History of Immanuel

School c. 1949 Originally a three-room schoolhouse, ILS has gone through many changes.


  • Gym added 1979
  • Kitchen added 1982
  • Additional classroom added 1986
  • New teacherage added 1993
  • Portable classroom added 1999

For over 150 years, Immanuel Lutheran School (ILS) of rural Courtland has been providing students a solid foundation in a Christian education while teaching the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic. During its history, the subjects may have changed, but the focus is still the same – a foundation in a Christ-centered education.

As a rural country church, ILS has a rich history being one of the oldest schools in the state of Minnesota dating back to 1864. Some history stories include a barn near the school for the horses to rest during the school day and take the children home after school. Or, a hearse converted into the first school bus for ILS. At one time, the church had 3 school locations to accommodate the distance that children had to walk to school, especially during the winter. The current school was built in 1949. Since then, 4 building additions have been added to meet the needs of the growing school.

Immanuel Lutheran School is a nationally accredited Christian day school supported by Immanuel Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) in rural Courtland. Currently, there are 60+ students that attend the school grades Preschool (3 year old) to 8th grade. ILS is home of The Braves.

150th Anniversary Celebration:  June 1, 2014

Read more about Immanuel Lutheran’s history and mortgage burning. Click here