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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Mission and Goals

The mission of the College of Liberal Arts is to maintain a setting which encourages and sustains students and faculty in the practices of liberal education. We understand liberal education as preparation for students to lead rich and rewarding lives, rejoicing in the diversity of the world, and contributing to its welfare. The College of Liberal Arts endeavors to search for truth and for those principles by which we can understand ourselves, one another, and the natural world upon which we depend.

In carrying out its mission, the College of Liberal Arts strives to create a collegial environment in which students and faculty continue to grow intellectually and morally, and in which they work together at the college's paramount task: passing on the tradition of liberal learning. Both the curriculum of the college and its extracurricular activities are designed to achieve three central goals.

First, the College of Liberal Arts seeks to strengthen students' intellectual powers. These include the ability to think, to speak, and to write with precision, depth, and cogency, as well as the capacity to perceive and expose fallacious reasoning. Moreover, since intellectual powers need sustenance over time, Willamette works to foster lifelong habits of independent learning.

Second, the college tries to provide opportunities for students to enrich their aesthetic and moral sensibilities by grappling with ethical problems, developing their own value judgments, and enhancing their appreciation of art, literature, music, and nature.

Third, the College of Liberal Arts attempts to develop with students a scholarly knowledge of human nature, mathematics, modern society, the natural world, other cultures, and other times.

Willamette University Mission Statement

Willamette University provides rigorous education in the liberal arts and selected professional fields. Teaching and learning, strengthened by scholarship and service, flourish in a vibrant campus community. A Willamette education prepares graduates to transform knowledge into action and lead lives of achievement, contribution and meaning.


Influenced by its historic roots in The United Methodist Church, Willamette University is an independent, nonsectarian institution that embraces:

  • the dignity and worth of all individuals;
  • a commitment to diversity, service, leadership, and sustainability in communities and professions;
  • the ethical and spiritual dimension of education; and
  • education as a lifelong process of discovery, delight, and growth, the hallmark of a humane life.