CLS Purchasing Center


WELS School Accreditation (WELSSA)

WELS schools exist to educate children, strengthen families, and serve the church with the power of teaching that is deeply rooted in the Bible and fully expresses the love of Jesus.

As Christ’s humble servants, we want to seek the greater good of Christ’s kingdom with high quality education. Why is this necessary?

We all know that there is always room for improvement but even more important than that we have the opportunity to express good stewardship of the blessings which God has graciously given us; blessings that we need to share by reaching out into the community with the saving Gospel.

In 2003, the Commission on Lutheran Schools (CLS) resolved to establish a WELS school accreditation process as a means of improving the educational quality and effectiveness of Lutheran schools and their ministry by:

  • Assisting WELS congregations with evaluating their early childhood ministries, Lutheran elementary schools, or Lutheran high schools based on Scripture and on sound educational principles.
  • Providing WELS congregations with a basis for developing a plan for improving the school by identifying strengths and areas in need of improvement.
  • Providing a means by which WELS schools can become accredited through the Commission on Lutheran Schools.

WELS schools can also pursue co-accreditation with regional agencies recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).

Handbook includes Standards and application: Free by request for WELS or ELS schools.
Application: Fee is based on current enrollment. If you intend to seek accreditation for grades 3/4K along with your K5-8, the enrollment figures should be added to the total.
Annual report fee: Enrollment of 99 or less $400 / Discounted price of $200 for CLS Contributing schools
Enrollment of 100 or more - $600 / Discounted price of $300 for CLS Contributing schools

The annual ASAR/SIP report and fee is due June 30.
Download the directions and report template.

Email your complete report to

To inquire about becoming a WELSSA accredited school, email executive director Tom Plitzuweit at or call 414-256-3221.

Note: You must first contribute to the CLS Supplemental Funding Program to be granted the discounted prices.


The commission guides and assists congregations in advancing the gospel of Jesus by providing resources, training, and personal assistance for starting and strengthening WELS schools.