Finlandia University is located in the rugged beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its small campus, intimate classroom experiences (11:1 student-faculty ratio), and unique program offerings, it is a hidden gem among private liberal arts institutions.
An incredible campus experience on the world’s largest lake
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Finlandia offers innovative degree options, an active campus ministry scene, NCAA Division III athletics, and outdoor activities like you won’t find anywhere else in the country. From sailing and surfing on Mother Superior to the best downhill skiing and snowboarding east of the Mississippi River to regular viewings of the magical dancing of the northern lights, Finlandia offers something for everyone.
Whether it’s mountain biking, curling, ice hockey, or hiking, Finlandia students are in one of the best places in the world to get outside and enjoy the four seasons.
Pastor as president
FinnU is one of 26 universities in the United States that are associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the only one that has a pastor as a president. Dr. Philip Johnson has been at the helm of the Michigan-based university for more than a decade and proudly leads the University forward in its more than 100 years as a leading religious institution in the region.
President Johnson is one of three Lutheran pastors on campus, which is also home to his wife, Dr. René Johnson, who serves as a professor in the Philosophy and Religious Studies programs, and Reverend Soren Schmidt, who leads the campus ministry program. The on-campus Chapel of St. Matthew holds weekly events that are open to students of all religions and denominations. Community partnerships with a wide variety of religious institutions ensure that all Finlandia students are able to make meaningful connections as they continue their mission of self-growth.
Servant Leadership House
All Finlandia students are required to live on campus for their first two years, and, for a lucky few, that experience leads them to the Servant Leadership House. The Servant Leadership House, founded in 2014, is a uniqueon-campus living and learning community for female students who are committed to personal growth and servant leadership as a means of building a vibrant and caring community.
Servant Leadership housemates learn organizational leadership techniques with weekly house meetings and by hosting a series of events around a common social justice theme. Themes in the past have included global water shortages and the decline of bees. During the 2017–2018 year, the crew focused on sexual violence awareness.
Servant leadership embodied
Beyond the Servant Leadership House, Finlandia students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful service in Tanzania each May. Led by Dr. René Johnson and rooted in the idea of vocation as a calling to all people—whether health care professionals, artists, or business executives—to be just, compassionate, and humble people who are committed to responsible actions that serve the common good, the Service and Learning in Tanzania program is life-changing. In several pre-trip seminars, students explore the culture, history, and language of Tanzania and examine their own cultural identity in preparation for this intense cross-cultural experience. In a post-trip seminar, participants gather to reflect on their experiences in East Africa.
NCAA Division III athletics
While the plethora of outdoor activities provide great experiences for students, the University’s commitment to NCAA Division III athletics continues to keep the University in the limelight regionally. Finlandia is home to 13 athletic teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s hockey, football, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball. Most teams compete at Finlandia’s recently renovated Paavo Nurmi Center or the recently built McAfee Field, which includes a world-class locker room for the football team. The football team finished the 2017 season 3-3 and will be heading into its fourth full season in 2018, where they will be competing in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
The University’s hockey, softball, and baseball teams play off campus at great facilities owned by the county. In recent years, the softball and baseball teams have been among the top in their conference (American Collegiate Athletic Association), while the hockey teams compete in the nationally renowned Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. Learn more about Finlandia Lions athletics by visiting fulions.com.
Finnish heritage a point of pride
In December of 2017, Finlandia University welcomed its community to campus for a celebration that will not soon be forgotten as it celebrated Finland’s 100th anniversary of Independence. The celebration was the finale of more than a dozen events that took place on campus and in the community to commemorate the moment. More impressive is that it was the 100th straight year of hosting such a celebration. It’s believed Finlandia University is the only place outside of Finland to have such a track record of celebrating this distinct culture’s independence.
The heritage goes much deeper than an annual celebration. The University is the only one remaining in North America that was actually founded by Finnish immigrants. They came to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for jobs during the mining rush in the late 1800s, bringing many Finnish traditions with them, including saunas, an incredible work ethic, and, of course, sisu. Finnish people developed the attitude of “sisu” (pronounced: seé-soo), or “persistence and determination,” during the early years of their country’s formation. It is with this steadfast attitude that Finlandia University, then Suomi College, was established. After years of hard labor in the Upper Peninsula mining and lumber camps, Finnish immigrants began to dream of a better life for their children and future Finnish-American generations. They found their answer in Finlandia University.
That tradition lives on today with the Finnish American Heritage Center, an active Finnish and Nordic Studies program, Finnish-language classes, Finnish-inspired academic programming, and unique exchange programs that send FinnU students to Finland and allow Finlandia students to study and live beside Finnish scholars visiting the United States.
List of Majors
• Art Therapy
• Arts Management
• Biology (Pre-med)
• Ceramic Design
• Certified Medical Assistant
• Criminal Justice
• English as a Second Language
• Fiber & Fashion Design
• Graphic Design
• Healthcare Management
• Integrated Design
• International Business
• Liberal Studies
• Management & Entrepreneurship
• Marketing & Graphic Design
• Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
• Physical Therapist Assistant
• RN-BSN Online
• Sports Management