International Student Program Overview

Type of School:  The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (the primary conservative Lutheran denomination in the US) operates the largest Protestant school system in the United States. As of 2018, the LCMS operated 1,127 early childhood centers and preschools, 778 elementary schools, and 87 high schools. These schools educated more than 200,000 students and are taught by 21,000 teachers. Lutheran schools operated by the LCMS also exist in Hong Kong and mainland China. St. James Lutheran Church of Lafayette, Indiana operates a private Christian/Lutheran elementary and junior high school named St. James Lutheran School teaching children from Kindergarten to 8thgrade. Additionally, it operates an Early Childhood and Daycare from 6 months of age to 5 years. St. James Lutheran School has been in existence since 1851 and is the longest operating school system in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. 

Accreditation:  St. James Lutheran School is fully accredited by the National Lutheran Schools Association (NLSA) and the State of Indiana. 

Location:  St. James Lutheran School is located in the downtown area of Lafayette, Indiana. St. James Lutheran School is located 67 miles Northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, 123 miles Southeast of Chicago, Illinois, and 2.4 miles East of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. 

School Enrollment:  Approximately 145 students in grades Kindergarten to 8thgrade attend St. James Lutheran School annually with an average student/teacher ratio of 16:1.

Goals and Purposes:  The school program provides students with a Christian education environment with the Lutheran doctrine as our backbone in providing a challenging and diversified curriculum that prepares them for this life and eternity. Opportunities are given for students to develop their God-given talents in music, athletics, drama, public speaking, and art. Students work in a safe and healthy environment with an atmosphere of Christian love and care.

Housing for Students:  St. James Lutheran School does not currently offer homestay opportunities for its International Student program.

Advisory Services:  International Program Coordinators work to support international students with day-to-day concerns, communicating with parents, and assisting with necessary medical needs and more.

Transportation:  St. James Lutheran School does not offer transportation opportunities for international students to attend the school. The Lafayette/West Lafayette area provides multiple choices for hospital, health, and shopping needs in the immediate vicinity.

School Year Calendar:  Classes normally begin the 1stfull week of August and end the last week of May. School is closed for 2 weeks at Christmas/New Year’s and one week in the Spring.

ESL courses:  English as Second Language (ESL) instruction is not provided at St. James Lutheran School. Additional tutoring from an outside agency for a fee would be needed to improve English-speaking skills. Students must demonstrate a competency for conversational-English and English-writing skills. 

  • Students need to speak and write English at an intermediate level. All classes will be conducted in English. All applicants coming from a country where English is not the official language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL Junior) by the completion of their 7 grade year. The scores must be submitted directly to St. James Lutheran School. Please visit the TOEFL website ( directly to determine test dates in your country.

High School Preparatory and Guidance:  Special assistance is provided for high school planning and preparation. The Lafayette/West Lafayette community provides 4 public high schools and 2 Christian high schools. 

Academic Support Services:  Tutoring is available for a fee if a child would benefit from extra help within a particular subject matter. Teachers are available to assist and study hall opportunities with supervision can be utilized.

Activities and Athletics:  Students are encouraged to participate in activities outside the classroom. Sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and track are offered based on student interest. Football and wrestling are also available through co-op opportunities with area schools.

Academic Test Scores:  Students in grades 3-8 participate in the State of Indiana academic assessments for student learning in Reading, English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. This assessment takes place in late April through early May and is called ILEARN. Students in grade 3 participate in IREAD-3, a reading comprehension test that is pass-required test in order to be promoted to grade 4. 

For Application Contact: St. James Lutheran School, Attn: International Student Program, 615 N. 8thStreet, Lafayette, Indiana 47901 or email