General Studies

The Luther College curriculum allows for the offering of courses under the heading of general studies. This heading is reserved for those courses whose primary content lies outside a departmental subject area, and there are normally no academic prerequisites for those courses. The courses bear full academic credit and advance students toward total number of credits for graduation; however, the courses do not fulfill requirements for major or minors.

General Studies Courses

GS 100 Foundations for Learning and Development

  • 2 hours

The purpose of this course is to enable students to understand the foundations of learning and development by examining their skills, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, and the contribution of a liberal arts education to their holistic development (emotional, ethical, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational). Students will develop academic and other skills related to higher-order thinking, social and emotional intelligence, cultural competence, digital age learning, and financial decision-making. They will learn to enhance their own motivation, responsibility and leadership. Students will also explore their personality, strengths, interests, and purpose in order to fully engage in the education process and set goals that represent their values and priorities. Open to first-year students accepted into the SSS TRIO Program.

GS 110 Critical Reading and Learning

  • 2 hours

We become better students when we become better critical readers aiming to withhold judgement until we have considered texts or issues carefully and thoughtfully. In this course we practice critical reading strategies, including inspectional, analytical, and syntopical ways of approaching issues and texts. In this course we also review and practice best learning strategies in the context of a liberal arts curriculum.

GS 200 Lives that Matter: Vocation, Self and Service (Arizona)

  • 4 hours

This course is designed to help students connect their own gifts, talents, and vocation with the needs of the world. The course begins with on-campus days of introduction to the major concepts of community, service, compassion, social justice, social change, leadership and vocation. These classes will also enable students to identify their own strengths. The second part of the course, based at the ELCA "Spirit in the Desert" retreat center in Carefree, Arizona (close to Phoenix), offers an intensive service experience through area churches in order to allow students to address a specific need such as homelessness. The course concludes with a special 2-day Blessed to be a Blessing retreat at Spirit in the Desert, offering students further readings, discussion, and rich inter-generational reflection in order to incorporate their service experience into an understanding of their own vocation in relation to the needs they have witnessed and addressed. Additional fees will apply ($850 for flight and accommodations in Arizona) Requires sophomore status or above.