The American Association of Lutheran Churches • Confessing • Caring • Calling
From Our Presiding Pastor
What is The AALC? What makes us unique? Why would someone want to walk with us?
Three basic characteristics have described our Association from its beginning: confessing, caring, and calling.
Confessing: We believe that God has saved us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ apart from any of our own works. Martin Luther called this, “the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine.”
The Bible alone is the source of our theology and doctrine. We believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. It is the indisputable authority and rule in all faith and life. The Holy Bible has greater authority than our feelings, our understanding, our culture, or our comforts. Simply stated, it is God’s Word.
Many people say that they believe the Bible, but they interpret it in a variety of ways. We accept the Lutheran Confessions because they are the correct interpretation and explanation of the Holy Bible.
Caring: We are a small but growing church body. This means every pastor and every congregation is dear to us. There are no disposable people here. We work hard to genuinely care for each pastor and every congregation in our Association.
By the grace of God, we are growing and planting new churches. But no matter how large we grow, we are committed to being honest and gracious in our relationships among ourselves and with others. We take seriously the biblical command to be, “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
Calling: We believe that God has called us to care for people beyond ourselves. We are called to reach out to people as the hands and heart of Christ. The AALC is committed to pioneering new missions across America.
Also, we are called to extend the Kingdom beyond our shores, into other lands. There are people in every nation in desperate need of the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ. We may be small, but we are powerful when we walk together.
We are excited about The AALC and we welcome you to walk together with us!
The Fortress & The Frontier
All of our congregations are fortresses of safety in a post-Christian frontier.
Each congregation is an outpost, carefully positioned as a haven, providing the protection of God’s Word and the sustenance of His Holy Sacraments.
Each congregation is a fortress, an outpost from which God’s people are sent forth with Christ’s commission of Kingdom expansion and Gospel proclamation into a wilderness culture of immorality and unbelief.
Each congregational fortress in The AALC is precious. Some of our congregations are very small and some are located in remote areas, yet each one is connected to Christ Jesus and to the rest of our Association. We stand together, committed to the care and support of our brothers and sisters.
We focus on Keeping the Fortress, but we also focus on Taking the Frontier!
“Taking the Frontier” includes everything from congregational outreach to church-wide overseas missions. The gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must never be hoarded as our own personal possession, but instead be shared with a world lost in spiritual poverty and eternal darkness. God is ever expanding The AALC by motivating ministers and multiplying ministries.
With all of this said, however, we know that our efforts of protection and expansion are fruitless without Him. Though He uses clay vessels like us, it is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who is Keeping the Fortress and Taking the Frontier. Hallelujah! Amen.
God is blessing our beloved body of churches and calling new people to “walk together” with us every day. This is where we stand:
We believe we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And we believe the Holy Bible is God’s infallible, inerrant Word. We accept the Lutheran Confessions because they are the right interpretation of the Bible. We are a church body that counts every pastor and congregation as precious. We believe God has called us to reach people in our communities and around the world.
Come join us. “Let’s Walk Together!”
From Our Seminary President
“Let’s Walk Together” conveys our heart to mentor and train men for ministry.
The American Lutheran Theological Seminary (ALTS) was formed by The AALC to meet the needs of our growing church body through the teaching and forming of pastors. Over the past three decades our processes, technologies, and patterns have changed considerably, but our heart to serve has remained the same.
Our seminary respects and honors the past while embracing the future of pastoral formation. ALTS offers two paths toward ordination in The AALC: residential studies and online studies. Both approaches effectively prepare men to serve in our church body and each has benefits.
1. Residential studies take place at either Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW) or Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL); see links for curriculum and requirements. The on-campus approach to seminary education reflects an historically valued approach to pastoral formation. The community of professors and students in a daily face-to-face interaction provides a well formed spiritual, emotional, and mentally engaging environment.
2. Online studies use the latest technology to engage in distance learning via the computer. The use of live video discussions (soon to be world-wide) offers a relatively new environment for pastoral formation, which brings new opportunities as well as challenges. Our video conferencing app allows live interaction during all teaching sessions. Thus, discussion becomes vital in our online community as we walk together. Men who follow this path are expected to be at least 30 years of age.
Residential students receive a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from the host seminary (CTSFW or CSL). Online students receive a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree from ALTS as they prepare for pastoral service. Online students who want to serve a church as a deacon/deaconess receive a Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) degree.
All degree programs offer courses in four fields of theological study: exegesis, systematics/dogmatics, church history, and practical theology.