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Ringing Rose

Martin Luther University College: The next step in seminary’s dynamic history

Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, the institution that founded Wilfrid Laurier University and was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Waterloo, is pleased to announce that it has begun operating as Martin Luther University College.

Rev. Dr. Mark Harris, the school’s principal-dean, announced the implementation of the name-change in Toronto today during the Synod Assembly (governance meeting) of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The school is an institution of the Eastern Synod.

“It is truly an honour to have worked with a talented and committed community of people who have brought about this historic development which is designed to help us continue to serve our multicultural, multifaith community well into the 21st century,” Harris said.

“While forming pastors for Lutheran congregations is still a crucial part of the work we do, it is time to change the school’s name because the word ‘seminary’ no longer reflects the breadth of who we have become,” Harris said, noting that the vast majority of the school’s students are enrolled in its spiritual care and psychotherapy programs.

Naming the school after Martin Luther, who sparked the German Reformation in the early 16th century, honours his positive and extensive reforms – many of which continue to benefit the western world to this day, he added.

The name-change has been in the works since 2013, said James Phillips, chair of the school’s Board of Governors.

“We’ve all been working toward this transition for some time,” he said. “It feels great, now that its time has arrived.

“Of course, like any significant change, it will take a while to get used to the new name,” Phillips said. “But it will become second nature before too long.”

Phillips and Harris, who addressed the assembly in Toronto together, also revealed the new visual identity accompanying the name-change. Developed by the creative firm Studio Locale, the school’s logo is anchored by the Ringing Rose icon combining elements of the school’s bell tower and the five-petal Luther Rose symbol.

In addition to revealing the implementation of the new name and logo, Harris announced that a $9-million overhaul of the school is substantially complete and that students, faculty and staff will begin moving back into the facility on Monday, June 25, 2018.

Martin Luther University College, federated with Wilfrid Laurier University, was founded in 1911 as the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary of Eastern Canada. For more information, visit our history web page.

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