Wartburg Theological Seminary COVID-19 Response as of June 12, 2020

In our ongoing efforts to care for one another and our neighbors, Wartburg Theological Seminary has put into place temporary policies that will remain effective through August 31st—with a possibility to be extended or rescinded before that time—to help us steward our shared life together.

Care for one another during this time is our top priority!

Temporary Policies from Interim President Dr. Kristine Stache

From the Chair of the Board of Directors

Reflecting on Interim President Kris Stache’s cogent COVID-19 update and call to prayer, and based on frequent conversations with Dr. Stache and data-driven dashboards provided by our Administrative Cabinet (Rev. Amy Current, Paul Erbes, Dean Craig Nessan, Andy Willenborg), I am thankful to add my assessment and assurance. Dr. Kris Stache, cabinet, faculty and staff are remarkably well—prepared and proactively poised for each eventuality that emerges; each day as if on wings like eagles—effectively executing Wartburg’s core mission, forming valued leaders.  

With gratitude to our gracious God and Wartburg’s servant leaders,

Dr. Stephen J. Cornils
Chair, Wartburg Seminary Board of Directors

Detailed Information and Updates


Campus Accessibility

Campus is closed to the public, but will remain open with modified operations. Student on-campus housing also remains open but there will be no guest housing at this time. Food service has been discontinued and maintenance and custodial staff are following best practices for cleaning and disinfecting.

Planned work and course related meetings are expected to convene via Zoom.

The library continues to be open with modified operations for WTS students, faculty, and staff.

The food pantry continues to be open with modified operations.


We committed to gather as a community for worship each day at the regular 10:30am CST hour through the end of the semester. We kept the worship services internal to the WTS community to maintain a space for worship that allowed us to experiment and practice the leadership of worship in this digital environment.

Read the story to learn more about how we continued as a worship-centered community during this time.

Fall Prolog Week

It will not be possible to convene our fall on-campus Prolog Week in a way that ensures the well-being of the Wartburg community, regardless of our best efforts at safe practices. In lieu of our traditional gathering, we will celebrate the new academic year with a digital Prolog Week, reconfigured to start us off strong.

More stringent best practices based on public health recommendations will be put into place at Wartburg starting Wednesday, July 1st. We expect these practices to be followed on all Wartburg property, including the Castle and public spaces in residential housing areas. Detailed public health practices will be communicated to the Wartburg community by July 1.

New graduates, current students, incoming students, and families who live on campus will be transitioning in and out of student housing throughout the summer. We are encouraging these transitions to take place while implementing best practices.

Masters Level Coursework

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TEEM Coursework

Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) intensives scheduled in June and July were/will be offered via distance education by Zoom. The summer intensive courses through the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS) scheduled in June were canceled.

Learn more about the TEEM programs at WTS and LSPS here.

Contextual Education

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Guidelines for WTS Internship, Collaborative, and TEEM Students


Admissions Online Open Houses

The Admissions Team has added four new Online Open Houses to its calendar. Participants will hear from current students, faculty, and Admissions & Student Services staff, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Visit our website to learn more and register. Contact admissions@wartburgseminary.edu with questions or for help signing up.

Creation in Crisis: Science and Theology Respond Conference

Creation in Crisis was hosted as a one-day digital conference. Learn more about the conference, the presenters, and view session recordings by visiting the event page.

Class of 2020 Commencement

Commencement was held as a real-time digital celebration via Zoom on May 17th. More than 350 people joined in on this special day!

Read the story to learn more and watch highlights.


Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

Recently, the U.S. Congress allocated funding to colleges and universities to assist students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) was created to enable colleges and universities to provide cash grants to current students for expenses related to disruptions to their education due to COVID-19.

Click here to read more.

Presidential Search

The WTS Presidential Search committee is welcoming applications and nominations for its next president until July 15th, 2020!

WTS is in a position of financial and program vitality, welcomed one of the largest classes in its history last fall, and now has secured capable interim leadership. The Board of Directors has been able to judiciously and thoughtfully plan for its preferred future.

Visit the landing page to learn more, nominate a candidate, or for details on how to apply.

Faculty Searches

The Wartburg Theological Seminary community is eager to welcome two new professors to the faculty beginning July 1, 2020: Rev. Dr. Jan Schnell, who is called to serve as Assistant Professor of Liturgics, and Dr. Man-Hei Yip, who is called to serve as Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology.

The searches for these new faculty members were conducted during the spring semester in a process that included the work of two search committees, who each moved forward with their designated responsibilities using digital meetings and communication under the conditions of pandemic. We are grateful for the gifts Rev. Dr. Jan Schell and Dr. Man-Hei Yip will bring to enrich perspectives and the WTS community’s global horizon!

Resources for Information on COVID-19

Please practice care and consideration for yourself and others. If you are symptomatic, stay home. If you have questions or need assistance, ask for help. Consult with medical staff if symptoms persist. Be conscientious about how you interact with others in public.

In addition to your state’s health department website, we encourage you to access the following resources:

ELCA Public Health

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Give Online

All gifts made before June 30th will be DOUBLED by a WTS Faculty and Staff!

Give today to have an immediate impact on students in this season.