At Roanoke College a liberal arts education prepares students for lives of freedom with purpose. The college aims to produce resourceful, informed, and responsible citizens prepared for productive careers and for leadership in community, with an understanding of community appropriate to American diversity and to the increasingly global experience of the 21st century.

Traditionally, the liberal arts are the skills of freedom. A liberal arts education at Roanoke College aims to produce resourceful citizens by developing these skills and habits of mind, including:

• the ability to read, listen, and observe carefully
• the ability to access information from disparate sources, to assess it appropriately, and to develop information into useful knowledge
• the ability to think critically, analytically, and creatively; to apply apt methods; to reason with rigor; and to use effective problem-solving skills
• the ability to use writing as a tool of thought and to communicate effectively in a variety of written and oral forms
• the ability to construct, understand, and evaluate arguments that use quantitative reasoning
• the ability to understand scientific discovery and to appraise it wisely
• the ability to make judicious use of new technologies
• the ability to work independently and collaboratively and to participate in experiential learning

Knowledge is essential to freedom. A liberal arts education at Roanoke College aims to produce citizens informed by:

• the cardinal achievements of human imagination as expressed in the arts and humanities, in the sciences, and in the social sciences
• depth of knowledge in at least one academic field of study, complemented by a breadth of experience across the traditional divisions of knowledge sufficient to enable integrative learning and thinking
• knowledge of the histories, values, and achievements of both western and non-western cultures in depth sufficient for the appreciation of disparate values and perspectives; this knowledge includes the cultural insight gained through language study
• knowledge of the values and histories that gave rise to liberal democracy in the United States and an understanding of contemporary issues from a variety of perspectives

Freedom, according to Martin Luther, includes both “freedom from” varieties of oppression and “freedom for” service in community. A liberal arts education at Roanoke College aims to produce responsible citizens by cultivating in its students:

• a commitment to academic integrity and intellectual freedom
• a lifelong commitment to learning and to using that learning in active engagement with others
• a sense of responsibility in which individual identity is honored within a diverse community characterized by mutual understanding and respect
• a commitment to engage in contemplation and reflection as a prelude to action, to make principled and ethical decisions, and to participate in deliberative public discourse
• a commitment to health in its largest sense: the physical and emotional well-being of self within a community that balances intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and personal growth
• a willingness to understand and respond to the needs and challenges of our time, both as individuals and as members of wide, inclusive communities
• a desire to contribute to the common good at Roanoke College, in the Roanoke Valley, and beyond.