Experience history with the faculty in the Wartburg College Department of History, where we value curiosity and engagement in historical inquiry as preparation for lifelong learning. The study of history will prepare you for employment in a variety of professions that utilize skills developed through historical inquiry and cross-disciplinary knowledge. An examination of the past requires the use and development of skills for perceptive reading, critical thinking, summarizing, and intelligent articulation — foundational skills for all professions.

Our majors in history, American history secondary education, and world history secondary education will take you on a journey through time as you explore American, European and non-Western history and culture. Each major offers opportunities to become involved in:

  • Study-abroad programs
  • Internships at historical sites throughout the United States
  • Primary research under the guidance of a faculty member

Program Goals

  • To develop skills for perceptive reading, critical thinking, summarizing, and intelligent articulation.
  • To develop the ability to use and conduct research in primary materials
  • To develop an awareness and appreciation for other cultures
  • To expose students to a wide variety of historical approaches
  • To develop an awareness of the ethical questions faced by practicing historians
  • To help students deal with the present and future by studying the past patterns and trends of human activity.


Luther Hall houses the Department of History.

A tight-knit mentoring community. WORTH IT.


History Scholarships

Ottersberg Scholar in History – This scholarship is awarded to a first year student with a major in history. The purpose is to provide a scholarship for “Scholars in Partnership” in history named after Dr. Gerhard Ottersberg. Receipt is based on merit.

Dr. G. Rudolph & Beryl Bjorgan Memorial Scholarship – Full-time students at Wartburg College who demonstrates appropriate financial need as determined by the Wartburg Financial Aid Office are eligible for this scholarship. However, special preference is given to a junior or senior majoring in history or political science, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, with proven ability to excel in their chosen field.

Gerhard Ottersberg History Scholarship – Established in honor of Dr. Gerhard Ottersberg, professor emeritus, Wartburg College — with funds contributed by family, friends and former students — this award is granted to a junior or senior student majoring in history who has consistently demonstrated a high level of scholastic achievement.

Norheim History Scholarship – The Norheim is awarded to a student majoring in history with good academic standards.

Other Scholarships – Visit Wartburg College’s listing of nationally competitive scholarships or learn about additional scholarships, grants, and fellowships through the Wartburg Financial Aid Web site.

Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and more than 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the positions Wartburg graduates from the Department of History have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Ph.D. Student/Instructor of Social Studies, Boston University and Clark University, Boston, Mass.
  • English Teacher, Gong Hang Middle School, Seoul, South Korea
  • Field Representative, Verizon Wireless, Cedar Rapids
  • Intern, Embassy of the United States in Berlin, Germany
  • Loss Prevention Lead, Sears Holding Corp., Denver, Colo.
  • Graduate Student – Law
  • Peace Corps, Tanzania

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Production Coordinator, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas, Texas
  • PSA/ Library Associate, Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Staff Attorney, Iowa Legal Aid, Waterloo
  • Youth Librarian, Adel Public Library, Adel
  • Teacher, Dubuque Senior High School, Dubuque
  • Senior Secretary-Testing and Resource Center, University Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Chairman and CEO, First Community Trust National Association, Dubuque
  • Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager, HSBC Bank USA, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Senior Community Affairs Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Librarian, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
  • Professor, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Professor, Nassau Community College, Garden City, N.Y.
Andrew Bell

Andrew Bell ’08
Architect, AHTS Architects

“My liberal arts education has offered me a broad perspective that has paid dividends in working with people from a variety of backgrounds and being sensitive to their needs and goals. While an undergraduate degree in architecture may have allowed me to graduate two years earlier, I would not trade that for the foundations that a more diverse curriculum helped create.” [READ MORE]


Wartburg College has partnered with Western Illinois University to offer an integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program for students seeking a bachelor’s degree in history at Wartburg and a master’s degree in museum studies from WIU. The agreement allows students to earn their Wartburg degree in four years before going on to earn a master’s degree from WIU in one year. The master’s program, which typically requires two years to complete, is available at WIU’s Quad Cities campus. Additional information about the WIU graduate program is available at www.wiu.edu/cofac/qc/museumstudies/.


Lucy Barnhouse

Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Terrence Lindell

Professor of History

Daniel Walther

Gerald R. Kleinfeld Endowed Chair in German History