History of Seminary
Michigan Lutheran Seminary began in 1885 when one teacher and six students assembled in Manchester, MI. Lutherans in Michigan felt a need to train pastors to serve a growing number of immigrant congregations. In 1887 Pastor Christoph Eberhardt of St. Paul’s congregation in Saginaw donated two near-by acres of land on Court Street. This led the Michigan Lutheran Synod to move MLS to its present location and to dedicate Old Main, the school’s first building, later that year.
When the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Synods federated in 1892, the new confederation decided to convert MLS into a preparatory school. Disagreement over this change split the Michigan Synod. MLS continued as a pastor-training seminary until dwindling enrollments forced it to close its doors in 1907. Pastors Lange, Huber, Hoyer, Linsemann, and Beer led the school from 1887-1907.
By 1910 the Michigan Synod had re-established its ties with Wisconsin and Minnesota. The confederation called Pastor Otto J. R. Hoenecke to open MLS as a preparatory school for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).
Since its reopening on September 13, 1910, Michigan Lutheran Seminary has continued to fulfill its mission and purpose:
The special purpose of Michigan Lutheran Seminary is to prepare high school students for the public ministry of the gospel, encouraging them to enroll in the WELS College of Ministry, Martin Luther College.