Guided by Our Lutheran Tradition

St. Olaf’s vibrant Lutheran faith tradition encourages free inquiry and meaningful conversations about religion and belief. It’s a distinguishing characteristic of a St. Olaf education — one that sets it apart from most of the other excellent colleges in America today.

About a third of Oles identify themselves as Lutheran. The rest come from a wide range of Christian denominations, other faith traditions, or no faith tradition. Each student contributes a unique perspective. The result is a community enriched by a wealth of experiences and beliefs.

By studying questions of faith, you’ll better understand the role and impact of religion in the world. In your coursework, you’ll gain a basic understanding of Christian theology — ideas fundamental to Western culture and the foundation of important movements throughout history.

We also draw on our Lutheran heritage to help you shape your understanding of vocation. In the Lutheran sense, vocation means more than just having a job; it’s a calling to your life’s work, wherever it leads. We’ll help you to discern your strengths and passions, so you can share them with the world.