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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Still Lutheran?

ELCA colleges struggle to express their identity in a pluralistic society

Are Lutheran colleges and universities abandoning their roots in the Lutheran tradition? It's a concern that administrators of Lutheran schools grapple with constantly as they try to balance the unique missions of their institutions with the demands of society and the marketplace.

Among the 28 ELCA-related colleges and universities, some are more Lutheran than others, administrators acknowledge. That's a function of each school's history, its geographic location and the type of market in which it competes.

"Lutheran doctrine emphasizes grace, not works. That's a remarkably congenial emphasis for an institution of higher education that turns on dialogue and debate," says Jon Moline, president of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin — a German Lutheran pocket in a predominantly Baptist state.


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December issue

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