ELCA Lutheran Colleges

Oct 30, 2018

There are more than 20 institutions affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as of 2018. Five of these colleges and universities will be explored in further detail.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is predicated on values like forgiveness and reconciliation, inclusion and diversity, and faithful stewardship. Learn how each school demonstrates these values throughout the college environment.

School Comparison

These colleges and universities are all associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ECLA). Undergraduate tuition costs are all over $26,000 per year.

School Name Institution Type Location Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
Pacific Lutheran University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Tacoma, WA $40,722
Grand View University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Des Moines, IA $26,516
Wartburg College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Waverly, IA $39,730
Gustavus Aldophus College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Saint Peter, MN $44,080
Bethany College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Lindsborg, KS $26,922

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Overview of ECLA Lutheran Schools

These ECLA Lutheran Schools all hold weekly worship sessions, with some offering Bible study and musical worship groups. Students can earn bachelor's degrees at all of the schools.

Pacific Lutheran University

Students can complete certificates through doctoral degrees at Pacific Lutheran University. Degree programs are available in humanities, natural sciences, business, social sciences, and nursing. The university welcomed 3,122 students in the fall 2017 semester, as per the NCES. Pacific Lutheran demonstrates the ECLA principles with a commitment to learning, analytical thinking, and instilling a sense of purpose and service in students. Service opportunities are available through the Center for Community Engagement and Service, with additional organizations like the Student Activities Board and Young Life. Chapel services are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, with an informal fellowship session called Grace Space held on Thursdays.

Grand View University

Grand View University's mission includes living a life of Christian faith and morals. Students can choose from 40 undergrad degrees, such as computer science and human services. Master's degrees are offered in athletic training, education, sport management, and organizational leadership. Campus life includes organizations like a Diversity Alliance, Viking Volunteers, and a swing club. Worship opportunities at Grand View range from chapel on Tuesdays to a student ministry team. According to the NCES, the university had 1,836 students for the 2017-2018 school year.

Wartburg College

Wartburg College counted 1,527 students at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, as per the NCES. The college awards bachelor's degrees in areas such as art education, journalism and communication, public health, and religion. While Wartburg is based off the ECLA principles, they strive to create a diverse community where students of all faiths can learn from each other. Chapel sessions are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a monthly Sunday morning worship service. Students can also attend Sanctuary on Wednesday nights, which involves live music and Bible study. Wartburg offers more than 18 music ensembles, as well as the Waldemar A. Schmidt Art Gallery that shows students' work.

Gustavus Aldophus College

Gustavus Aldophus College is based on five core principles: justice, community, excellence, faith, and service. Students can express their faith musically through the Choir of Christ Chapel, Christ Chapel Brass, and four handbell choirs. The college has several dozen student organizations, including a Habitat for Humanity chapter, Campus Activities Board, and a chemistry club. The NCES shows a 2017 student enrollment of 2,181 for Gustavus Aldophus. Degree programs include biology, communication studies, philosophy, and theatre and dance.

Bethany College

According to the NCES, Bethany College had 775 students for the 2017-2018 school year. Bethany offers degrees in fields like chemistry, accounting, and communications and media arts. The college's mission is to create an environment based on study, service, and work. Students can complete community service through Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Alpha Phi Omega. Other student clubs include the International Relations Club, Outdoors Club, and Writers Club. Bethany holds mass on Sunday evenings.

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