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About ELS

Emmanuel Lutheran School is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) school system.  The WELS schools system is among the largest private school systems in the nation. 

Emmanuel Lutheran School has been serving the Tempe and Phoenix valley for nearly 40 years.  We are a private Christian school, accredited by one of the nation's largest private school bodies (WELS) which has been educating children for over 150 years.  Emmanuel strives to teach young minds, and prepare young hearts in Preschool - Grade 8.  

WELSSA Accreditation

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 WELS CLS.

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

In 2018 Emmanuel Lutheran School received exemplary accreditation status from the WELSSA and NCSPA.  


Preschool - 12th Grade

Emmanuel Lutheran Church offers Christian education from Preschool through 12th grade.  Sonshine Preschool and Emmanuel Lutheran School work with families to provide a quality Christian education for children ages 3 through 8th Grade. We have joined with 27 other churches in AZ to support Arizona Lutheran Academy, located in Laveen, AZ, which continues that same quality education for High School students across the valley.  

Bus Transportation from West Phoenix

Bus transportation is available from the Laveen/South Mountain Communities.  The bus picks up and drops off students at Arizona Lutheran Academy. Cost is $3.00 per student each way.