- College Mission
- Educational Purpose
- Educational Objectives
- Statement of Faith
- Community Covenant
- Status and Accreditation
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.
The institutional mission statement expresses the stable and enduring identity of Wheaton College. All the purposes, goals, and activities of the College are guided by this mission.
Committed to the principle that truth is revealed by God through Christ "in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Wheaton College seeks to relate Christian liberal arts education to the needs of contemporary society. The curricular approach is designed to combine faith and learning in order to produce a biblical perspective needed to relate Christian experience to the demands of those needs.
The founders of the College and their successors have consistently maintained that academic excellence and evangelical Christian faith and practice are essential to that purpose.
The undergraduate program at Wheaton is intended:
- To enable students to apprehend truth in their study of Scripture, of nature, and of humanity; to appreciate beauty and order in God's creation and human creativity in the arts and sciences, and to apply those insights to the pursuit of righteousness in the life of both the individual and society;
- To provide a liberal arts education that acquaints students with the organized fields of learning in the context of a Christian view of nature, of humanity, and of culture through the study of both biblical and general revelation;
- To assist students to respect, understand, and evaluate the thoughts of others, to express their thoughts clearly and effectively, and to cultivate the lifelong habit of learning;
- To make available opportunity for concentration and research in one field of learning and to lay foundations for career, graduate, and professional training;
- To help students understand the meaning of life and their service to society, family, and the church, and to prepare them for the responsible use of their freedom and ability by virtue of their commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
- To encourage students to develop priorities and practices that will contribute to their well-being and effectiveness physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.
These objectives are implemented through carefully planned programs and activities. Because the Scriptures are the integrating core for a Christian liberal arts education, all students take courses in biblical studies, so that they may understand more fully the bearing of Christian faith on life and thought.
But that objective of a fully Christian understanding of all of life and thought is not limited to course work in biblical studies. Christian perspectives are brought to bear in all subjects and disciplines. Indeed, the very purpose of a Wheaton College education is to prepare students and alumni to engage the world redemptively for Christ and His Kingdom. This redemptive engagement will take many forms. It involves proclaiming the gospel to a world that does not know or acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It also includes learning from, critiquing, and challenging the major traditions of human learning.
Wheaton College does not exist to shelter students from a world hostile to faith in Jesus Christ. On the contrary, the goal is to prepare students to think and behave redemptively as Christians within that world. Thus, the faculty of Wheaton College aspire to be faithful mentors and guides to students as they engage together the full breadth of human thought, including those topics and areas which challenge their faith. The goal in this process is always to help students think as Christians about what they are studying.
The College endeavors to maintain high academic standards by encouraging faculty excellence both in teaching and in other scholarly activity, and by encouraging students in independent study, analytic thinking, and the quest for excellence.
Although primarily a liberal arts college, Wheaton provides pre-professional study in education, engineering dual degree program, and liberal arts-nursing. The Conservatory of Music offers both a liberal arts degree and professional music degrees (see the Conservatory of Music section).
Both secular and religious leaders recognize the importance of a Christian liberal arts education as a preparation for careers in such fields as business and government. When integrated with a committed Christian faith, the broadly based knowledge and the training in analysis and in communication skills of such an undergraduate education prepare the individual for lifelong learning and service, as well as for a variety of careers.
The graduate programs of Wheaton College focus on areas of strategic importance to church and society where our historic strengths enable us to make distinctive contributions to the world of Christian higher education. These strengths include clear commitments to the supreme and final authority of the Scriptures, a tradition of excellence in academic pursuits rooted in the liberal arts, and a commitment to bringing Christian faith and learning together in the context of a dynamic community of faith.
These carefully planned graduate programs seek to bring Christian belief and perspectives to bear on the needs of contemporary society. Students have the opportunity to work closely with accomplished teacher-scholar-practitioners and, where possible, with accomplished scholar-practitioners outside of Wheaton. We provide academic and professional preparation that will enable the committed Christian student to articulate a biblical and global worldview and to apply it to service for Christ and His Kingdom.
The graduate programs are designed to enable our graduate students:
- To develop an appropriate graduate-level mastery of an academic discipline and of its methods of scholarly inquiry and professional application;
- To develop a biblical framework for understanding their discipline in order to integrate faith, learning, and practice effectively;
- To develop interdisciplinary breadth and inquiry through our required study of biblical and theological studies by all students, and through exposure to the broader liberal arts emphases of our academic community;
- To pursue their own holistic development in the context of this dynamic community of faith in order to better be prepared to serve Christ and His Kingdom throughout the world;
- To serve effectively in improving society and building the church—locally, nationally, and globally—in their chosen vocations by using critical thinking skills in the disciplines.
