Mission Statement

St. Olaf, a four-year college of the ELCA, provides an education committed to the liberal arts, rooted in the Christian Gospel, and incorporating a global perspective. In the conviction that life is more than a livelihood, it focuses on what is ultimately worthwhile and fosters the development of the whole person in mind, body and spirit.

Now in its second century, St. Olaf College remains dedicated to the high standards set by its Norwegian immigrant founders. In the spirit of free inquiry and free expression, it offers a distinctive environment that integrates teaching, scholarship, creative activity, and opportunities for encounter with the Christian Gospel and God’s call to faith. The college intends that its graduates combine academic excellence and theological literacy with a commitment to lifelong learning.

St. Olaf College strives to be an inclusive community, respecting those of differing backgrounds and beliefs. Through its curriculum, campus life, and off-campus programs, it stimulates students’ critical thinking and heightens their moral sensitivity; it encourages them to be seekers of truth, leading lives of unselfish service to others; and it challenges them to be responsible and knowledgeable citizens of the world.

St. Olaf College, through International and Off-Campus Studies, creates and provides programs that serve the mission of the College at sites in the United States and abroad. These programs are characterized by the integration of academic and experiential education. The experiential component of these programs amplifies and extends the liberal learning that occurs on campus and enhances students’ global perspective by helping them encounter and understand changes confronting our world in a context of global community and world citizenship.