What Matters Most
The chief article of the Christian faith is justification by grace (alone) through faith (alone) in Jesus Christ (alone). The goal of all teaching and learning in ALTS is to highlight and equip students to believe, teach, and confess that.
The Source for This
American Lutheran Theological Seminary accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all the their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God, and joyfully submits to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of life and faith.
The following statements expand these two positions.
Faith in the Triune God
ALTS is built upon faith in the ever-living Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as revealed in the Holy Scriptures—to Whom be the glory forever and ever.
God the Father
- Almighty God, Creator of the universe, Who formed man in His own image, Who from the beginning loved goodness and hated evil, desires that the children of His creation live in eternal fellowship with Him. We hold to the creation as described in the first chapters of Genesis, not as myth, but as historic facts.
- Therefore, the Creator gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be the Savior of the world, that people might be set free from the bondage of sin, and become joint heirs with Christ of eternal life.
Jesus Christ, God’s Son and Our Savior
- At the heart and center of this faith is confidence in Jesus Christ and love for Him, true God and true man, the eternal Word of God, the only Son of God, and the only Savior of the world.
- To proclaim salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is our reason for being as American Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Dependence upon the Holy Spirit
We also acknowledge dependence upon the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace to call unbelievers into saving faith in Jesus Christ to empower believers to grow in faith, to bestow His gifts for the ministry of the Church locally and universally, to inspire love for one another, and to bring glory to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Head of the Church.
Symbols (Confessions): Basic and Required
As brief and true statements of the doctrines of the Word of God, ALTS accepts and confesses the following symbols, subscription to which shall be required of all students:
- The ancient ecumenical Creeds: the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian;
- The Unaltered Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism.
Book of Concord: Normative
As further elaboration of and in accordance with these Lutheran symbols, ALTS also receives the other documents in the Book of Concord of 1580, subscription to which shall be required of all students: the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Luther’s Large Catechism, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on Power and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord; and recognizes them as normative for its theology.
The AALC accepts without reservation the symbolic books of the Lutheran Church, not insofar as but because they are the presentation and explanation of the pure doctrine of the Word of God and a summary of the faith of the evangelical Lutheran Church.