LeTourneau University: The Christian Polytechnic University

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LeTourneau University (LETU) is a private interdenominational Christian college in Longview, Texas. This liberal arts school is world-renowned for its technical programs.

As a polytechnic university, LETU specializes in vocational degrees such as aviation and aeronautics, computer science, engineering, and nursing. Non-technical degrees are available in the arts and sciences – including biomedical science and forensic chemistry – as well as business, education, psychology, and theology. See a list of all majors here.

As a Christian university, LeTourneau educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU established the Center for Faith and Work to help people find more joy and meaning in their work by understanding how their work matters to God. LETU’s vision statement bears this out:

“Claiming every workplace in every nation as our mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact.”

HISTORY

LeTourneau University is named for its founder, R.G. LeTourneau, a devout Christian businessman and one of the world’s foremost inventors of earthmoving equipment. The school was founded in 1946 as LeTourneau Technical Institute to serve male veterans returning from World War II with vocational training. The first classes were held on April 1, 1946, on the site of a recently abandoned WWII hospital. Speer Chapel is the only remaining WWII-era structure and is a popular wedding venue.

ACADEMICS

Today, LeTourneau provides coeducational undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the university’s main campus in Longview as well as online. View the course catalog here.

LeTourneau University offers small classes taught by professors and professionals. LETU faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, the former undersecretary to one of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and industry experts with experience leading top-tier organizations including NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The students at LeTourneau don’t just learn theory—they put their hands to use with practical applications. LETU graduates are prepared with real-world experience that equips them to succeed in their chosen fields.

LETU is consistently ranked in the top tier by U.S. News & World Report. It has won awards for Best Value and for Best Christian Universities. In March 2016, LeTourneau received attention for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems degree program.

HOMESCHOOL STUDENTS

LeTourneau University has a total undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,862 with 1,400 of those enrolled as traditional students. LETU students represent 50 states, 20 countries, and over 45 denominations. The average incoming SAT score is 1170 with an average 3.5 high school GPA. Admissions is fairly competitive as the acceptance rate is 45%, but LETU gladly welcomes homeschool applicants. Homeschoolers account for nearly one in five students on the Longview campus.

From the LETU website: “Homeschooling is an investment of time and resources that pays amazing dividends. At LeTourneau University, we understand homeschoolers because we aim to build upon what parents have already begun. Hands-on education, a low faculty-to-student ratio, and an environment that encourages spiritual growth and meaningful relationships makes LETU a great fit for homeschooled students.”

Homeschoolers definitely will appreciate the university’s small class sizes and hands-on learning, as well as the opportunity for spiritual growth and meaningful relationships with peers and faculty alike. For example, faculty and staff often invite students into their homes for fellowship, mentoring and home-cooked meals. This close-knit environment is ideal for those with a background in homeschooling.

According to the LETU website, “LeTourneau University is a place for those who learn by doing. We are makers, doers, creators. We are small enough to give every student hands-on professional experience and comprehensive enough to assemble outstanding faculty in dozens of academic programs.” Homeschoolers can certainly understand the value of learning through hands-on experiences.

The spiritual environment at LeTourneau is also ideal for Christian homeschoolers. The university has required chapel services, weekly devotionals, and a Christian conduct policy. No smoking or drinking is permitted. Christian principles are integrated into every major and every course. Even the sciences are taught with regard for the Bible, creation, and Christian stewardship, while seeking to pinpoint scientific contributions within the greater picture of God’s revelation in nature.

CAMPUS LIFE

LETU students have an extensive amount of student pride and residence hall unity known as “floor pride.” Many floors in the residence halls have their own student-created name, logo, mascot, colors, T-shirt, etc.; these floors form teams that compete in intramural events. Many students remain on the same floor until they graduate from the university, only leaving to move off campus or to on-campus apartments rather than to join another floor.

The Solheim Recreation and Activity Center is LeTourneau University’s hub for its 13 men’s and women’s NCAA Division III athletic teams as well as intramural sports. The Solheim Center is also available to LETU faculty, staff and students for working out (or just hanging out).

The Longview campus is located on 162 acres and is separated from the surrounding neighborhoods. There are a lot of historical items to see on the university grounds, which also offer a quiet oasis for walking and relaxing. Take a virtual tour of LETU.

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