When I first heard about Pacific Lutheran University, I had no idea what the deal was. My host family and professors at school kept telling me how prestigious PLU was and how I would end up really liking the school if I chose to go there. My only concern, however, was that I had no interest in attending a religious school.
I was not a Lutheran, and I didn't think I would ever be one. Growing up in China, I had never been formally introduced to Christianity. I consider myself as an individual free from religious traditions, and I would like to keep it that way.
So I proposed the question to the international admission counselor, Hiro Kuroiwa-Lewis,
"Do I have to be regious to attend PLU?"
"No. Not at all," Hiro said.
Believe it or not, questions about religions and beliefs are often asked by many international students, who come from all over the globe along with various backgrounds. If you are eager to find out how religious PLU is, here is my answer:
No one is required to have religious affiliation to attend PLU.
If you believe in Jesus, great. There are many ways to nurture your belief. Chapel service is provided every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is a special break PLU offers for you to reflect and appreciate your spiritual side of life.
For students of other faiths or of no faith, whatever you have is valued at PLU as well. The diversity of PLU and the appreciation of diversity are what make PLU unique. Every point of view matters here. At least no one has scolded at me yet for what I don't believe in.
However, you are required to take one to two religion courses.
The reason for that is to enrich your cultural experiences, which are in close relationships with religion's influence in our daily life. This requirement is to prepare you to get a better understanding of the impacts different religions have in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is one of those things that you might not be interested in learning, but the learning outcome is often beneficial, and it gives you many Aha moment later on in life. If you are here to learn the culture, get ready to be open-minded and challenged, to engage in conversations, and to be comfortable of being uncomfortable.
Does this solve the concern that many of you have out there? Comment down below if you have more questions. I will be more than happy to answer them for you!
Happy Monday :)