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About PLU

Harstad Hall and Pacific Lutheran University sign


PLU seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care-for other people, for their communities and for the earth.

Tess Matsukawa, Community Director for Harstad Hall & RHA Advisor: “What I love about PLU is how deeply the mission is integrated into the work that we do.  As someone who is passionate about equity and inclusion, the mission provides a framework that makes social justice learning for students and staff a priority.”


As a university of the first rank, Pacific Lutheran University seeks to maximize the achievement of its mission and become an internationally renowned model of the New American University, integrating a distinctive liberal arts college with one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier centers for professional education.

Vocation: Being called into relationship with others to promote human and ecological flourishing

Vocation is a guiding principle of PLU’s educational philosophy and one of the ways in which we fulfill the distinct PLU mission. Discovering your vocation is far more than just choosing a career. Vocation is the resounding sense of one’s purpose in life — something that makes you feel truly alive. Vocation can ideally exist both within one’s career and outside it, as what matters to each of us relates to all the facets of our lives and the roles that both our passions and professions can play.

• We are called by new knowledge and experience, by other people, by pressing need, by global events and crisis, and-for many-by the numinous, a higher power, by God, into awareness that life is more than securing a comfortable existence for oneself.

• We are called into relationship, into communities both temporary and life-long marked by diversity in life and thought, where we live into mutual responsibility for each other, trusting that we can be and do more together than apart in isolation.

• We are called together to promote human and ecological flourishing–the mission of this university–and so let learning animate service and care for this world and our commitment to strive for justice and peace wherever we find ourselves.

DJS: Living Diversity at Pacific Lutheran University

Diversity, Justice, Sustainability. These three values are central to the mission of Pacific Lutheran University.

Pacific Lutheran University has a strong commitment to diversity, social justice and sustainability rooted in our Lutheran heritage and lifted up in the planning documents of PLU 2000, 2010 and 2020. Our Lutheran tradition calls on us to see diversity, social justice and sustainability not as three separate concerns but as one crucial cause demanding our best attention and action. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has called on all people to “defend human dignity, to stand with poor and powerless people, to advocate justice, to work for peace, and to care for the earth in the processes and structures of contemporary society” (The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, 1991).

These guiding values are created to assist Pacific Lutheran University move boldly forward so that our students, faculty, and staff might be good global citizens and creative leaders in furthering the cause of diversity, social justice and sustainability.