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Presidential Center for Faith and Learning

The Mission of the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning is to lift up and live out Augustana's Five Faith Commitments:

Interfaith engagement

Interfaith Engagement

social justice

Social Justice

spiritual exploration

Spiritual Exploration

reasoned examination

Reasoned Examination

vocational discernment

Vocational Discernment

The Five Faith Commitments of Augustana College, along with its broader mission and purpose, and the “common calling” among our Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities drives the work of the Center.

What does it mean that Augustana is a Lutheran College? Answers from our faculty may surprise you!



















































Who we are

Jason Mahn

Jason Mahn, Director of the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning; Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities.





Sharon Varallo

Sharon Varallo, program associate; Executive Director of the Augustana Prison Education Project.






Keri Bass

Keri Bass, program associate; Assistant Director of Vocational Exploration.






Khalil Andani

Khalil Andani, program associate; advisor of the Interreligious Leadership Experiential Minor.







Jane Simonsen

Jane Simonsen, program associate; leader of the Reframing Institutional Saga Project.






María Emerson

María Emerson, program associate; coordinator of Augustana’s residential vocation initiative.





Jan. 30, 2020

Faith formation in my world religions classroom

By Dr. Jason Mahn

Each year a Hindu priest asks my students to “worship our own, but respect all.” They find the second part easier.

It’s the first day of the Encountering Religion course that I regularly teach at Augustana College.

Many of the students are here because the course fulfills the college’s diversity requirement. The course will map some of the religious diversity in the United States and in the Quad Cities. It also will give students some modest tools for dealing with religious conflict and bigotry.

A handful of students are flirting with majoring in religion, although they have yet to break the news to their parents. A few more will sign up for the college’s new program in interreligious leadership before the course concludes.

(Read more at The Christian Century)



Augustana receives $50,000 to support vocational reflection

In December 2018, Augustana received a $50,000 grant from NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education) to make vocational reflection more intentional in the academic curriculum and connect what’s learned in the classroom to co-curricular activities.

NetVUE Director David S. Cunningham said Augustana’s proposal stood out because the college will use the grant to enhance the understanding of vocation among faculty and staff, which will enable them to incorporate this perspective into their work with students.

“This suggests that the effects of Augustana’s project will continue long after grant funding ends,” Cunningham said. (Read more)


The community at Holden Village

Formerly a copper mining town, Holden Village lies in the wilderness in Washington state. Today it stands as an intentional community of faith that exists outside the boundaries of modernization.