Since the integrating core of all of our graduate programs is our institutional commitment to grounding academic study in Christian truth (i.e., “integrating faith and learning”), foundational knowledge of the Scriptures is a prerequisite to successful study here. Many students bring rich experience from domestic and global Christian ministry to their graduate studies at Wheaton College, and many Wheaton College graduate alumni have in turn made distinctive contributions to church and society around the world.
Graduate studies at the master’s degree level are available in Biblical Exegesis, Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, Old Testament Archaeology, Theology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Teaching (Elementary and Secondary), Outdoor and Adventure Leadership, Intercultural Studies, Evangelism and Leadership, Ministry Leadership, Missional Church Movements, TESOL and Intercultural Studies, Higher Education and Student Development, and Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biblical and Theological Studies, a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology, and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) are also offered.
Graduate-level certificate programs are also available: Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Certificate in Global Engagement, Certificate in Organizational Leadership, and Certification in Cross-Cultural Ministry.
Statement of Faith
The doctrinal statement of Wheaton College, reaffirmed annually by its Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, provides a summary of biblical doctrine that is consonant with evangelical Christianity. The statement accordingly reaffirms salient features of the historic Christian creeds, thereby identifying the College not only with the Scriptures but also with the Reformers and the evangelical movement of recent years.
The statement also defines the biblical perspective which informs a Wheaton education. These doctrines of the church cast light on the study of nature and man, as well as on man's culture.
- WE BELIEVE in one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons: the everlasting Father, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life; and we believe that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing by His spoken word, and for His own glory.
- WE BELIEVE that God has revealed Himself and His truth in the created order, in the Scriptures, and supremely in Jesus Christ; and that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, so that they are fully trustworthy and of supreme and final authority in all they say.
- WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was true God and true man, existing in one person and without sin; and we believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there for us as Lord of all, High Priest, and Advocate.
- WE BELIEVE that God directly created Adam and Eve, the historical parents of the entire human race; and that they were created in His own image, distinct from all other living creatures, and in a state of original righteousness.
- WE BELIEVE that our first parents sinned by rebelling against God's revealed will and thereby incurred both physical and spiritual death, and that as a result all human beings are born with a sinful nature that leads them to sin in thought, word, and deed.
- WE BELIEVE in the existence of Satan, sin, and evil powers, and that all these have been defeated by God in the cross of Christ.
- WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, triumphing over all evil; and that all who believe in Him are justified by His shed blood and forgiven of all their sins.
- WE BELIEVE that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God and are enabled to offer spiritual worship acceptable to God.
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells and gives life to believers, enables them to understand the Scriptures, empowers them for godly living, and equips them for service and witness.
- WE BELIEVE that the one, holy, universal Church is the body of Christ and is composed of the communities of Christ's people. The task of Christ's people in this world is to be God's redeemed community, embodying His love by worshipping God with confession, prayer, and praise; by proclaiming the gospel of God's redemptive love through our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth by word and deed; by caring for all of God's creation and actively seeking the good of everyone, especially the poor and needy.
- WE BELIEVE in the blessed hope that Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth, personally, visibly, and unexpectedly, in power and great glory, to gather His elect, to raise the dead, to judge the nations, and to bring his Kingdom to fulfillment.
- WE BELIEVE in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting punishment of the lost, and the everlasting blessedness of the saved.
Wheaton College is an institution of higher learning, a rigorous academic community that takes seriously the life of the mind. But this description does not exhaust the College's understanding of itself. Wheaton College is also a largely residential community made up of Christians who, according to the College motto, are dedicated to the service of "Christ and His Kingdom."
These features in combination mean that Wheaton College is a complex Christian community of living, learning, and serving that cannot be reduced to a simple model. For example, while the College is not a church, it is yet a community of Christians who seek to live according to biblical standards laid down by Jesus Christ for his body, the church. Or again, while the College is not a religious order, it yet demonstrates some features that are similar to religious orders, communities wherein, for the sake of fulfilling the community's purposes, its members voluntarily enter into a social compact. At Wheaton we call this social compact our community covenant.
For Wheaton's community covenant to serve its stated purpose, it is crucial that each member of the College family understand it clearly and embrace it sincerely. In joining this covenant we are, before the Lord, joining in a compact with other members of the Wheaton College community. If we do not wish to live under the provisions of this compact, we should not agree to it. But if we do agree to it, it should be with the full intention of living with integrity under its provisions.
