Course Description: Students will develop skills in oral history, archival research, and historical writing, editing, and publishing by completing service-learning projects for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod Historical Society and presenting their work at the Society’s annual meeting. To develop sufficient background knowledge for those projects, students also will study the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and explore several historical case studies in detail.

Schedule: May 31 through June 17, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Final presentations will take place on Saturday, June 18, at the annual ELS Historical Society meeting.

Pre-requisites: Upper-division academic standing.

Credits: 3

Partner Organization:Founded by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in June 1996, the ELS Historical Society promotes interest in the historical and doctrinal heritage of Lutheranism, particularly of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and its institutions; stimulates historical research; publishes historical studies; assists congregations in the preservation of local congregational history; preserves items of museum quality; and, provides assistance to the ELS Department of Archives and History. (The Synod Archives and the Ottesen Museum are both located within walking distance of the College campus. For more information, visit


  • Aaberg, Theodore A. A City Set on a Hill: A History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1918-1968. Mankato, MN: Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1968.
  • Larson, J. Herbert, and Juul Madson. Built on the Rock: The Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1918-1993. Mankato, MN: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1992.
  • MacPherson, Ryan, et al., editors. Telling the Next Generation. Mankato, MN: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 2011 [in press].
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