A Message from California Lutheran University

A Message from California Lutheran University

A Message from California Lutheran University

It has been our honor and delight to welcome many of you to your Lutheran university in Region 2. Many congregational youth groups have visited the Thousand Oaks campus to get to know the university first hand. 700 youth and adult leaders from across the West came to the Western States Youth Gathering and the Western Youth Leadership Event held prior. Adult youth leaders gathered for learning at the Youth Ministry Training event. Pastors participated in continuing education with faculty from the School of Management to equip them with new tools for parish and community ministry. Local interreligious communities have come to campus to network with others across lines of religious difference. Interim and First Call Pastors have received both training and support for their unique calls. If you haven’t visited one of our campuses in Berkeley, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, or Woodland Hills, we hope you will do so. Or connect with us at #CLUconnect, #PLTSofCLU or explore the website to learn more: www.callutheran.edu and www.plts.edu.

We do this in addition to our primary ministry of education within the Lutheran intellectual tradition educating global leaders who are for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice.  Undergraduate enrollment is at a high with about 2,930 students. More than half of this year’s freshmen are in ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented on college campuses. Almost one out of five are first-generation college students. The graduate student enrollment is about 1,300 students.

We are appreciative of accolades from others:

  • 7th seventh on Top 25 Best Hispanic Serving Institutions (College Raptor)
  • 8th among regional universities in the West (Best Colleges for Veterans)
  • Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Top Colleges Cal Lutheran ranks 289th among 650 private and public undergraduate institutions. Within the Top Colleges list, the university ranks 55th in the West and 202nd nationwide among private colleges. Cal Lutheran ranks 224th on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Value Colleges: 300 Schools Worth the Investment.

The new two-story, 20,000-square-foot William Rolland Art Center has opened for classes.

The art center has drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture and watercolor/design studios along with lecture classrooms, a screening room, and computer, multimedia and editing labs.



The university has raised $20.8 million toward the $30 million it needs to build a new state-of-the-art science building and is now launching the public phase of the campaign to bring in the final dollars. The number of science majors at Cal Lutheran has more than doubled since 2005. About 30 percent of the student body is now majoring in science, technology or math. We have increased research opportunities for students in recent years, putting a squeeze on lab space. The National Science Foundation recently awarded two chemistry professors a $195,000 grant to conduct research with undergraduate students, and last year the university received a $4.63 million Hispanic-Serving Institution grant to support students studying STEM. Each summer, Cal Lutheran awards fellowships to dozens of undergraduates to conduct research full time with guidance from faculty members.

The new three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility, will feature 12 labs for teaching and eight designated for faculty and student research. Included among them will be labs used for biomechanics, organic synthesis, physiology and neuroscience, marine biology, cell and developmental genetics, exercise physiology ergometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

The University has sold the 10-acre property on Marin Avenue where its Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary had operated to Zaytuna College, which allows them to expand as it develops its first master’s degree program and works toward joining the Graduate Theological Union. Zaytuna is the only Muslim liberal arts college in the United States and aims to educate students to become morally, intellectually and spiritually accomplished persons who, having been rigorously trained in the Islamic and Western scholarly traditions, are ready to interact with and shape modern society by the light of principles that transcend it.

As the university looks toward its seventh decade, it remains committed to its identity, mission, and core values. Over the next five years, a new strategic plan will focus on making certain aspects of our identity, mission, and core values more tangible. First, the university will continue evolving into a more inclusive campus. Second, the university will promote innovation and support the creativity of the campus community. Third, the university will invest, with the help of donors and partners, in its physical plant and its endowment in order to provide the resources essential to meeting the needs of our students, now and in the future.

We hold your synod in our prayers and value you keeping us in yours. Thank you for investing in the university as a partner in this ministry we share together.

Rev. Melissa Maxwell-Doherty
Vice President for Mission & Identity


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