Maryville College, related by voluntary covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), seeks to provide a quality liberal arts education that encourages the search for truth in all areas of life. One of sixty-five colleges related to the PC(USA), Maryville College is a part of the wider mission and witness of the Presbyterian Church in the world.
The Presbyterian tradition, with its historical emphasis on both an educated clergy and an educated laity, provides the theological framework for such an institution of higher education. Reformed theology places all reality in relationship to God and thus finds all subject matters worthy of study, while acknowledging, in an attitude of humility, that all human answers are at best provisional. The church “Reformed and always reforming” encourages the sort of ongoing openness to revisiting the questions and revising the answers that a true liberal arts education invites.
As a church-related liberal arts college, Maryville College strives to provide a quality education in a spiritually reflective and ethically responsible manner by creating an environment that:
- Challenges students to think carefully and critically about all matters in life, including religious, spiritual and ethical matters,
- Equips students to examine and reflect on questions of faith, meaning and value,
- Provides students with a wide-ranging literacy about the Christian tradition, including knowledge of the diversity of world cultures and religions, and
- Offers students opportunities for worship, service and fellowship in a community of integrity, respect and scholarship.
“Church-relatedness” does not presume that all members of the community must share the institution’s Presbyterian or even Christian convictions, but asks that they respect that church-related identity while thoughtfully giving voice to their own convictions. As the College’s Statement of Purpose says, “the College believes that it must listen attentively and humbly to all human voices so that it may hear the call of God no matter how God may speak.” A genuine church-related liberal arts college must ensure that both diversity and Christian identity are present on campus in a creative balance. The goal of a Maryville education is not simply the adoption of a particular stance or worldview, but rather the search for truth, wherever it may be found, and the ability to recognize and take seriously life’s basic questions of faith, meaning and value.
Maryville College takes its church-relatedness seriously, as it recognizes and affirms its role in the formative endeavor of spiritual, intellectual and moral development. By engaging students both inside and outside the classroom, and by providing them with a nurturing community and environment, Maryville College seeks to equip students with the tools that will help them build a mature and credible faith for an increasingly complex world.
Adopted January 2003