Best Lutheran Colleges

South Dakota, Illinois and California are just a few of the states with some of the best Lutheran colleges in the country. Find out what makes these schools stand out and what spiritual growth opportunities they offer.

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There are several top Lutheran colleges and universities throughout the country that provide students with diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These schools may also be considered some of the best due to their hands-on learning experiences, small class sizes and other unique characteristics. Here we discuss a handful of some of the best Lutheran colleges in more detail.

School Comparison

Students can find top 4-year, Lutheran schools in states like California, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. In the table below, you can compare some of the schools and their undergraduate tuition rates.

School Name Institution Type Location Tuition (2017-2018)*
Augustana University 4-year, private not-for-profit Sioux Falls, SD $31,960
California Lutheran University 4-year, private not-for-profit Thousand Oaks, CA $41,363
Muhlenberg College 4-year, private not-for-profit Allentown, PA $50,830
Augustana College 4-year, private not-for-profit Rock Island, IL $40,908
Concordia College at Moorhead 4-year, private not-for-profit Moorhead, MN $38,378

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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Description of the Best Lutheran Colleges

Although it depends on your definition of ''best'' and personal preferences, some of the best Lutheran colleges provide students with a range of degree programs and unique spiritual growth opportunities. Learn more about a few of these top schools and why they are considered some of the best.

Augustana University

As of 2017, Augustana University in South Dakota had about 1,750 undergraduate students, per the NCES. The university offers the Civitas (University Honors) program and a variety of study abroad, undergraduate research and internship opportunities. The school also has pre-professional specializations and over 100 majors at the undergraduate level, including areas like athletic training, communication disorders, engineering physics and sign language interpreting. A handful of master's degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling and a Master of Professional Accountancy, are available as well. Spiritual life on campus includes chapel services, travel and service opportunities, Outreach Ministry teams and other student groups, like Pueblo de Dios (youth mentors), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Campus Crusade for Christ.

California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University is located half-way between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. It offers an average class size of 15 students and prioritizes sustainability on campus by encouraging students to recycle, conserve and reuse resources. The university has a wide range of undergraduate majors, degree completion programs and graduate degree programs in fields such as multimedia, environmental science, history pedagogy, German, clinical psychology and educational leadership. Students can invest in their spiritual lives by participating in chapel, worship services and student organizations, like FCA, Lord of Life and College Life. In 2017, the NCES reported that the university had a little over 2,960 undergraduate students.

Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College is an undergraduate institution in Pennsylvania that offers degree programs in subjects such as dance, film studies, anthropology, computer science, neuroscience and public health. Students on campus wishing to further develop their spiritual lives can attend chapel and worship services or participate in the Muhlenberg College Gospel Choir, Interfaith Connections or Disciplemakers. According to the NCES, the school had close to 2,370 students in 2017. Students benefit from the school's 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, 160 study abroad opportunities and more than 100 student organizations on campus, per the school's website.

Augustana College

Augustana College in Illinois helps students grow spiritually through Wednesday Night Chapel, spring break service projects and student religious organizations, like FCA, Christians United for Israel and Harvest Bible Chapel Augustana Small Group. The undergraduate college had close to 2,650 students in 2017, per the NCES. The school provides each student with $2,000 that they can put toward a study abroad, research or internship experience. Students on campus may also participate in one of the school's 13 music ensembles. The college offers 90 different majors, including pre-pharmacy, art and graphic design, astronomy, Japanese and mathematics.

Concordia College at Moorhead

In 2017, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, had a little over 2,030 undergraduate students, according to the NCES. Students at the college benefit from hundreds of cooperative education and internship opportunities and over 100 student organizations. According to the school's website, students also have academic success, with an 88% medical school acceptance rate and six Fullbright Scholars in the past four years. The college offers 12 pre-professional programs and more than 50 different majors, including areas such as chemistry education, data analytics, nutrition and dietetics, exercise science, international affairs and religion. The school's Office of Ministry helps students nurture their spiritual lives through chapel services, social justice projects, Bible studies and theology discussion groups. Students can also participate in student-led groups, like Better Together (interfaith group).

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