LPS is a four year preparatory high school owned and operated by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Its primary purpose is to train and encourage young people for the pastoral and teaching ministry in the WELS. In carrying out that purpose, LPS offers a curriculum that focuses on history, mathematics, science, English, foreign languages, music, and religion. LPS also offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities in music, performing arts, and athletics.

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List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What is Luther Preparatory School?

    Luther Preparatory School (LPS) is a four year high school that is owned and operated by the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod (WELS). LPS came into being as a result of a decision made by the 1993 synod convention. The 1995-96 school year was the first year of operation for Luther Prep. LPS is located in Watertown, WI, and traces its history to two other high schools - Northwestern Preparatory School which was located in Watertown, WI, and Martin Luther Preparatory School which was located in Prairie du Chien, WI.


    The WELS has long recognized the importance and value of Christian education in general, and of a thorough training for future pastors and teachers for the public ministry of the gospel. For that reason the WELS also operates three other schools besides Luther Prep. The other schools are Michigan Lutheran Seminary (MLS), Martin Luther College (MLC) and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS). MLS is a boarding high school in Saginaw, MI. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, is the WELS College of Ministry. The mission of MLC is to prepare students as candidates for the preaching, teaching or staff ministry. WLS is the final training school for pastoral candidates. It is located in Mequon, WI.


    The curricula of MLS and LPS includes subjects in the fields of religion, social studies, English, foreign languages, science, mathematics and music. The purpose of this type of curriculum is to prepare students for future study at MLC and, for the pastoral candidates, eventually at WLS.

  • What is the background of the LPS student body?

    There were 419 students who came to LPS for the 2018-19 school year. They came from 27 different states and 6 foreign countries. Over 50% of the LPS students live more than 70 miles from Watertown. Two out of every three students at LPS come from the home where their father is not a pastor or teacher. About 80% of the LPS students were attending a WELS school the year before they came to LPS.
  • What kind of city is Watertown?

    Watertown is a city of approximately 22,000 people. It has been described as safe and clean, a good place to live, work, and raise a family. It has also proved to be a good place to have a school like Luther Prep. Our school has an excellent relationship with the community. It has come to appreciate our school, what it stands for, and, most importantly, our students. We are confident that we can allow students to go virtually anywhere in Watertown to do the things that they might want and need to do. The LPS students are a familiar sight in the community and are made to feel welcome and a part of Watertown.
  • What are the school colors and mascot?

    LPS school colors are navy blue and metallic gold and the mascot is the Phoenix. The Phoenix is a legendary eagle-like bird that rises from the flames every 500 years to live again. It was adopted by the early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection and eternal life. The fire from which the bird rises reminds us of cleansing and purification. The bird has its origin in ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology which reflects the school's emphasis on history and the classics.
  • What do the words in the school seal mean?

    The seal's focus is on the open Bible, on which all instruction and activities at LPS are founded. The Latin, words, "SAPIENTIA, FIDES AND MINISTERIUM" are translated "Wisdom, Faith and Ministry." These words summarize the school's purpose: using the Word of God to build faith, impart wisdom, and prepare young people for a life of service. The 1995 represents the beginning of LPS while the two other dates reflect the history of NPS (1865) and MLPS (1979).
  • I understand that there are Latin names for the classes, why and what do they mean?

    The names you will often see and hear used at LPS are as follows:

    9th grade (freshmen): The Sexta class - Class members are "Sextaners"

    10th grade (sophomores): The Quinta class -Class members are "Quintaners"

    11th grade (juniors): The Quarta Class -Class members are "Quartaners"

    12th grade (seniors): The Tertia Class -Class members are "Tertianers"

    These class names reflect a desire on the part of students, faculty and administration of LPS to retain class names that stretch back to 1865 when Northwestern College was founded by the WELS in Watertown. At that time, the school was modeled after schools of higher education in Germany. The institution had six levels of classes, the equivalent of four years of high school and two years of college.

    Each class at that time was given a Latin name which designated the level of study. The youngest class on campus (9th grade) was the "sixth" from the top; therefore it was given the Latin name "Sexta" which is derived from the Latin word for 6. The 10th grade class was the fifth from the top, and therefore was called the "Quinta" class (Latin for 5). The 11th grade was fourth from the top ("Quarta"), 12th grade was third from the top ("Tertia"), the following year was second from the top ("Secunda"), and the graduating class was the first, or "Prima."

    Sometime after Northwestern was expanded to eight years, the American designations (freshman, sophomore etc.) were used for the college classes, and the Latin names were retained for the prep classes -- an easy way to distinguish between the two.

    Not only do these Latin names reflect a rich history and tradition (a part of the heritage of LPS) and are fitting for the emphasis on languages at LPS, but the students expressed their desire to keep these names partly because these names are unique to this school and are used nowhere else.


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Luther Preparatory School
1300 Western Avenue | Watertown, WI 53094 | 920-261-4352 |
FAX 920-262-8118 |
Luther Preparatory School is an independent coeducational preparatory school in Watertown, Wisconsin. The continuing mission and purpose of Luther Preparatory School is to prepare and encourage young men and women for the full time ministry in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.