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Our Faith

ALTS is an institution of theological education for The American Association of Lutheran Churches and confessional Lutherans around the world. Our purpose is to prepare men for ordained pastoral ministry, and to educate both men and women for other service in the Church.

ALTS is conservative in its theology, accepting all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God. We joyfully submit to God’s Word as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life. In addition, the American Lutheran Theological Seminary adheres to the entire Book of Concord because it is the right interpretation of Holy Scripture.

ALTS is committed to the evangelical mission of bringing Christ and His Gospel to the world. We are dedicated to bear witness to the eternal Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in its fullness and purity, preserving and extending the unity of the faith as revealed in God's Holy Word.

Our Faith | Our Doctrine

(Material and Formal Principles)

We believe, teach and confess that the Gospel of the gracious justification of the sinner through faith in Jesus Christ is not only the chief doctrine of Holy Scripture and a basic presupposition for the interpretation of Scripture, but the heart and center of our Christian faith and theology (material principle). We also believe, teach and confess that only "the Word of God shall establish articles of faith" (SA) [1], and that "the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments are the only rule and norm according to which all doctrines and teachers alike must be appraised and judged" (FC, Ep) [2] (formal principle). The Gospel, which is the center of our theology, is the Gospel to which the Scriptures bear witness, while the Scriptures from which we derive our theology direct us steadfastly to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."[3]


[1] Book of Concord, Smallcald Articles, II, ii, 15
[2] Book of Concord, Formula, Epitome, Rule and Norm, 1
[3] A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles

Faith in the Triune God

ALTS is built upon faith in the ever-living Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as revealed in the Holy Scriptures—to Whom be the glory forever and ever.

     God the Father

  1. Almighty God, Creator of the universe, Who formed man in His own image, Who from the beginning loved goodness and hated evil, desires that the children of His creation live in eternal fellowship with Him. We hold to the creation as described in the first chapters of Genesis, not as myth, but as historic facts.

  2. Therefore, the Creator gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be the Savior of the world, that people might be set free from the bondage of sin, and become joint heirs with Christ of eternal life.

    Jesus Christ, God's Son and Our Savior

  1. At the heart and center of this faith is confidence in Jesus Christ and love for Him, true God and true man, the eternal Word of God, the only Son of God, and the only Savior of the world.

  2. To proclaim salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is our reason for being as American Lutheran Theological Seminary.

 Dependence Upon the Holy Spirit

We acknowledge dependence upon the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace to call unbelievers unto saving faith in Jesus Christ; to empower believers to grow in faith, to bestow His gifts for the ministry of the Church locally and universally, to inspire love for one another, and to bring glory to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Head of the Church.

Symbols: Basic and Required

As brief and true statements of the doctrines of the Word of God, ALTS accepts and confesses the following symbols, subscription to which shall be required of all students:

The ancient ecumenical Creeds: the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian; The Unaltered Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism.

Book of Concord: Normative

As further elaboration of and in accordance with these Lutheran symbols, ALTS also receives the other documents in the Book of Concord of 1580, subscription to which shall be required of all students: the Apology to the Augsburg ConfessionLuther’s Large Catechism, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on Power and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord; and recognizes them as normative for its theology.

Pure Doctrine

The AALC accepts without reservation the symbolic books of the Lutheran Church, not insofar as but because they are the presentation and explanation of the pure doctrine of the Word of God and a summary of the faith of the evangelical Lutheran Church.