Decorah, the home of Luther College for 152 years, has a resident population of 8,500. It is the county seat of Winneshiek County, located at the junction of U.S. Highway 52 and State Highway 9. The Minnesota border lies 15 miles to the north. The Mississippi River lies 30 miles to the east.

The campus is built on the rolling wooded hills and rugged limestone cliffs of northeast Iowa's bluff country. The scenic Upper Iowa River flows through the lower portion of the 200-acre central campus. The college owns an additional 800 acres adjoining the central campus which are devoted to environmental research, biological studies, and recreation.

Public transportation serving the area includes commercial airports in Rochester (Minn.), Waterloo (Iowa), and La Crosse (Wis.); a municipal airport in Decorah; and train and bus depots in La Crosse (Wis.).