Purple Rhododendron flowers blooming in front of a brick academic building.

PLU’s Academic Identity statement

Pacific Lutheran University seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care – for other people, for their communities, and for the Earth.

We value learning in the liberal arts tradition as a foundation for thoughtful inquiry and purposefully integrate the liberal arts with our professional studies.1 We welcome students to the rewarding process of thinking with growing maturity about their purpose in life and their career choices by asking them to test their assumptions and to advance knowledge through collaborations with faculty and staff.

We help students to explore the nature of vocation so that they might meaningfully integrate and apply their knowledge and skills in thoughtful service.

We provide opportunities for thoughtful leadership, empowering students to discern and promote needed work in the world through all forms of human endeavor, so that all may flourish.2

We educate students to practice thoughtful care for people, local and global communities, and the Earth by upholding principles of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and sustainability.

These commitments affirm that the core elements of Lutheran Higher Education are central to a PLU education. We offer an integrative education that examines and welcomes faith and spiritual traditions, develops deep values, seeks meaning and purpose, and supports rigorous inquiry.3

1 Kimball, Bruce A. The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Documentary History. University Press of America, 2010.
2 Rooted and Open: The Common Calling of the Network of ELCA Colleges & Universities, 2018.
3 Core Elements in Lutheran Higher Education. Lutheran Studies at Pacific Lutheran University, 2012.