The Muhlenberg Legacy Scholarship

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Seize the opportunity to continue Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s legacy of educating leaders for the church by contributing to The Muhlenberg Legacy Scholarship.

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, was called as a missionary to the American colonies from his native Germany in 1741. Muhlenberg was a highly educated man who had received his degree from and served as an instructor at the University of Halle. Muhlenberg arrived in America committed to the idea of planting the church, “ecclesia plantanda,” and providing those churches with educated leaders to help them grow, often having to replace uneducated, self-appointed “pastors” with formally trained clergy. His dream to plant the church included the purchase of land to be used for the building of a seminary. This dream was realized with the founding of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 1846.

As an educated German representing a largely uneducated population Muhlenberg was active beyond the church. Fluent in five languages, he was a prolific writer and orator communicating with settlers in remote areas, negotiating with many of colonial Pennsylvania’s political and religious leaders, and corresponding with the most acclaimed theologians in Europe. Aside from theology, Muhlenberg was well versed in 18th century medicine, legal affairs, and scientific and cultural developments. In recognition of his leadership role in the colonies, in 1784 he was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree by the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of his leadership role in the colonies.

Educating leaders for the church is as important today as it was in colonial America. Church leaders must be prepared for the challenges of leadership both in their congregations and their communities. To recognize the contribution Henry Melchior Muhlenberg made to theological education, LTSP is working to establish and endow The Muhlenberg Legacy Scholarship. This scholarship will be given annually to an LTSP student who embodies the characteristics that defined Muhlenberg: a commitment to academic excellence, strong leadership skills, and a distinct pioneering approach to ministry.


LTSP seeks to educate the next generations of leaders for the church and we need your help. Make a gift to endow The Muhlenberg Legacy scholarship and continue in the tradition of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. Ensure that the Lutheran church will have leaders with the classroom and practical training needed to serve.

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