- We carefully consider the personal information we ask you to provide, and only ask for the information necessary for the operation of our services.
- We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.
- We do not share personal information publically.
- We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.
Who We Are and What This Policy Covers
- Our websites (including *.ctsfw.edu, ctsedtech.com, ctsfw.net, and lifeoftheworld.com);
- Any mobile applications developed to assist students, faculty, staff, and constituents; and
- Other users’ websites that use our Services while you are logged in to your account with us.
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Information We Collect
We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so – for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better. We collect information in three ways: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.
Information You Provide to Us
It is probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us. The amount and type of information depends on the context and how we use the information. Here are some examples:
- Basic Account Information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for a CTSFW.edu account to provide a username, email address, and address. You may provide us with more information but we do not require that information to create a CTSFW.edu account.
- Transaction and Billing Information: If you attend classes (residential or online), buy something from the bookstore, etc., you will provide additional personal and payment information that is required to process the transaction and your payment, such as your name, credit card information, and contact information. Note that we do not store any credit card or payment information on our servers. All payment transactions are handled by PCI compliant, third-party processors.
- Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide us with credentials for access to accounts used to support Services you receive, such as access to your Student Portal or MyClasses/MisClases for online course content.
- Communications with Us: You may also provide information to us when you respond to surveys or communicate with our helpdesk about a support question.
Information We Collect Automatically
We also collect some information automatically:
- Log Information: Like most online service providers, we collect information that web browsers, mobile devices, and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, IP address, unique device identifiers, language preference, referring site, the date and time of access, operating system, and mobile network information. We collect log information when you use our Services, such as accessing online course content or making charitable donations on CTSFW.edu.
- Usage Information: We collect information about your usage of our Services. We also collect information about what happens when you use our Services (e.g., page views, support document searches, site searches, and other parts of our Services) along with information about your device (e.g., screen size and browser version). We use this information to get insights on how people use our Services, in order to make these Services better and to troubleshoot problems.
- Location Information: We may determine the approximate location of your device from your IP address. We collect and use this information for technical or statistical information, such as calculating how many people visit our Services from certain geographic regions.
Information We Collect from Other Sources
We may also get information about you from other sources. For example, if you create or log in to your CTSFW.edu account through another service (like Google), we will receive information from that service (such as your username, basic profile information, and Friends List) via the authorization procedures used by that service. The information we receive depends on which services you authorize and any options that are available. We may also get information, such as a mailing address, from third-party services about individuals who are not yet our users.
How and Why We Use Information
Purposes for Using Information
We use information about you as mentioned above and for the purposes listed below:
- To provide our Services (for example, to set up and maintain student and constituent accounts, to provide online course content, or to send statements or receipts for charitable contributions);
- To further develop and improve our Services (for example, adding new features that we think our students and constituents will enjoy or will provide more meaningful and timely information);
- To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with our Services, which helps us improve these Services and make them easier to use;
- To measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our communications, and to better understand user retention and attrition (for example, we may analyze how many individuals react to certain news releases or requests);
- To monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, protect the security of our Services, detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of CTSFW, our students, constituents, and others, which may result in us declining a transaction or the use of our Services;
- To communicate with you, often through email, to keep you up to date on CTSFW news, about promotions, continuing education, requests for support offered by CTSFW and other associated organizations, or to solicit your feedback; and
- To personalize your experience using our Services, provide content recommendations, target our messages to groups of our users (for example, those who support a particular program or have been our user for a certain length of time).
Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information
How We Share Information
We do not sell our users’ private personal information. We share information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy:
- Legal Requests: We may disclose information about you in response to a subpoena, court order, or other governmental request. For more information on how we respond to requests for information about CTSFW.edu users, please see our Legal Guidelines.
- To Protect Rights, Property, and Others: We may disclose information about you when we believe in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of CTSFW, third parties, or the public at large. For example, if we believe there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury, we may disclose information related to the emergency without delay.
- With Your Consent: We may share and disclose information with your consent or at your direction. For example, we may share your information with third parties authorized by you, such as the social media services that you connect to your logins.
- Aggregated or De-Identified Information: We may share information that has been aggregated or reasonably de-identified, so that the information could not reasonably be used to identify you. For instance, we may publish aggregate statistics about the use of our Services, and our constituent management provider will pool aggregate contribution information from their non-profit customers to provide these customers with comprehensive national giving data and trends.
