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What Does It Mean to be Lutheran?

One of the most common questions we get is “Do I have to be Lutheran to go to PLU?” The answer is: you don’t. PLU doesn’t just welcome, but actively seeks out students from every possible background—all religions, all races, all ethnic groups, all socioeconomic groups, all sexual orientations, from all over the world.

So what, then, does it mean to go to a Lutheran university like PLU? In the 16th century, the great reformer, Martin Luther, advocated the principle of education for the sake of service, or education with a purpose. At PLU, we believe in authentically engaging, questioning, serving and caring for our communities and the world, and educating our students to use their talents, values, and passions to live out their callings—their vocations.

Core Elements in Lutheran Education

Critical questioning of current knowledge and values

Freedom for expression and protection of learning

A liberating foundation in the liberal arts

Learning and research within community

The intrinsic value of the whole creation

Discerning one’s vocation in the world

Service to the advancement of life, health, and wholeness

What IS Vocation?

PLU students have a uniquely broad idea of what it means to be successful. How about you?

Wild Hope Center for Vocation

Vocational exploration has been at the root of PLU’s mission since its founding in 1890.

Explore! Retreat for First Year Students

The EXPLORE! Retreat supports PLU’s commitment to a campus education environment rich with reflection and dialogue.