Luke Scholars

Concordia's Honors Program

At Concordia, we intentionally intersect our tradition of excellent academic tradition with our particular values as a Christ-centered community. The Luke Scholars Program is distinct from other honors programs in that it seeks to instill in you a recognition of the particular talents and intellect with which you have been blessed. Your God-given talents should be cultivated and directed outward in order to help you serve and lead in the church and world. As a Luke Scholar, you will be challenged in ways you never thought possible, honoring God by using your gifts to serve a higher purpose.

What is a Luke Scholar?

Luke Scholars are disciplined, contemplative and motivated students who are willing to challenge themselves intellectually in order to enhance their lives and serve others through their vocational callings. In order to ensure course rigor and meaningful community, the program is also selective. 

Luke Scholars receive notable tangible benefits, including:

  1. Complimentary Luke Scholars course materials
  2. Access to the Luke Scholars Library
  3. Tuition waivers for course overloads
  4. Funds to support research
  5. Supplemental study travel stipends
  6. Recognition for being a Luke Scholar on your transcripts

All students who have been admitted to Concordia are invited to apply to be a part of Luke Scholars. An application, two letters of recommendation from teachers and, if selected, an interview are part of the application process.

Once you have been admitted to Concordia, submit your application via email to

Complete the application

Lauren  Dawson
Lauren Dawson
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Luke Scholars classes challenge you to think differently. They teach you how to think rather than what to think. It's a great program that is unlike anything I've been a part of before.


The Luke Scholars curriculum begins with a foundational course, “Becoming a Luke Scholar,” your first semester on campus. Between the second semester of your freshman year and the end of your junior year, you will complete three additional interdisciplinary seminars unique to the Luke Scholars program which are taught by some of Concordia’s finest faculty members. These courses are designed to encourage you to discover and discuss the human experience in light of Christian truth.

You will conclude the Luke Scholars Program with a personalized six-hour capstone experience during your last two semesters on campus. The capstone will guide you as you reflect upon your individual strengths, talents and vocations, and discover your extraordinary purpose as you fulfill God’s call to serve and inspire others. 

In addition to meeting the program requirements, many of the courses you take will fill general education requirements or courses in your particular major, allowing you the flexibility to pursue an in-depth, rigorous academic experience without sacrificing credit hours or classes necessary to completing your program of study.

Upcoming Luke Scholars Courses

How to Be a Human Being

David Coe, M.Div., Ph.D.

God made human beings in His “MIRRIR” image. Made in the MIRRIR image of God, God made human beings to be Moral, Intelligent, Responsible, Recreational, Immortal, and Relational. Through the lenses of both Christian and Non-Christian philosophers, this course reflects all six sides of the MIRRIR Image of God so that Luke Scholars will leave the course not only well-trained in the human discipline of philosophy but also more confident in how to be a human being.

Beauty in Music and the Fine Arts

Elizabeth Grimpo, D.M.A.

Is there an absolute standard of beauty? Or, is beauty merely relative, depending solely upon the opinion of he/she who perceives it? In this course, students will examine secular and Biblical definitions of beauty.  Building upon these foundations students will then study classical works of music and art in light of these disparate definitions. 

Jerusalem: The Holy City through Space and Time

Mark Meehl, Ph.D.

Jerusalem is an essential locus for Christians, history, and modern politics.  Taking an interdisciplinary approach involving professors from a variety of disciplines, students will explore the geographical, political, religious, and artistic facets that make Jerusalem one of the world’s most notable places and a fascinating topic of inquiry. 

Shakespeare as a Template for Pondering our Fallen Human Condition

Daniel Thurber, Ph.D.

Students will use the works of William Shakespeare as a prism for viewing the implications of our sinful human condition in literary depictions of individuals at their most debased moments and their most noble aspirations.  Tracing the resilience of these themes across time, students will be given an opportunity to see how significant literature can reinforce the urgency of the message of the Gospel in addressing the causes and implications of shattered lives.

The Inklings and Intellectual Friendship

Gabriel Haley, Ph.D.

Known as the soil in which C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings grew, the Inklings was far more than a group of mere storytellers. These Oxford academics confronted cultural transformations with their distinctively Christian humanism. Their work encompasses aesthetics, politics, educational theory, theology, philosophy, and much more. This course will consider the intellectual friendship of the Inklings and their extended circles, highlighting not just the thought but also the importance of community itself. 

Luke Scholars & Our Promises Connections

The Luke Scholars Program reflects the four Promises of a Lutheran Education in myriad ways. These include, but are not limited to the benefits listed below.

  • Membership in a community of like-minded scholars
  • Events aimed a created life-long connections
  • A Scholars Library to facilitate collaborate research
  • Interaction with campus leaders
  • Significant connection to faculty
  • Unique Interdisciplinary courses designed to widen academic perspectives
  • Courses, discussions, and activities that explore the Theological and Philosophical foundations of the academic world
  • Speakers who challenge students with new perspectives and ideas
  • A life-changing capstone experience that results in meaningful academic achievements
  • Research funds to promote serious undergraduate research
  • A guided exploration of vocational callings through close mentoring and guidance
  • Work with faculty who model Christian thought
  • Exposure to new ideas which enhance one’s ability to live out their vocational call
  • A deep understanding of what it means to be a “successful person”
  • An intentionally contemplative academic program that compels a student to examine where they are going and where they have been intellectually and spiritually
  • A portfolio which provides a tangible record of past accomplishments and challenges
  • A program that encourages individual contemplation and group reflection
  • An opportunity to gain insight to life’s great questions through a Lutheran Christian worldview

Frequently Asked Questions