It is hard to imagine anything more captivating to the Lutheran imagination than a “pilgrimage” to our spiritual homeland in Wittenberg, Germany. Every November, Institute professors Theodor Dieter and Sarah Hinlicky Wilson teach one of two annual seminars offered through the Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Church in Germany on the theology of Martin Luther. The goal of these seminars is both to enrich participants’ understanding of Luther’s theology and strengthen the global communion of Lutheran churches.

Reading Luther in Luther’s own city makes a tremendous impact. Participants, who are mostly pastors along with some students and bishops from all over the world, have a chance to visit the City Church where Luther preached and the Castle Church where he posted the Ninety-Five Theses; the Lutherhaus and the Melanchthonhaus; significant neighboring sites such as the Wartburg and Torgau, where Katharina von Bora is buried; and finally local parishes where the global interconnectedness is further extended. All this goes hand-in-hand with extended in-depth study. Three hours are devoted every morning to reading and lectures on primary Luther texts. Participants return after lunch and a reading period to discuss the texts and their application in assorted contexts. Dinner is prepared by a different participant every night, giving the group an extraordinary array of global cuisine.


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These annual seminars have taken place since 2009 and will continue at least until the anniversary year of 2017. Every year without fail the same point is proven: Luther and his theology are still the center of interest and unity for Lutherans from all points of the compass.

Participant Countries
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Taiwan
  • Tanzania
  • United States
  • Zambia
Reports on former Studying Luther in Wittenberg Seminars

Seminar 2016

Seminar 2015

Seminar 2014

Seminar 2013

Seminar 2012

Seminar 2011

Seminar 2010

Seminar 2009