Mission, Vision & Core Values

Augustana University Seal


Inspired by Lutheran scholarly tradition and the liberal arts, Augustana University provides an education of enduring worth that challenges the intellect, fosters integrity and integrates faith with learning and service in a diverse world.


Augustana University aspires to become one of America’s premier church-related universities.

Core Values

Central to the Augustana University experience are five core values. The community lives them and honors them, and they infuse the academic curriculum as well as student life. These five values are identified below, followed by a phrase that sums up the essence of the word as it informs the university's mission. These phrases are, in turn, followed by how the value is expressed in the daily life of the university and its people.

Christian "As a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America"

  • Centering on worship
  • Welcoming all faiths
  • Nurturing the search for a mature religious faith
  • Relating Christian faith and ethics to learning and service

Liberal Arts "By providing an education of enduring worth"

  • Affirming teaching and learning as central and lifelong
  • Fostering a broad understanding of humans and their interactions
  • Enriching lives by exposure to enduring forms of aesthetic and creative expressions
  • Developing broad knowledge and skills crucial in a changing world
  • Creating awareness of one's own religious and ethical beliefs and those of others
  • Cultivating health and wellness

Excellence "By committing to high standards and integrity"

  • Practicing faithfulness in teaching, learning, supporting, administering
  • Nurturing potential
  • Challenging the intellect
  • Acting ethically
  • Recognizing achievement

Community "By caring for one another and our environments"

  • Responding to needs
  • Respecting human differences
  • Empowering one another
  • Tending to the ecology of place

Service "By affirming that wholeness includes reaching out to others"

  • Accepting the call to servanthood
  • Promoting justice
  • Integrating career and service
  • Serving church and society

Rooted and Open

Augustana is part of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU), which share a common calling, "Rooted and Open," to equip graduates who are:

Called and empowered
To serve the neighbor
So that all may flourish.

The Augustana Seal

The Augustana seal was designed ca. 1950 by Ogden Dalrymple, professor emeritus of art from 1946-91. It is composed of a circle representing eternity, a triangle representing the Trinity and a book which is the Bible. The “cross” running through the book is the Chi Rho (the monogram and symbol formed from the first two letters “X” and “P” of the Greek word for Christ). The letters “VDMA” are symbolic of Augustana's motto, “Verbum Dei Manet In Aeternum” or “The word of God endures forever.” The letters on either side of the Bible are the Alpha and Omega of the Greek alphabet symbolizing the beginning and the end. The lamp is the Lamp of Knowledge. The three dates represent the founding dates of Augustana: 1860, in Chicago, Illinois; 1889, the founding of the Lutheran Normal School in Sioux Falls; 1918, the merger of the two schools to become Augustana College.