Wheaton College serves Jesus Christ and advances His Kingdom through excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs that educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide.
As a Christ-centered institution of higher education, Wheaton College prepares students for lives of Christian faithfulness and effective service. To this end, we create learning environments that challenge and support students by joining academic rigor with Christian faith. We provide an education grounded in Scripture, nurtured through prayer, embodied in service and evangelism, and anchored in patterns of corporate worship. Within and beyond the classroom, we cultivate knowledge and reason, Christian character, love, and practical wisdom while modeling beloved community for the common purpose of building the Church and serving society worldwide, thus preparing Wheaton College graduates to fulfill their various callings and participate as co-laborers with Jesus Christ as He reconciles all things to himself.
Cultivating Knowledge and Reason
All things were created through Him and for Him...and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
Liberal arts education expands intellectual horizons through engagement with the issues, ideas, and methods central to a broad array of disciplines. It trains students to think, read, and write skillfully and prepares them to understand the complex challenges facing our communities and world. Christ-centered liberal arts education seeks knowledge and wisdom wherever it is to be found, encouraging us to be curious about and responsive to insights, perspectives, and traditions beyond common knowledge, for all truth is God’s truth. By the light of Scripture and God’s Holy Spirit, members of Wheaton College seek all knowledge, which is held together through Christ, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found. Whether through analyzing texts, engaging works of art, participating in discussions, learning research methods, conducting laboratory experiments, or developing communication skills, the goal is to move students toward a better understanding of God and His world, taking every thought captive for Jesus Christ. Our graduates are thus prepared not only for lifelong learning, but to understand learning as a vehicle of God’s grace to them and to the world.
Cultivating Christian Character
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. - Galatians 5:22-23
Liberal arts education tethers knowledge and reason to the cultivation of intellectual humility and generosity, or the refinement of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice, virtues once regarded as central to becoming more fully human. Christian liberal arts education seeks these virtues but puts them in the service of God’s Kingdom and values above them the fruit of the Spirit, the Christian virtues of “faith, hope, and love,” and the character that God develops in us all through suffering and even persecution – all marks of Christlikeness. By coupling intellectual pursuits with Scripture engagement, prayer and other spiritual formation practices in Christian community, we shape students who imitate Christ. As His followers, our graduates become more like Him – more fully human – by tethering our knowledge and reason to God’s good purposes for His world.
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. - 1 Corinthians 8:1
Liberal arts education should enrich students’ understanding of themselves in the context of Christ’s Kingdom. As a Christian liberal arts institution, we are committed to a biblical understanding of God and His Kingdom that demands loving God with one’s whole being and extending His lovingkindness to neighbors, strangers, and even enemies. We must, therefore, cultivate habits of mind and heart that will sustain and strengthen students for a lifetime of sacrificial service to the church and society. To this end, we teach students that all people are created in the image of God with dignity and worth. We teach them to share the gospel and to seek righteousness and justice as an expression of God’s love for the world. Wheaton College graduates will thus be prepared to embrace God’s saving action in Jesus Christ, bear witness to the gospel, and invite others to receive this gift of God’s grace through faith. They will embrace the sacred responsibilities of loving others by seeking mercy, righteousness, and justice in a world marred by the effects of the fall and its curse.
Cultivating Practical Wisdom
Wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you. - Proverbs 2:10-11
From its origins in ancient Greece, liberal arts education has woven together the philosophical and the rhetorical, the theoretical and the practical in a quest for practical wisdom, excellence in judgment, or applied knowledge. Christian liberal arts education also acknowledges the importance of such prudence, which is necessary for responsible living before God, but teaches us to begin our quest for wisdom in the fear of the Lord. A Wheaton College education thus puts knowledge and reason, character, and love in the light of reverence for God, gratitude for His providence, and wonder at His perfect will. Thus educated in biblically anchored wisdom, graduates not only see the ends that they should pursue across a multitude of vocations, but also see more clearly the godly means by which they rightly pursue them.
Cultivating Beloved Community
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. - Philippians 2:3
Residential liberal arts education has long prized intellectual work in the context of common life and shared norms. As a Christian residential liberal arts college, Wheaton recognizes that our community of believers is a work of the Holy Spirit, who is making all things new by transforming us into a beloved community of believers marked by mutual regard, acknowledgement of each other’s various gifts, and shared burdens. We cultivate this diverse community through dependence upon, responsibility to, and care for each other. We promote belonging by practicing hospitality, keeping promises, telling the truth, and showing gratitude. We recognize that God’s desire for beloved community extends beyond our campus to a lifelong commitment to the local church for communal spiritual formation and as the spiritual home from which we live out our faith as co-laborers with Christ in the reconciliation of all creation to himself.