Waterloo Lutheran Seminary announces official name change to Martin Luther University College

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (WLS) has recently announced its official decision to change its name to Martin Luther University College.

The WLS’s 54-year-old building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus recently underwent a $9-million renovation project and is currently in the midst of being completed.

WLS is federated with Laurier while the students that attend the seminary earn Laurier degrees.

The name change to Martin Luther University College stems from the seminary’s wish to honour its origins and roots.

Allegedly, the word “seminary” itself does not sufficiently demonstrate the values which the WLS has come to embody.

According to a statement released by WLS, the decision to change its name is their way of affirming their Lutheran heritage, reflecting how they have changed over the years and how they continue to grow and change through time.

“Waterloo Lutheran Seminary is striving to be faithfully re-formed by the challenges and opportunities of our own day,” read the statement.

“It’s a way of affirming where the roots of this school are,” Mark Harris, dean of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary told The Record. “It was the Lutherans of this community, predominantly German Lutherans, who founded the seminary back in 1911 — Lutherans who have a very, very strong tradition of promoting, not just theological education, but general education.”

A public announcement for the name change will take place this coming fall.

Along with the name-change announcement, WLS has confirmed that they will be acquiring a new visual identity to match their new name.

New logos and associated graphics are said to be implemented and finalized in time for the 2018 school year.

The finished building ensuing the reconstruction is also set to open in the fall of 2018 at the same time. The finished building and renewed design are anticipated to expand the seminary’s courses and programs and feature various common spaces for students.

WLS has grown in size and in what programs they offer greatly over the past few years. For example, students can now get a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Global Citizenship.

As well, the WLS now offers a PhD in human relationships. This program essentially provides further training for counsellors and pastors.

Currently, there are approximately 250 Laurier students enrolled in WLS classes each school year. The WLS represents 31 different faith traditions.

“We are very multi-faith that way,” Harris said to The Record. “That is what our communities are becoming. That’s who we are.”

In addition to such expansions, WLS still continues to offer emotional and spiritual well-being through the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre. As well, WLS’s Centre for Public Ethics holds public forums to assist individuals looking to investigate questions surrounding an ever-changing society.

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