Our Community Covenant
The goal of campus life at Wheaton College is to live, work, serve, and worship together as an educational community centered around the Lord Jesus Christ. Our mission as an academic community is not merely the transmission of information; it is the development of whole and effective Christians who will impact the church and society worldwide "For Christ and His Kingdom." Along with the privileges and blessings of membership in such a community come responsibilities. The members of the Wheaton College campus community take these responsibilities seriously.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." — 2 Timothy 3:16
The biblical foundation of Christian community is expressed in Jesus' two great commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:37-40). Jesus himself perfectly demonstrated the pattern: love for God, acted out in love for others, in obedience to God's Word. Acknowledging our dependence on the power and grace of God, the members of the Wheaton College campus community humbly covenant to live according to this ideal.
The purposes of this community covenant are as follows:
- to cultivate a campus atmosphere that encourages spiritual, moral, and intellectual growth.
- to integrate our lives around Christian principles and devotion to Jesus Christ.
- to remove whatever may hinder us from our calling as a Christ-centered academic community.
- to encourage one another to see that living for Christ involves dependence on God's Spirit and obedience to his Word, rather than a passive acceptance of prevailing practices.
Affirming Biblical Standards
We desire to build this covenant on basic biblical standards for godly Christian character and behavior. We understand that our calling includes the following:
- The call to acknowledge the Lordship of Christ over all of life and thought. This involves a wholehearted obedience to Jesus and careful stewardship in all dimensions of life: our time, our possessions, our God-given capacities, our opportunities (Deut. 6:5-6; 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 1:18; 3:17);
- The call to love God with our whole being, including our minds, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christlike love should be the motive in all decisions, actions, and relationships (Matt. 22:37-40; Rom. 13:8-10; 1 John 4:7-12);
- The call to pursue holiness in every aspect of our thought and behavior (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:7; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16);
- The call to exercise our Christian freedom responsibly within the framework of God's Word, humbly submitting ourselves to one another (1 Pet. 5:5; Eph. 5:21) with loving regard for the needs of others (Phil. 2:3-11; Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Thess. 4:9);
- The call to treat our own bodies, and those of others, with the honor due the very temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17-20);
- The call to participate in the worship and activities of the local church, which forms the basic biblically mandated context for Christian living (Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:25; 1 Tim. 3:14-15).
Living the Christian Life
We believe these biblical standards will show themselves in a distinctly Christian way of life, an approach to living we expect of ourselves and of one another. This lifestyle involves practicing those attitudes and actions the Bible portrays as virtues and avoiding those the Bible portrays as sinful.
According to the Scriptures, followers of Jesus Christ will:
- show evidence of the Holy Spirit who lives within them, such as "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22);
- "put on" compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and supremely, love (Col. 3:12-14);
- seek righteousness, mercy and justice, particularly for the helpless and oppressed (Prov. 21:3; 31:8-9; Micah 6:8; Matt. 23:23; Gal. 6:10);
- love and side with what is good in God's eyes, and abhor what is evil in God's eyes (Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9, 16:19);
- uphold the God-given worth of human beings, from conception to death, as the unique image-bearers of God (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; 139:13-16);
- pursue unity and embrace ethnic diversity as part of God's design for humanity and practice racial reconciliation as one of his redemptive purposes in Christ (Isa. 56:6-7; John 17:20-23; Acts 17:26; Eph. 2:11-18; Col. 3:11; Rev. 7:9-10);
- uphold chastity among the unmarried (1 Cor. 6:18) and the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman (Heb. 13:4);
- be people of integrity whose word can be fully trusted (Psalm 15:4; Matt. 5:33-37);
- give faithful witness to the Gospel (Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15), practice good works toward all (Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:11), and live lives of prayer and thanksgiving (1 Thess. 5:17-18; James 5:16; Titus 2:8).
By contrast, Scripture condemns the following:
- pride, dishonesty (such as stealing and lying, of which plagiarism is one form), injustice, prejudice, immodesty in dress or behavior, slander, gossip, vulgar or obscene language, blasphemy, greed and materialism (which may manifest themselves in gambling), covetousness, the taking of innocent life, and illegal activities (Prov. 16:18; 1 Cor. 6:10; Exod. 20:7; Rom. 13:9; Col. 3:8-9; James 2:1-13; Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 13:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:8-10; Heb. 13:5-6);
- hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and legalism, understood as the imposition of extra-biblical standards of godliness by one person or group upon another (Acts 15:5-11; Matt. 16:6; 23:13-36);
- sinful attitudes and behaviors such as "impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like" (Gal. 5:19-21);
- sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography (Matt. 5:27-28), pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior, and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman (Rom. 1:21-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31).
