Statement of Philosophy
Liberal Arts at Hesston College
Hesston College’s liberal arts curriculum is based on the belief that there are two equally important questions about an education: “What can I do with it?” and “What will it do to me?” Hesston College prepares graduates for successful careers, but more importantly, it prepares persons of character to think deeply, communicate clearly and serve meaningfully. Both the church and the world need well-rounded persons who, regardless of profession, make sound personal and public decisions.
Hesston College seeks to produce graduates who dedicate their intellects, passions and skills to being agents of peace in the world. In the original language of the Bible, the word for peace means universal flourishing, completeness, the way things are meant to be. Of course, the world is far from the way it is meant to be, but we believe Hesston College graduates can make a positive difference on our journey toward God’s peace.
Why a Liberal Arts Education?
Liberal arts education at Hesston aims to free people to understand themselves, to evaluate ideas, to think clearly and to serve as disciples of the servant Christ. Hesston College’s motto is “The truth shall make you free.” Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). As a person lives out the teachings of Jesus, the ability to understand truth grows along with a person’s character. A person who is liberally, as in generously, educated is free to live confidently in the world. A liberal arts education cultivates the human capacities of mind, character and soul. It educates students to be creative, literate and responsible citizens and leaders.
A liberal arts education leads learners to an integrated view of knowledge. Such an education draws from one discipline to inform another, connects learning to contemporary life and places knowledge from individual disciplines into a broad perspective. Students affirm their relationships to one another and to God’s Creation. In a fragmented world whose citizens long for a coherent view of life, Hesston College challenges its graduates to make a positive difference. Students study across disciplines to develop a holistic view of life and prepare to participate in fulfilling God’s purpose for humans in this world. Our board, faculty and staff share a Christian faith as expressed in the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, 1995 (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1995). We believe that a Christian is a follower of Jesus and a participant in Christ’s church and mission.