Luther College is our name.

The ideas and viewpoints expressed in the posts on the Ideas and Creations blog are solely the view of the author(s). Luther College's mission statement calls us to "embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community," and to be "enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another, by the exchange of ideas, and by the life of faith and learning." Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college are encouraged to express their views, model "good disagreement" and engage in respectful dialogue.

What does this mean to us?

Five centuries ago, a university professor named Martin Luther stirred Europe with a reform movement grounded in renewed reading of the Christian scriptures. The printing press was the technology for Luther's liberation of the Bible into the language of the people, the renaissance of learning was stirring quests for truth beyond official teaching, and the European economies were breaking the grasp of Roman rule. Luther trusted God’s love for saints and sinners alike. He founded schools to serve the callings of every person to make the world more trustworthy. Learning itself was liberated to care effectively for the neighbor and the world.

A little over three centuries later, Norwegian immigrants founded Luther College in Decorah to convey this faith and learning to future generations. The college seal and motto (in Latin) still summarize their convictions: "The Word of God Endures Forever" and "Glory to God Alone."

Now in the 21st century, this college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is linked with institutions of higher learning that carry Martin Luther's name on every continent. Luther College intends to set the standards of excellence for this heritage as a residential community of learning and faith that is a portal to the world of many cultures, religions and economies.

What does this mean for you?

You belong at Luther College for who you are!

Luther College is selective and diverse. Here you belong to a community of people like you and different from you. Your friends come from families of all kinds, big cities and small towns, from the region and the world. You study, play, work and learn together in Luther's classrooms, residence halls, faculty homes, digital labs, clubs, campus and off-campus jobs, athletic teams and music ensembles. Are you Christian? You will explore your faith deeply, and the faiths of others. Do you practice another religion or spirituality or none? You belong for who you are. What you believe is respected. On campus and in far reaching engagements, you and your Luther classmates learn to care for others and to lead in the communities and networks of the 21st century.

What you think matters!

Luther College invites you to "Get away and think!" This means thinking for yourself with the expert guidance of faculty and staff who care about you and how you think and what you think. Your learning is liberated in science, social science, literature, history and the arts. And your free mind and spirit are empowered so what you think and do will benefit the neighbor and the world. One student said, "I've never thought so hard or been so excited about the difference it makes." A distinguished graduate declared, "My time on campus was a defining point in my life."

Your great job starts here and endures for a lifetime!

The Association of American Colleges and Universities published a report in early 2014 on "Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths," documenting the excellent employment results from Liberal Arts and Sciences majors, and Luther College grads fit this profile of getting hired in good positions and rising to leadership in a wide range of industries. And there is more. The Gallup research teams have shown that you have "a great job" when you bring your whole self to work, you know that you are making a difference, and your strengths are valued. The Luther College word for that "great job" is "vocation," and it starts here with faculty and mentors who pay attention to you, help you spot your strengths, then cheer and challenge you to move into your lifetime of careers and callings.

Visit the A College of the Lutheran Church webpage to learn more about what it means that we are a Lutheran college.

David Tiede, Luther College interim president
David Tiede, Luther College interim president

David L. Tiede became Luther College's interim president on July 1, 2013. He is greatly admired as an administrator, teacher and scholar. He was president of Luther Seminary for 18 years, occupied the distinguished Bernhard M. Christensen Chair in Religion and Vocation at Augsburg College for five years, and served briefly as the interim president of Wartburg Seminary.

{ Return to Ideas and Creations for more posts. }


  • March 5 2014 at 2:39 pm
    Dr. Tiede, thanks for the great writeup to explain what's behind our name. I love the phrase "You belong for who you are." How often do we explicitly hear that message during the course of our lives? Not often. It's great that Luther can be that place.

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