Top Lutheran Colleges

Oct 01, 2018

There are many top-ranking Lutheran colleges and universities throughout the country that provide students with quality education and spiritual growth opportunities. These schools may be considered some of the best for their diverse degree programs, study abroad opportunities, national university rankings or other stand-out features. Learn more about a few of the top Lutheran colleges here.

School Comparison

The top Lutheran colleges tend to be private institutions with a range of tuition rates. Compare and contrast a handful of these schools and their undergraduate tuition rates below.

School Name Institution Type Location Tuition (2017-2018)*
St. Olaf College 4-year, private not-for-profit Northfield, MN $46,000
Muhlenberg College 4-year, private not-for-profit Allentown, PA $50,830
Pacific Lutheran University 4-year, private not-for-profit Tacoma, WA $40,722
Valparaiso University 4-year, private not-for-profit Valparaiso, IN $38,760
California Lutheran University 4-year, private not-for-profit Thousand Oaks, CA $41,363

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Description of the Top Lutheran Colleges

Students at the top Lutheran colleges can pursue a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and invest in their spiritual lives through different religious opportunities. Explore a few of the top Lutheran schools in detail.

St. Olaf College

According to the NCES, St. Olaf College in Minnesota is an undergraduate institution that had close to 3,040 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 in 2017. The school's website boasts a first-place ranking for the number of students who study abroad among baccalaureate colleges as well as 100% carbon-free electrical power. Students can pursue study in areas such as biomolecular science, ancient studies, race and ethnic studies, dance, neuroscience, social work and statistics. For their spiritual lives, students can participate in chapel and worship services, pastoral care, devotions, community meals, service opportunities and spiritual groups, like Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), St. Olaf Christian Outreach and Thursday Night Bible Study.

Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania is an undergraduate institution where about one third of students graduate with double majors, and the average financial aid award is over $28,000, according to the school's website. Students can choose from 40 different majors, including chemistry, anthropology, accounting, art history, film studies, philosophy and public health. Spiritual life on campus consists of chapel and worship services, interfaith dialogue, Rejoice (gospel choir) and Disciplemakers (Christian fellowship). In 2017, the NCES reported that the school had close to 2,370 students, and the school's website states that the student-to-faculty ratio is 11 to 1 as of 2018.

Pacific Lutheran University

Students at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington can pursue a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields such as nursing, finance, geosciences, Chinese studies, kinesiology, political science and economics. The university supports students' spiritual lives through chapel services, pastoral care and spiritual groups on campus, like FCA, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and YoungLife College. According to the NCES, the university had close to 2,770 undergraduate students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1 in 2017. The school's website states that the university prides itself on its diverse student population, and it was the first school in the country to have study abroad programs in every continent. The school also regularly ranks in U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Universities in the West.

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University in Indiana helps students deepen their faith through chapel services, devotions, prayer events and campus ministries, including peer ministers and Social Action Leadership Team (SALT). The university had a little over 3,220 undergraduate students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1 in 2017, per the NCES. The school offers more than 50 different study abroad programs and has had more than 40 Fulbright finalists in the past 15 years (as of 2018). Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas like cyber security, clinical mental health counseling, digital media, actuarial science, American Indian studies, bioengineering and Greek.

California Lutheran University

According to the NCES, California Lutheran University had a little over 2,960 undergraduate students in 2017, and the school's website states that the university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1 in 2018. The school's website also reports that the student body represents 49 different countries and that 97% of graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school. Students can pursue a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas like biochemistry and molecular biology, hospitality and tourism management, clinical psychology, financial planning, music production, multimedia and history pedagogy. Students can further develop their spiritual lives through worship services, the Lord of Life faith community on campus, Alternative Break trips and other spiritual groups, such as FCA and College Life (outreach program).

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