Facts at a Glance

The quick facts about Cal Lutheran.

From the purpose that brings our work together, to the multiple perks of living near the Pacific Ocean, this page covers the essential information about Cal Lutheran. 

Looking for a printable page of facts? Download 2022-23 Fact Sheet
Want the complete set of facts about Cal Lutheran? Go to Fact Book


Total Students


Student-Faculty Ratio


Employed or in Grad School


Countries Represented


Student Clubs & Organizations

Cal Lutheran

Who We Are

California Lutheran University is a selective, comprehensive institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and professional fields. Mentored by dedicated and accomplished faculty members, students pursue their passion and discover their purpose as they seek to grow as individuals.


The mission of the university is to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice.

Our Purpose

The specific and primary purpose is to establish and maintain an independent post-secondary institution of higher education that attracts a diverse community of teachers, learners, and staff and is shaped by Lutheran educational values, specifically those associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or its successors.


  • Total: 


  • Undergraduate: 


  • Graduate: 


Students come from 40 states and 59 countries and represent a diversity of faiths and cultures. Of traditional undergraduate students, 48% live on campus. Average class size for all programs is 14.


  • Cal Lutheran is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • The Graduate School of Education is authorized by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer credentials.
  • The Graduate School of Psychology's Doctor of Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
  • The School of Management is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Its program in Financial Planning has been registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.
    See more about accreditation


  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III
  • Hispanic-Serving Institution designation by the U.S. Department of Education


Academic Programs

Cal Lutheran offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs through the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Psychology, School for Professional and Continuing Studies and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

There are 42 majors and 44 minors offered in the traditional undergraduate program. The Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program offers degrees in six majors. Graduate programs include doctorates in educational leadership, higher education leadership, clinical psychology and theology; and master’s degrees in education, psychology, business, economics, information technology, public policy and administration, and divinity.
See more about our programs

Athletic Programs

Cal Lutheran’s intercollegiate athletic teams compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the NCAA Division III.

Men’s teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. Women’s teams compete in basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. Junior varsity teams compete in men’s and women’s basketball, men's and women’s soccer, baseball and women's volleyball.
Go to CLUsports.com


Administrative Leadership

  • President: Lori E. Varlotta, PhD
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: Leanne Neilson, PsyD
  • Vice President for University Advancement: Regina Biddings-Muro, EdD
  • Vice President for Mission and Identity: Melissa Maxwell-Doherty '77, MDiv '81
  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students: Melinda Roper, EdD
  • Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success: Matthew Ward, PhD
  • Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance: Rick Ysasi

Academic Leadership

  • Dean of the School of Management: Gerhard Apfelthaler, PhD
  • Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies: Lisa Buono, EdD
  • Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences: Timothy C. Hengst, MA
  • Dean of the Graduate School of Education: Michael Hillis, PhD
  • Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology: Rick Holigrocki, PhD
  • Dean of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: The Rev. Alicia Vargas, PhD
  • Chair of the Faculty Senate: Michael Hart, DMA



  • Part-time: 247
  • Full-time: 



    *88% of full-time faculty have earned their doctorate or terminal degree

Staff and Administrators

  • Part-time: 93
  • Full-time: 362


California Lutheran College was founded in 1959 on a ranch donated by Richard Pederson, the son of Norwegian immigrants. The college opened its doors to 330 students in September 1961 and held its first Commencement in May 1964.


  • 2016 — Designated Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Dept. of Education
  • 2014 — Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary welcomed
  • 2006 — First doctoral degrees granted
  • 1994 — KCLU Radio launched as a community service
  • 1986 — Renamed California Lutheran University
  • 1972 — First master’s degrees granted
  • 1964 — First class graduates
  • 1961 — First students arrive
  • 1959 — California Lutheran College founded


  • 2020-Present — Lori E. Varlotta, PhD
  • 2008-2020 — Chris Kimball, PhD
  • 2006-2007 — John R. Sladek, PhD
  • 1992-2006 — Luther S. Luedtke, PhD
  • 1981-1992 — Jerry Miller, DD
  • 1972-1980 — Mark Mathews, DBA
  • 1963-1971 — Raymond Olson, DD
  • 1959-1962 — Orville Dahl, EdD

Visiting Campus


The 225-acre campus is located midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, just 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean nestled against the hills in Thousand Oaks. Off-site centers are located in Westlake Village, Oxnard and Santa Maria. Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is located in Berkeley. See more about our locations


Parking is free throughout campus. Street parking is by permit only Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitor parking is available in the parking lots on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

California Lutheran University
60 W. Olsen Rd. 
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2700



  • Undergraduate Admission:
    (805) 493-3135, Fax: (805) 493-3645
  • Graduate Admission:
    (805) 493-3127 or (888) CLU-GRAD