Exercising Responsible Freedom
Beyond these explicit biblical issues, the Wheaton College community seeks to foster the practice of responsible Christian freedom (Gal. 5:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:16-17). This requires a wise stewardship of mind, body, time, abilities, and resources on the part of every member of the community. Responsible freedom also requires thoughtful, biblically guided choices in matters of behavior, entertainment, interpersonal relationships, and observance of the Lord's Day.
"You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." — I Corinthians 6:20
Of particular concern in a collegiate environment are those issues related to alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco. While the use of illegal drugs or the abuse of legal drugs is by definition illicit, and the use of tobacco in any form has been shown to be injurious to health, the situation regarding beverage alcohol is more complex. The Bible requires moderation in the use of alcohol, not abstinence. Yet the fact that alcohol is addictive to many, coupled with the biblical warnings against its dangers, also suggests the need for caution. The abuse of alcohol constitutes by far our society's greatest substance abuse problem, not to mention the fact that many Christians avoid it as a matter of conscience. Thus, the question of alcohol consumption represents a prime opportunity for Christians to exercise their freedom responsibly, carefully, and in Christlike love.
The Wheaton College community also encourages responsible freedom in matters of entertainment, including the places where members of the College community may seek it, such as television, movies, video, theater, concerts, dances, and the Internet. The College assumes its members will be guided in their entertainment choices by the godly wisdom of Philippians 4:8: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
Embracing College Standards
To foster the kind of campus atmosphere most conducive to becoming the Christian community of living, learning, and serving that Wheaton College aspires to be, the College has adopted the following institutional standards. These standards embody such foundational principles as self-control, avoidance of harmful practices, the responsible use of freedom, sensitivity to the heritage and practices of other Christians, and honoring the name of Jesus Christ in all we do.
- Wheaton College and all Wheaton College-related functions will be alcohol-free and tobacco-free. This means that the possession or consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in any form will be prohibited in, on, or around all campus properties, owned or leased. The same prohibition applies to all Wheaton College vehicles, whether on or off campus, and to all Wheaton College events or programs, wherever they may be held.
- While enrolled in Wheaton College, undergraduate members of the community will refrain from the consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in all settings.
- Other adult members of the College community will use careful and loving discretion in any use of alcohol. They will avoid the serving or consumption of alcohol in any situation in which undergraduate members of the Wheaton College family are or are likely to be present.
- On-campus dances will take place only with official College sponsorship. All members of the Wheaton College community will take care to avoid any entertainment or behavior, on or off campus, which may be immodest, sinfully erotic, or harmfully violent (Eph. 4:1-2, 17-24; I Tim. 5:2; Gal. 5:22-23).
We the Wheaton College community, desire to be a covenant community of Christians marked by integrity, responsible freedom, and dynamic, Christlike love, a place where the name of Jesus Christ is honored in all we do. This requires that each of us keeps his or her word by taking the commitment to this covenant seriously as covenant keepers, whatever pressures we may face to do otherwise.
The issue of keeping one's word is for a Christian an important one. Being faithful to one's word is a matter of simple integrity and godliness. "Lord, who may live on your holy hill?" asks the Psalmist. "He who keeps his oath, even when it hurts" (15:4), comes the reply. Christian integrity dictates that if we have voluntarily placed ourselves under Wheaton's community covenant, we must make every effort to fulfill our commitment by living accordingly.
Keeping our covenant may also on occasion require that we take steps to hold one another accountable, confronting one another in love as we work together to live in faithfulness both to God's Word and to our own word. Such loving acts of confrontation are at times difficult, but when performed in the right spirit (Gal. 6:1), they serve to build godly character for both the individuals involved and the community as a whole (Matt. 18:15-17). Only in this way, as we are willing to speak the truth in love, will we "grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph. 4:15).
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, . . . And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. — Colossians 3:16-17
(Scripture quotations taken from the New International Version)
Wheaton College - History
The forerunner of Wheaton College was Illinois Institute, a preparatory school established in 1852 on the present campus site by the Wesleyan Methodists. Assets were transferred to a new board of trustees who appointed educator and abolitionist Jonathan Blanchard to begin a new Christian liberal arts college, which opened on January 9, 1860. The school was renamed Wheaton College in recognition of a gift of land from Warren L. Wheaton, a pioneer of the city. Blanchard, a spokesman for Christian higher education and a crusader for social reform, brought twelve years of administrative experience as head of Knox College to his position as first president of Wheaton.
Charles Albert Blanchard succeeded his father in 1882, serving 43 years until his death in 1925. He insisted on a distinctively Christian emphasis in the face of rising rationalism and modernism. James Oliver Buswell, Jr., served from 1926 to 1940, a period which saw significant growth in enrollment and assets. V. Raymond Edman, president from 1940 to 1965, extended Wheaton's influence worldwide as an educator, author, and traveler. He served as chancellor until his death in 1967.
