PLTS at a Glance

Our Mission

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary develops leaders for the church by: deepening faith in Christ; challenging the mind; expanding the heart; and energizing for mission.

PLTS was founded in Portland, Oregon in 1910; relocated to Seattle, WA for a number of years; and relocated to its current location in Berkeley, CA in 1952. In 2014, we merged with California Lutheran University.
Read more about our history

Location and Campus

  • Located in Berkeley, California
  • We are the only Lutheran seminary in the western half of the United States
  • Covering 13 states, our territory of service includes nearly two-thirds of the country

Graduate Theological Union (GTU)

  • As a consortium, the GTU has largest theological faculty in one location in the United States.
  • Includes eight seminaries and eleven research centers in partnership with the University of California Berkeley, all where our students can take courses with ecumenical, interfaith and secular emphases.
  • Home to the most comprehensive theological library in the United States (see below).
  • The GTU offers concentrations in 13 areas of study: Art and Religion, Biblical Studies, Buddhist Studies, Christian Spirituality, Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions, Ethics and Social Theory, History, Homiletics, Interdisciplinary Studies, Interreligious Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Liturgical Studies, Near Eastern Religions, Orthodox Christian Studies, Religion and Psychology, and Systematic and Philosophical Theology.

Numbers at PLTS and the GTU

  • Enrollment: 1,100+
  • Faculty: 150+
  • Yearly Course Offerings: 750+

More about the GTU

Degree and Certificate Programs

  • Master of Divinity — 3-4 years of preparation for ordination, including one year of internship.
  • Master of Divinity, non-ordination track — 2-3 year program that does not include a year of internship or other contextual education requirements.
  • Master of Arts in Spirituality and Social Change — 2-year program including an 8-month internship.
  • Certificate of Advanced Theological Study (Lutheran Year) — An individualized program beyond the M.Div. or other professional ministry degrees.
  • Certificate of Theological Studies — 1-year individualized program for lay church occupations or life enrichment.
  • Joint MDiv/GTU MA — 3-5 year program culminating in an MDiv degree from PLTS and a GTU Common MA in affiliation with PLTS
  •  GTU Common Master of Arts — 2-year program in one of 13 areas of study. Degree granted by the GTU in affiliation with PLTS.
  • Doctor of Philosophy — Granted by the GTU and the University of California at Berkeley, this program prepares students for professional careers in teaching, writing, scholarship, and leadership.
  • Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) Certificate — 3-year program leading to ordained ministry, involving distance education and intensive short courses at the seminary.
  • Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith  — 15-week online course for lay and rostered leaders throughout the Lutheran World Federation communion and from other faith traditions.

More about our programs


  • Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, common library for GTU member schools
  • Most comprehensive theological library in the country, which supports our Lutheran identity in a pluralistic environment
  • 450,000+ volumes, 1,500+ journal subscriptions, 290,000+ other media holdings, access to interlibrary loan and electronic resources
  • Access to the libraries of the University of California, Berkeley and the libraries of Stanford University
  • PLTS students have access to the electronic resources of Cal Lutheran’s Pearson Library

Visit the Flora Lamson Hewlett Library




PLTS is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada - The Commission on Accrediting, and the following degree programs are approved: Master of Divinity, and Master of Theological Studies.

Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada - The Commission on Accrediting
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburg, PA 15275

Telephone: 412-788-6510
Fax: 412-788-6510



The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States that accredit public and private higher education institutions.

Current Accreditation: In 2015, WSCUC reaffirmed Cal Lutheran's accreditation for 10 years.

More about our WASC accreditation