“History is lived forwards, but it is written in retrospect. We know the end before we consider the beginning…” (C.V. Wedgwood)

These written histories help to show the story of our ministerial education colleges, starting at the very beginning.  Please enjoy learning of the beginnings of your colleges of ministry, starting in 1865. Be sure to check back in the future for new written histories as well!

Clicking on a cover image will take you to the chosen history. Once you are at the chosen document you may click the magnifying glass icon to search within the document or click the arrows to page forward or backward.

DMLC Histories:

one Lord, one faith, one baptism (1984-1995)
by John R. Isch, PhD.

A Brief History of Dr. Martin Luther College (1984-1995)
by Dr. John C Lawrenz

A Time to Remember (1884-1984)
by Morton A Schroeder

DMLC: A Brief History (1884-1943)
by E. R. Bliefernicht

In the works:
MLC 25 Year History (1995-2020)


NWC Histories:

The History of a Lutheran College:
Northwestern University, Watertown, WI.

English Translation

NOTE: Joshua Zarling has translated this German history of the first 40 years of Northwestern (University) College.
The booklet was published by Northwestern Publishing House around 1906.
The original author of this booklet is unknown.

Our Northwestern College:
The Story of its Origin and Growth (1865-1915)
by Dr. Arthur Hoermann (translated by Hans Koeller Moussa)

NOTE: This 1915 history of NWC’s first half-century has the original German text followed by an English translation that begins on p. 102.

Centennial Story
Northwestern College, 1865-1965
by Erwin Ernst Kowalke

Holding the Course:
Northwestern College 125
by Carleton Toppe

Holding the Course by Carleton Toppe 1990 Northwestern Publishing House. This book is available to view, download, or print for personal use by individuals only. Any commercial reproduction requires further written permission from the publisher. www.nph.net.

Centennial Memoir
Northwestern College Alumni Society 1879-1979
Written by Elmer Carl Kiessling

We thank the NWC Alumni Society (publishers of this book) for allowing us to share it here. It is available to view, download, or print for personal use by individuals only.

MLA Histories:

A Chronicle of Martin Luther Academy

Many more archival materials pertaining to NWC can be found in the Synod Archvies and in the archives area at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry. To schedule a visit to the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry, contact cmmtours@wels.net.


This page was developed in 2017 by the MLC Temporary Archives Project Manager, funded by the MLC Alumni Association, in collaboration with the MLC Archives and its volunteers.

The MLC Archives went into hibernation on December 15, 2017. Read about the hibernation of the MLC Archives  or visit the MLC Archives page for more information.