Hudson T. Armerding served as the fifth president from 1965 to 1982. His administration was characterized by growth and a commitment to both academic excellence and continued fidelity to the historic truths of the Christian faith. During his tenure there emerged the emphasis on the integration of the Christian faith with learning.
J. Richard Chase served as president from 1982 to 1993, overseeing a period of significant growth for the College in terms of endowment, renovation of historic buildings, and expansion of academic programs. During his tenure the College laid plans to guide Wheaton into the next century, and renewed its commitment to its essential biblical foundations.
Duane Litfin led the College as its seventh president from 1993 to 2010. His tenure saw the strengthening of Wheaton’s identity, its faculty, library, and technological resources, as well as the construction or renovation of many College buildings for use in the twenty-first century, and the expansion of scholarships for students. Wheaton’s excellent student body became more diverse, positioning Wheaton to maintain its leadership role in Christian higher education.
Philip Graham Ryken became Wheaton’s eighth president in 2010, the College’s Sesquicentennial Year. The third Wheaton president to graduate from the College, Dr. Ryken previously served as Senior Minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church and as a Wheaton College Trustee from October 2006.
President Ryken's commitment to strengthen Wheaton’s focus as a teaching and mentoring institution while encouraging Christian scholarship has been informed by a lifetime of learning and a love for the liberal arts. With his Senior Administrative Cabinet and Wheaton's academic deans, in the first years of his presidency he led the campus to focus attention and resources on four Strategic Priorities to strengthen Wheaton's mission:
- Globalize a Wheaton Education
- Deepen Ethnic Diversity
- Promote Liberal Arts Excellence
- Enhance Music and the Performing Arts
In support of these priorities, the College successfully completed the From the Heart, For the Kingdom capital campaign, exceeding the $175M campaign goal, with total gifts and commitments of $187 million.
Beginning in the fall semester of 2016, the new “Christ at the Core” curriculum included a First Year Seminar for Freshmen, an Advanced Integrative Seminar in faith and learning, broad course offerings in the Christian liberal arts and sciences, and a senior capstone for graduates to reflect on their liberal arts experience and prepare for kingdom service after graduating from Wheaton.
The College continues to deepen ethnic diversity by seeking creative ways to celebrate cultural differences and pursue racial unity. During the 2018-2019 school year, the College welcomed a cabinet-level officer for promoting racial reconciliation and advancing intercultural understanding. Also, the inaugural new Chief Enrollment Management Officer was hired to help Wheaton recruit a diverse, talented, world-class student body.
The first phase of the Armerding Center for Music and the Arts was dedicated in November 2017. In 2019 the College broke ground on phase two: a 648-seat concert hall with an atrium entrance and choral rehearsal room.
Task forces met throughout the 2018-2019 school year to implement the following strategic priorities, as approved by the Wheaton College Board of Trustees in May 2018:
- Seek major new funding for endowed and other scholarships
- Implement a campus-wide framework for Christian formation
- Start a teaching and learning collaborative
- Offer every student life-shaping internships
- Grow a global Graduate School
- Establish Buswell Library as the academic heart of Wheaton’s campus
Responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, the College conducted its teaching, business, and administrative activities remotely. The 2020 Spring Break was extended by a second week while our technology team assisted faculty to pivot from an open classroom to teaching online. A COVID-19 Leadership Team met frequently over the next fourteen months to ensure adherence and application of public health advice for maximum safety of the College community, particularly its most vulnerable members, while at the same time keeping campus open for classroom instruction throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
In addition to responding to the global pandemic, in 2020 the College considered its fiscal health in light of changing demographics and the rising cost of residential higher education. Led by senior leadership in the Academic and Operations/Finance divisions, the College assessed and affirmed academic and co-curricular programs to strengthen the core commitments of Wheaton College in the coming decade through an institutional plan, Thunder, Stronger, that resulted in strategic reductions to the annual budget, while at the same time securing a $1.5M in strategic investments found for each operating budget. In July 2021, the College launched a comprehensive capital campaign with a total goal of more than $200M.
Status and Accreditation
A residential, coeducational, Christian liberal arts college, Wheaton is owned and operated by a self-perpetuating board incorporated in the state of Illinois as "The Trustees of Wheaton College."
Nondenominational in constituency, the student body of more than 2,400 undergraduates and 500 graduate students annually represents all of the 50 states, some 50 countries, and more than 50 church denominations. Approximately seventy-five percent of undergraduate students come from outside Illinois.
