Gain powerful critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Explore big ideas in the philosophy of religion, politics, science, or the environment by studying philosophy at Luther.

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Why Study Philosophy?

Studying philosophy at Luther teaches you how to think, not what to think. This practice applies to everything, including our quest for value, meaning, and truth. A minor in philosophy will enrich a variety of majors and career paths. Philosophy is also excellent preparation for law school, medical school, and the seminary.

Why Study Philosophy at Luther?

Critical thinking, analytical reading, and problem solving are three skills Luther’s philosophy department will teach you. In this program, you’ll ask and try to answer hard questions about what it means to live well. To do this, you’ll draw on Luther’s liberal arts approach, which pulls in learning from across disciplines. You’ll become adept at analyzing problems and developing convincing solutions using the wide and diverse knowledge base you acquire here.

The curriculum at Luther includes both historical and contemporary philosophy. The philosophy faculty offer courses open to all students regardless of their major. Advanced courses help you deepen your knowledge of philosophy and build skills in analysis and writing.

Program Highlights

Philosophical Society

Meet once a week with fellow students of the Philosophical Society. The group discusses articles and ideas in a relaxed and fun environment.

An Engaged Community

At Luther, philosophy is a part of everything we do. Our program is integrated into the broader curriculum of the college, so we can bring philosophy to bear on every area. Our philosophy faculty connect with our students to help them discern how to live their own values in a complex world.

Small Class Sizes

Luther’s average student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 gives philosophy students an exceptional classroom experience. Faculty members serve as mentors, act as advisers, and collaborate with students in research.

What You’ll Learn

Luther philosophy courses are designed to deepen your thoughts and reflections. Philosophy explores the meaning of values, the idea of what’s good, and the nature of knowledge and reason. Studying philosophy will enhance and deepen your study in any major by giving you the tools to ask the hard questions underlying every inquiry.

Philosophy Minor

As a philosophy minor, you’ll build a comprehensive knowledge base that pairs with your major course of study.

You’ll develop the courage to ask difficult questions and commit to rigorous thinking. You’ll foster a fairness and generosity to others’ views and honesty in assessing your own positions. You’ll study the concepts and terminology of philosophical inquiry and dialogue. You’ll learn the history of ideas and systems of thought.


Careers and Outcomes

Many Luther philosophy minors pursue careers in law, the clergy, the media, and higher education.

Career Fields

  • Social services (counselor, therapist, social services coordinator)
  • Education
  • Librarianship
  • AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteering
  • Law (attorney, judge, law clerk)
  • Clergy
  • Media


  • Fund for the Public Interest
  • TeamQuest Corporation
  • Opportunity Homes
  • Applied Ecological Services
  • School districts
Ana Lopez
I study philosophy because I love to think critically and learn new things. I also have a passion for getting involved in the world and taking action in my community.
Ana Lopez '19

Connection with Faculty

“My favorite part of teaching at Luther is the time I get to spend with students one-on-one. There is nothing more rewarding than working closely with a student and seeing their growth year by year.” —Holly Moore, associate professor of philosophy and identity studies

Simmonds Library

The Philosophy Department is based in Ockham House, with classes held throughout campus. Simmonds Library is the hidden gem of Ockham House—imagine your own private study room, full of books that are full of ideas. There’s even the front end of an old Chevy in there! Curated and donated by Kent Simmonds, emeritus professor of philosophy, the collection houses 5,000 books and is used as a meeting space, study area, seminar room, and lounge.

Exterior of Ockham House on the Luther College campus

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