“The Paideia program was a great start and end to my time at Luther. The first year seminar allowed me to explore a wide variety of topics and literary genres, while Paideia 450 challenged me with more specific questions of ethics and policy. Both courses, I believe, made me a stronger thinker and writer.” —Emily Holm ‘16

In Paideia, students and faculty read, think, discuss, and write about the questions and choices that matter.

Enduring History

Developed in 1977, Paideia is a signature Luther program. Its endurance testifies to the intellectual transformation afforded to thousands of Luther students. This foundation grounds students for success in education and life.

Paideia includes three interdisciplinary courses: a common two-semester sequence for first-year students (Paideia 111 and 112) and a series of one-semester courses for juniors and seniors (Paideia 450: Ethical Choices). The program also incorporates performances and events, including an annual lecture series; library acquisitions; student writing services; a faculty development program that includes sabbatical grants and summer workshops; and a faculty journal Agora: The Liberal Arts at Luther College.

A Name in the Greek Tradition

"Paideia" (pronounced pie-DAY-uh) is a classical Greek term meaning "education." Paideia was a wide-ranging education that helped students become intellectually well-rounded citizens who could contribute ideas and solve problems in a free society. Paideia was essentially a liberal arts education.

“Through close reading and discussion of gripping texts during Paideia 111 and 112, I learned to recognize the many techniques of good writing. My own skills improved because I got regular, direct feedback from peers and my professor.” —Audrey Dontje Lindell ‘17