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This photograph shows a picture of the Augsburg Seminary student body standing in front of Old Main in February 1918. The panoramic photograph allows you to see some of the homes in the surrounding neighborhood. In the 1870s, the Conference for the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, commonly called "the Conference," called two young men to serve as professors at its school, Augsburg Seminary. Sven Oftedal began in 1873, and Georg Sverdrup in 1874.These two men defined the institution and its supporting congregations for the next several decades. Their vision of Augsburg Seminary was for a cohesive nine year program: a two year academy, a four year college, and a three year seminary. In 1890, the Conference merged with the Norwegian Augustana Synod and a breakaway group from the Norwegian Synod known as the "Anti-Missourian Brotherhood" to form the United Norwegian Lutheran Church. Augsburg was to be the seminary of the new church body, but a controversy soon developed over the role of Augsburg's college department vis-a-vis St. Olaf College which has been loosely associated with the Anti-Missourian Brotherhood. Known as the "Augsburg Controversy," contentious court battles went to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Eventually, Augsburg Seminary and its supporters formed a new church body in 1897 called the Lutheran Free Church. Front of photograph reads: Augsburg Seminary, Feb. 1918, Craft Studio. Back of photograph reads: Old Main Building.


Norwegian American Lutheranism, Augsburg Seminary (1893-1962), Luther Seminary (1994-present), Conference for the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Old Main (Augsburg Seminary)