The Lutheran Character of Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is an independent Lutheran comprehensive university committed to excellence in liberal arts and professional education. Its distinctive heritage, hospitable to the interaction of religious faith and secular learning, provides a solid foundation for an educational community dedicated to serving humanity through the vigorous pursuit of truth and the transmission of knowledge. As a university, we seek to ask humankind's deepest questions with clarity and sharpness and to test answers to those questions by means of research and reason, hypothesis and experiment, imagination and art.

Independent of ecclesiastical control, Valparaiso University maintains close and friendly ties with all the Lutheran churches. Through its various programs and graduates, it supports the efforts of all people to relate to the surrounding culture with a sense of relevance and hope in the face of the culture's ambiguities. On campus, it energizes those activities with the ennobling vision of God’s gracious, transforming purpose for the whole creation. Those efforts are nourished by Lutheranism’s sense of sacrament: that finite creation and creatures of God can be bearers of God's infinite grace. And those efforts are carried out with a gospel-given sense of freedom to pursue truth and understanding wherever the search may lead. To be a university faithful to the founders' vision, Valparaiso University strives to be a place where fundamental issues are explored from all angles with intellectual rigor, integrity, openness, and respect - a place where faith and learning are held together in lively interaction.

The University's commitments to excellent teaching and learning, to scholarship and service, are informed by the recognition that scholarship, freedom, and faith are ultimately grounded in the gospel's promise of God's unconditioned grace. Likewise, its commitments to justice and to inter-Lutheran, intra-Christian, and inter-faith dialogue in which all members of the University community have an honored part, are shaped by the conviction that all people are equally God’s creatures and equally the objects of God's gracious love. Accordingly, the University attracts individuals from all Christian churches and from other religious traditions who are committed to academic excellence and are interested in sympathetic and critical engagement with the Christian intellectual tradition.

The Chapel of the Resurrection at the center of campus symbolizes the University’s commitment to sustain a gospel ministry of word and sacrament for the nurturing of faith. Similarly, in an effort to connect faith and life, the University requires all students to engage in intensive study of theology as a part of its general education curriculum, so that they have opportunity to reflect on issues of faith and value, and to develop a mature and vital understanding of the intersection of Christian thought, faith, and practice. By combining the spirit and methods of the modern university, and the perspective and freedom and courage emanating from the Christian tradition, this Lutheran University seeks to produce graduates who are able to bring Christian intellectual and moral life into mutual engagement with the best of contemporary culture and learning, and who thus are able to make their distinctive contribution to humanity.