The simple answer is, “No, we are not trying to make you into a Lutheran.” The more complex answer is that a Lutheran understanding of Christianity provides a foundation for much that goes on at St. Olaf. Lutherans affirm that faith is a gift, not something that can be imposed. Lutherans also affirm that religion is worth thinking about carefully and that one’s beliefs are likely to be deepened by doing so. Lutherans are serious about ultimate meaning and calling. Lutherans generally refuse easy dichotomies and favor dynamic dialog.
In his October 2012 chapel talk Professor John Barbour described some of the characteristics of St. Olaf that he has come to value, including the combination of seriousness about religion and the absence of a single orthodoxy. Start listening in at minute 6; the talk is about 18 minutes long.