• Glass 3
Pre-Seminary Program
  • A primary reason for the founding of Capital University in 1830 was the development of a strong program of pre-seminary studies that would provide the preparation necessary for graduate studies in theology and studies particularly pointed toward parish ministry in Lutheran churches. For more than 160 years, Capital has sustained and developed this program, providing pre-seminary studies not only for thousands of Lutheran pastors and scholars, but for representatives of many other denominations as well.

    Pre-seminary studies continues to be a vital program of this university. While this program is centered in the religion department and guided by the religion faculty, the pre-seminary student is directed toward a variety of courses, both liberal arts and professional.


    From its founding, Capital University has sought to provide a solid educational foundation for those seeking to pursue graduate study at a seminary. In fact, for most of its history, a seminary was part of Capital University, one of the predecessor seminaries to Trinity Lutheran Seminary, now located across College Avenue from Capital’s Bexley campus. Thousands of pastors and theological scholars received their pre-theological education at Capital. While most of these serve the Lutheran Church, other denominations have been represented as well.

    Admission officers at seminaries are not so much interested in students with specific majors as they are in mature students with good relational skills, good communication skills, a solid liberal arts background and commitment to the church.


    Pre-seminary students may choose to major in a variety of subjects. Capital’s General Education goals are designed to provide a foundation in the liberal arts. In addition, pre-seminary students are encouraged to take courses that will strengthen their oral and written communication skills and enhance their critical thinking abilities. Studying Greek also can provide a valuable head start for the pre-seminary student.


    In addition to academic preparation, Capital provides a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth through Campus Ministries. Students can participate in Bible studies, prayer groups, movie discussions, lock-ins, retreats, youth outreach efforts, service projects, religious life leadership positions, the pre-seminary group, the campus congregation, worship services, Christian concerts and more.


    Located right across the street, Trinity Lutheran Seminary also offers numerous ways to exploring seminary life firsthand.


    Pre-seminary scholarships are available to qualified students. At this time, these scholarships are awarded during the junior and senior years. Awards range from several hundred dollars to $4,000 per year and are based on such factors as academic performance, need and commitment to the pre-seminary program.

    Seminaries Attended

    Capital graduates have attended various seminaries, including:

    • Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Methodist Theological School in Ohio

    •  Wartburg Theological Seminary

    •  Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
Luther Seminary
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

    •  Harvard Divinity School
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

    Majors for the Pre-seminarian

    Most seminaries do not have specific requirements regarding an undergraduate major. Rather, they encourage the student to receive a broad background in the liberal arts. While a student with virtually any major may be admitted to seminary, students are encouraged to acquire an education that sharpens their intellectual ability for critical and reflective thinking, as well as giving them skills that will help in their chosen areas of ministry. Possible majors and minors for pre-seminary students include:

    • Art

    • Communication
    • Education

    • English

    • History

    • International Studies

    • Philosophy

    • Political Science

    • Psychology

    • Modern Languages

    • Music
• Religion

    • Social Work

    • Sociology

    • Theatre Studies

    This list does not exhaust the possibilities for pre-seminary students. Furthermore, majors in nursing, administration and music can prepare students for church vocations such as parish nursing, parish administration or church music. Students interested in youth ministry, camping ministry might consider a dual major in religion and one of the following disciplines: psychology, theatre studies, education, health and sports sciences or communication.

    Courses for the Pre-seminarian

    Seminaries generally urge applicants to receive a well-rounded education. The seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America encourage students to have a breadth of coursework, including classes in English, history, modern languages, philosophy, Greek, communications and the social sciences. Seminaries also expect that candidates will have familiarity with the Scriptures and at least a basic knowledge of their denomination’s basic teachings.