- Published Support Requests: If you send us a request via a support email or one of our feedback mechanisms, we reserve the right to publish that request in order to help us clarify or respond to your request, or to help us support other users.
Information Shared Publicly
Information that you choose to make public is, by nature, disclosed publicly. At this time, we have no public forum other than that provided through our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram presences. Note that use of social media is governed by the provider’s privacy policies. We have no control over your social media settings.
How Long We Keep Information
We generally discard information about you when we no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collect and use it (described in the section above on How and Why We Use Information) and we are not legally required to continue to keep it. For example, we keep the web server logs that record information about a visitor to our websites, such as the visitor’s IP address, browser type, and operating system, for a minimum of 90 days. We retain the logs for this period of time in order to, among other things, analyze traffic to CTSFW’s websites and to investigate issues if something goes wrong on one of our websites.
While no online presence is 100% secure, we work very hard to protect information about you against unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction, and take reasonable measures to do so, such as monitoring our Services for potential vulnerabilities and attacks.
You have several choices available when it comes to information about you:
- Limit the Information that You Provide: If you have an account with us, you can choose not to provide the optional account information, profile information, and transaction and billing information. Please keep in mind that if you do not provide this information, certain features of our Services may not be accessible.
- You may opt out of receiving commercial messages from us. Each message we send has an opt-out link as prescribed by the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. If you opt out of commercial messages, we may still send you other messages, like those about your account, information necessary for students, and legal notices.
- Set Your Browser to Reject Cookies: You can usually choose to set your browser to remove or reject browser cookies before using CTSFW’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of CTSFW’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies. For example, cookies are necessary for the use of our online learning tools and Student Portal.
- Close Your Account: Please keep in mind that we may continue to retain your information after closing your account, as described in How Long We Keep Information above. For example, when that information is reasonably needed to comply with (or demonstrate our compliance with) legal obligations, such as law enforcement requests, or is reasonably needed for our legitimate business interests.
If you are located in certain countries, including those that fall under the scope of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data protection laws give you rights with respect to your personal data, subject to any exemptions provided by the law, including the rights to:
- Request access to your personal data;
- Request correction or deletion of your personal data;
- Object to our use and processing of your personal data;
- Request that we limit our use and processing of your personal data; and
- Request portability of your personal data.
You can usually access, correct, or delete your personal data using your account settings and tools that we offer, but if you are not able to do that or you would like to contact us about one of the other rights, scroll down to How to Contact Us to find out how to reach us. EU individuals also have the right to make a complaint to a government supervisory authority.
Please note that as an educational institution we are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In order to protect our student and family rights, any of the above requests require definitive positive identification that you are the person whose data is affected.
Controllers and Responsible Companies
CTSFW’s Services are accessible worldwide. Different associate organizations are the controller (or co-controller) of personal information, which means that they are the organization responsible for processing that information, based on the particular service and the location of the individual using our Services. Depending on the Services you use, more than one organization may be the controller of your personal data. Generally, the “controller” is the organization that entered into the contract with you under the Terms of Service for the product or service you use. In addition, CTSFW is the controller for some of the processing activities across all of our Services worldwide.
CTSFW is controller for all services directly associated with Concordia Theological Seminary, Missionary Formation Certification and Spanish Speaking Church Worker Formation.
The Lutheran School of Theology (Församlingsfakulteten i Göteborg) is controller for the MST Gothenburg program.
The LCMS is controller for rostered church worker information.
How to Reach Us
Other Things You Should Know
- In the case of US-based entities, entering into European Commission-approved standard contractual arrangements, or ensuring they have signed up to the EU-US Privacy Shield; or
- In the case of entities based in other countries outside the EEA, entering into European Commission approved standard contractual arrangements.
Feel free to ask us for more information about the steps we take to protect your personal information when transferring it from the EU.
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Standard Disclaimer for External Links
These links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by CTSFW of any of the products, services, or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. CTSFW bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.
Please note: Web pages on the CTSFW Site containing one or more links to external Internet sites may carry the above statement, in its entirety or link to this page, and external links may be followed with this icon .