The Lutheran College Washington Consortium, also knows as the Lutheran College Washington Semester or LCWS, was founded in 1986 by a core group of Lutheran colleges to provide a quality residential Washington, D.C. semester exclusively for their students.
LCWS is owned and operated by it’s member schools. In addition to the three founding colleges – Muhlenberg, Gettysburg, and Roanoke – ten additional schools are members of the LCWS program. They are: Augustana College (SD), California Lutheran University, Concordia College (MN), Concordia University Chicago, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Luther College, Susquehanna University, Thiel College, Valparaiso University, and Wittenberg University.
The program started as a one semester a year program with a professor taking sabbatical and acting as the director of the program. In 1991, a full-time Dean, Dr. Nancy D. Joyner, was hired and the program expanded to operate year-round. Dr. Joyner has remained in this position since and has been the only LCWS Dean in it’s existence.
Originally LCWS was part of the Luther Institute but in 1998 the program broke away and became an independent program. It was at that time the program began using the name Lutheran College Washington Semester to separate itself from the program connected to the Luther Institute and to help people understand it was a semester long program. LCWS was moved to Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, VA where offices, classrooms, and housing was established and has been in this located ever since. Each semester LCWS welcomes 40 to 50 students to Washington, D.C. and is proud to extend the quality of education from each of our schools to students while they live and work in the Nation’s Capital!