Aims and Objectives

[Faculty Handbook Category #1]

The aims and objectives of St. Olaf College are stated in its Mission Statement that was approved by the faculty and the Board of Regents in 1987:

St. Olaf, a four-year college of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 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 life-long 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.

Because of its commitment to the distinctive aims of the liberal arts:  the integrated development of intellect, imagination, and will, St. Olaf College makes special demands on its faculty.  As teachers, they must be willing and able to work closely with students who have a wide range of interests and capabilities.  As scholars, they are expected to reflect and maintain high intellectual standards and support their professional commitment with reputable scholarly activity.  As colleagues, they will seek to foster a magnanimous community of life and learning.