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The College AA Program

Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at our
Immanuel Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

It’s no secret that one of the main purposes of Immanuel Lutheran College is to train young Christians for the public pastoral and teaching ministries. By far the majority of our college students are enrolled in the two top programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Theological Studies, or the Bachelor of Science in Education. The first results in graduates who are ready to enter our seminary, the second in graduates who are ready to enter the teaching ministry.

What is less well known is that ILC offers a two-year Associate of Arts degree as well. From the college catalog description: “The Associate of Arts program involves two years of training in the liberal arts. It serves not only those individuals who complete their college education at the end of two years, but also those who transfer to other institutions of higher learning. By taking their first two years at ILC, such students receive the benefit of a Christ-centered education in the critical early years of their college career. Moreover, the smaller class sizes at ILC promote student involvement and help to enhance learning.”

Sometimes Christian young people graduate from high school without having made a firm decision about their future education or career. Often they just need some “space” to make up their minds. We would like to suggest that ILC is just such a space. You will find many advantages to the AA Program at Immanuel:

  • It’s economical. The costs to attend Immanuel are very modest compared with most other schools. Currently, college tuition is $3,000 per semester—less even than most community colleges and tech schools. A variety of student aid is available to make the costs even more manageable.
  • It’s practical. Others recognize that ILC offers a high-quality college education, and that has led to success in negotiating credit-transfer agreements with three area schools—the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin—Stout, and Chippewa Valley Technical College. These have all agreed to transfer up to 73 core credits (in subjects such as English, history and science) from ILC. Immanuel is not regionally accredited, so credit transfers to other institutions is not automatic, but in the past many colleges have been willing to transfer ILC credits on a case-by-case basis. It is part of the Academic Dean’s job to support, in any way possible, students wishing to transfer ILC credits to other institutions, and we have had good success in doing so.
  • It keeps you connected to Christ and His Word. At Immanuel, all your professors and fellow-students have one thing in common—faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives, and an absolute commitment to His inerrant Word! At ILC, every class on every subject is taught from a Christian perspective. Morning and evening chapel services, as well as weekly worship at nearby Messiah Lutheran Church, will help deepen and enrich your faith and your knowledge of the Word.
  • Zach and Suraya Strike. Zach graduated from ILC's AA program last May. He and Suraya were married in October.
    Zach and Suraya Strike.
    Zach graduated from ILC’s AA program last May.
    He and Suraya were married in October.
  • It prepares you for whatever is next in your life. If you’re going on to a job or trade, the two years you spend in Immanuel’s AA program will give you not only an academic credential, but also a deeper knowledge of God’s Word and its application to life. ILC graduates often become active in their home congregations and contribute to their churches’ spiritual life. For those students going on to a public university—your time at Immanuel will prepare you to survive in an environment that is invariably hostile to the Christian faith, and that in some individual cases has succeeded in destroying it.

So if you’re considering college, give some thought to the Associate of Arts Program at ILC! It’s one of the best choices you could make if you want to stay connected to the Word and keep putting on “the whole armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Paul Naumann is Academic Dean at Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and editor of the Lutheran Spokesman .