The Wheaton faculty of approximately 220 full-time members, about 95 percent with earned doctorates, comes from a variety of colleges and universities both in the United States and abroad. As active Christians, they are personally interested in the spiritual and intellectual development of their students.
Wheaton offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education degrees. Graduate degree programs are offered leading to Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.).
The College is accredited by the:
Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
Wheaton's education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly NCATE,
1140 19th St NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
The Doctor of Psychology program is accredited by the:
Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA)
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC, 20002
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
1001 North Fairfax St, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
The Marriage and Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
112 South Alfred St
Alexandria, VA 22314-3061
Wheaton College is also a member of the:
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190
Printed financial statements are available to the public and may be obtained from the Director of Accounting, Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187. Financial statements also are available on the College’s Web site at https://www.wheaton.edu/about-wheaton/disclosures/financial-audit-information/
Wheaton's 80-acre campus is located in a residential suburb with a population over 50,000, 25 miles west of Chicago.
The educational and cultural features of the Chicago metropolitan area are readily available to students. The performing arts, large museums, libraries, other educational institutions, and government activities are among the opportunities for observation and research. In science, Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, and Morton Arboretum in Lisle are among facilities close to Wheaton.
Other college-owned campuses include the 50-acre Black Hills Science Station near Rapid City, South Dakota, for field studies in geology, environmental science, and biology; and HoneyRock, a youth counseling and leadership development laboratory in northern Wisconsin.
Overseas programs are scheduled during the summer in England, Latin America, Europe, the Far East, and Middle East for studies in the social sciences, languages, literature, music, archaeology, and Bible.
The Melvin E. Banks, Sr. Welcome Center is the first stop for anyone visiting campus. Built in 2017, it houses the Undergraduate Admissions department with gracious, welcoming spaces for all campus guests.
The Welcome Center, completed in 2017, is a fitting addition to the Historic Georgian Campus. The timeless classical Georgian design elements of this building exemplify the history and enduring character of Wheaton College and its ongoing mission. It is situated on the front lawn of the campus as the gateway to experience the campus with views to the Billy Graham Hall, McCully Stadium and historic Blanchard Hall, as well as being next door to the Beamer Student Center, the hub of the campus.
The building consists of three smaller sections, each with its own specific purpose, connected by a horizontal axis hallway. The first section houses the Great Hall, which serves the campus as a gathering destination for new students and all guests. The second section has semi-private spaces with a large presentation room for guests and the conference room for meetings. The third eastern most section contains the Admissions Department and Counselors offices.
Blanchard Hall, Wheaton's "Old Main," is a four-story structure of native Batavia limestone distinguished by its tower, the center of campus traditions and named in honor of Wheaton's first two presidents, Jonathan and Charles Blanchard. For more than 40 years Blanchard Hall was the only building on campus and housed the entirety of Wheaton College: classrooms, chapel, cafeteria, library and sleeping quarters. Today it houses administrative offices, faculty offices, and classrooms. It was built over a period of 74 years in seven additions in the Romanesque style of buildings Blanchard saw at Oxford University. This historic building was totally renovated in 1990 to maintain the iconic, trademark exterior appearance with an updated traditional interior style. In 1979 Blanchard Hall was added to the National Register of Historical Places. The lobby of Blanchard Houses a historic marker that designates the campus as a stop on the Civil War's Underground Railroad. The obelisk, originally a grave marker for abolitionist James Burr, was placed in Blanchard Hall after Wheaton was added to the National Park Service "Network of Freedom", in 2014.
The Meyer Science Center, built in 2010, is a blend of traditional Wheaton architectural materials and shapes with some contemporary elements of glass and metal in a theme of transparency to energize the science community. This L-shaped building creates a new quad courtyard adjacent to the Beamer Student Center. There are 10 science disciplines housed in these new facilities with an emphasis on first rate research labs for collaborative learning and mentoring. The lobby is a threshold of science, displaying a vertical exhibit space and central stair that climbs from geology to physics and their rooftop observatory; from "the rocks to the stars" with Perry mastodon as the center piece of the exhibits. The building is LEED Gold certified for New Construction.
The Memorial Student Center is a three story Georgian styled building built in 1951 in honor of 39 Wheaton men who died during World War II. The student center was well known for housing the Stupe and Campus Post Office until 2004 when the new Todd M. Beamer Student Center was built. The historic building was renovated in 2007 to house the Politics and International Relations and the Business and Economics departments as well as the Wheaton College Center for Faith, Politics & Economics. The renovation in 2007 earned the building LEED Silver status.
