Mission Statement

The Gustavus mission statement explicitly identifies a number of institutional goals that we collectively pursue. These goals include:

  • Providing a liberal arts education of recognized excellence that is both rigorous and innovative;
  • An integration of moral development with intellectual growth;
  • Developing a mature understanding of the Christian faith tradition;
  • Encouraging respect for others and sensitivity to community;
  • Developing a commitment to service and the skills of leadership;
  • Developing an international perspective;
  • Nurturing a commitment to work toward a just and peaceful world;
  • Developing a capacity and passion for life-long learning;
  • Encouraging independence of thought and cooperative scholarship;
  • Developing mastery of a field of concentration in the context of an interdisciplinary and broad general education.

Implicit in this statement of institutional purpose and goals are certain institutional values that guide the Gustavus community. These values are rooted in our distinctive heritage and help to define our community. They also help us to focus on appropriate objectives for our college, guide the selection of priorities among those objectives, and help to shape the strategies we will pursue in the face of various challenges and opportunities.

  • Excellence — First among our shared values is a commitment to excellence in all that we do. In the words of Eric Norelius, founder of the College, "Whatever we do, let us do it well."

  • Community — Gustavus prizes a pervasive sense of concern for every member of the College community. Civility, mutual respect, cooperation, shared governance, and caring have long been hallmarks of the College.

  • Justice — The College strives to be a just community in all of its actions and to educate its students for morally responsible lives. Relations within the College community are guided by high moral principles.

  • Service — The College places high value on service as an objective of life and of education. We embrace the biblical notion that true leadership expresses itself in service to others.

  • Faith — The conviction that religious faith enriches and completes learning, that it is the bedrock of community, ethics, and service, and compels one to excellence in a divinely ordered world — informs our whole enterprise.