other groups where a sufficient unity of faith exists. The graduates of the Seminary shall have freedom to accept calls to any field of service.
James Weidner, President
P.O. Box 449
Hancock, MI 49930