Buswell Memorial Library was built in 1975 and remodeled in 2006. The library provides access to approximately 500,000 physical materials and to a very large array of electronic materials. Various types of study areas are located throughout the building for individuals and groups. Special Collections, a department of Buswell Library, is located on the third floor of The Billy Graham Hall.
Edman Memorial Chapel, with seating capacity of 2,400, was built in 1960 in the Georgian style and is the center for chapel services, concerts, and other cultural events. A 70-rank Casavant tracker pipe organ was installed in 2001. Also included are classrooms, lounge facilities, the Wurdack Chapel seating 100, the 2009 John and Anita Nelson Instrumental Rehearsal Room, as well as numerous studios, practice rooms, and rehearsal rooms.
Orlinda Childs Pierce Memorial Chapel was built in 1924 in the Federal style and has a 500-seat recital hall with a two-manual Hendrickson tracker pipe organ installed in 2012, classrooms, practice facilities for the Conservatory of Music, and also houses the Wheaton College Community School of the Arts, serving more than 1400 students.
Armerding Hall, originally constructed as the Science Building in 1971, was recently transformed to the Center for Music and the Arts as part of a phased renovation and addition project. The architectural style resonates with the existing campus while also bringing a fresh distinctiveness that celebrates the contributions of the arts to campus life. The existing building was totally transformed to provide a world-class acoustical learning and performing environment for the musicians who will use it. Included are 37 practice rooms, over 30 faculty and staff spaces, a new 108-seat Recital Hall, 2 recording studios, and 6 classroom spaces. Beyond providing an excellent environment for the teaching, practice, performance and enjoyment of music, the Conservatory’s new home also serves as a critical link between an existing quadrangle at the heart of the campus and newer developments along its northern edge. The next phase, currently under construction, will house a 648-seat Concert Hall, a new tracker-action 31-stop concert pipe organ situated above the stage, a choral rehearsal room, and other support spaces, joined together by a gracious lobby to welcome all guests and provide a gathering space for all students.
North Harrison Hall, the former Wheaton Christian Grammar School built between 1950 and 1974, has been renovated in 2016 to house Student Health Services, the Counseling Center and the athletic teams of Wrestling and Golf.
The Student Services Building, built in 1952 and added to in 1964, houses the campus bookstore, the offices of Student Financial Services, Housing, Student Development, Registrar, Center for Vocation and Career, Global Programs & Studies, and the Humanitarian and Disaster Institute.
The Chrouser Sports Complex was built in 2000 and houses King Arena (basketball and volleyball performance arena), Lederhouse Natatorium (a 35 meter swimming pool), and Eckert Recreation Center (an 8,000 square foot fitness area), a walking/jogging track, a one-court wooden floor practice gym, and a two-court synthetic rubber recreational gym with a climbing wall. This facility also includes faculty offices and an open leisure area where students, faculty, and staff can relax before or after a workout.
The Todd M. Beamer Student Center, dedicated in the Fall of 2004, is home to Anderson Commons, Sam’s Coffee Shop, the Stupe Grill, College Post Office, Coray Alumni Gymnasium, and the offices of numerous student organizations as well as Chaplain, Christian Outreach, Multicultural Development, International Student Programs and Student Activities. Anderson Commons is a modern dining facility seating 900 for student dining and up to 150 for staff/faculty dining; it also offers other private dining areas for special meetings. Sam’s is the campus snack bar and coffee shop and provides an alternative dining area for the campus community. Coray Alumni Gymnasium provides a performance stage and seating for up to 1,000 for student events and other associated campus events.
Schell Hall was built in 1898 in a classical style as one of our first group of buildings that for many years housed the Wheaton Academy and now contains classrooms and general administrative offices.
Adams Hall, originally built in 1899 and remodeled and expanded in 2009, provides classrooms, studios, three galleries, two computer labs, and administrative space for the Art Department. This building served as Wheaton's gymnasium for many years and is now listed in the National Register of Historical Places.
Jenks Hall, built in 1894 as an elementary school and acquired in 1984, houses classrooms, Military Science offices, Computing Services offices and facilities for the Communication Department's Arena Theater program with a 150-seat black box theater.
The Billy Graham Hall was built by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and dedicated in 1980 to promote world evangelism. In addition to the programs of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, the facility houses several undergraduate departments, the Graduate School, Buswell Library's department of Special Collections, the College Advancement offices, Marketing Communications, and Academic and Institutional Technology. Barrows Auditorium, a 470-seat venue, is used for conferences, recitals, lectures, and other events. The Billy Graham Museum attracts over 24,000 visitors each year and hosts several temporary exhibits alongside their permanent exhibits on the history of North American Protestant evangelism and the ministry of alumnus, Dr. Billy Graham.
