The Oen Fellowship program enables the department to invite a distinguished guest lecturer to Luther College biannually to explore and discuss intersections between religion, science, politics, and the arts. Oen Fellows spend three to five days on campus meeting with both faculty and students to discuss issues in formal and informal settings. The Oen Fellowship endowed program was established in 1992 through a gift by Ordean and Carol Oen, friends of H. George Anderson, the seventh president of Luther College and presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (1995-2001).
Students studying religion also benefit from many visiting lecturers. Some are hosted by the department and others are invited through various college-wide lecture series. Recent visiting lecturers in religion include Cornell West (Princeton University), Diana Eck (Harvard), Martin Marty (University of Chicago), Elaine Pagels (Princeton University), and Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (Harvard University).
"Religious Politics in America: Why the 2008 Presidential Election May Change Everything for Everyone"
"What Does It Mean to Be Jewish? Religious Identity and the Search for Peace in the Middle East"