Wheaton College Billy Graham Center
Wheaton College Billy Graham Center (WCBGC) exists to lead the conversation on evangelism by training, resourcing, and mobilizing followers of Jesus to share their faith; networking leaders; researching best practices; engaging thought leaders; and launching strategic ministry initiatives.
The Center opened in 1980 through the collaboration of Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Rev. Billy Graham’s goal was to develop a center to fuel the evangelistic mission of the Church in the world. Wheaton College shared Mr. Graham’s vision and together they launched The Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.
WCBGC ministries play a vital role in Wheaton College’s mission to promote the development of whole and effective Christians by directing the Evangelism Initiative which encourages an evangelism lifestyle, mentoring students, and providing evangelism training for student ministry groups. The scope of the WCBGC's evangelism training ministries extends beyond campus and into the global Church, as well.
The fusion of WCBGC staff and programs with the excellent scholarship and ministry intelligence of the Graduate School forms a strategic alliance for promoting global evangelization.
The Center for Applied Christian Ethics
The Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE) supports the mission of Wheaton College by promoting and encouraging the formation of moral character and the application of biblical ethics to contemporary moral decisions.
The Center functions primarily to support and strengthen the applied ethical dimension of the Wheaton curriculum. In addition, it extends Wheaton's educational and research resources of applied Christian living to alumni and to local communities. Thus, CACE serves as a bridge between the College and community, seeking a mutually enriching engagement between a Christian education and the moral practices of everyday life.
Through campus programs and training seminars, CACE relates theory to practice by addressing contemporary issues in the light of biblical principles, theological and philosophical ethics, and character and moral development theory. CACE sponsors co-curricular events focused on an annual theme of practical significance and promotes interdisciplinary discussions to cultivate moral insight and ethical reasoning. Guest lectures, campus forums, public debates, and the Christian Moral Formation Lectureship each fall, will prepare students to think more deeply and ethically about the interrelationship of these topics. CACE also sponsors an annual faculty summer workshop to assist in curriculum development on the annual theme.
The Center publishes a monthly electronic journal that highlights the major ethical challenges of our day and faculty research on contemporary moral issues, along with lectures and many other free resources on a variety of ethical topics.
Buswell Memorial Library
Buswell Memorial Library, named for J. Oliver Buswell, Jr., third president of the College, provides essential support for the College’s programs of instruction and offers a quiet, comfortable study center for the campus community.
Collections include a large selection of printed and online books and periodicals, databases, video and sound recordings, maps, scores, and educational curriculum materials. Materials not owned by the library may be borrowed through local consortial arrangements or through the library’s participation in an international interlibrary loan network. In addition, Wheaton students may borrow materials directly at several dozen colleges and universities in Chicago and the surrounding area, upon presentation of their College ID card.
The library offers several types of study areas to meet student needs or inclinations: traditional study carrels, larger tables, reading areas, and group study rooms equipped with technology. Students are able to draw upon print and electronic resources together at computer workstations throughout the library. Students may also bring personal laptop computers into the library and connect them to the campus network using ports provided throughout the building, or by using wireless connection.
Students identify suitable resources for their assignments by using the online catalog and the many print and online indexes to periodical literature that the library provides. Online materials are available to students on any computer connected to the campus network or by proxy server off campus. Instruction in library research methods is provided in the Christ at the Core general education program or may be arranged individually with a librarian. The information desk is staffed with professional librarians 70 hours a week.
Each year the library acquires new resources in subjects studied at the College. Library faculty work closely with the academic departments to ensure that the collection grows in focused ways to meet student and faculty needs. The growth of the College’s advanced degree programs has intensified collection development over the last several years. Generous support from friends of the College is enabling Buswell Library to increase substantially the depth and quality of its holdings particularly in the fields of biblical and theological studies.
In addition to its main collections, Buswell Library provides extensive resources in support of the Conservatory of Music: recordings, scores, and music reference books and periodicals. There are listening stations and a conducting practice room available.
The library is especially proud of its special collections, which include the Evangelism and Missions Collection; the personal papers of writers Madeleine L’Engle, Frederick Buechner, Malcolm Muggeridge, and many others; the institutional papers of evangelical societies; materials from the College’s history; rare book collections; and the E. Beatrice Batson Shakespeare Collection. In addition to supporting focused research, professors regularly draw upon these special collections for undergraduate course enrichment.
The Marion E. Wade Center
The Marion E. Wade Center promotes cultural engagement and spiritual formation by offering a collection of resources available nowhere else in the world. We emphasize the ongoing relevance of seven British Christian authors who provide a distinctive blend of intellect, imagination, and faith: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, George MacDonald, G.K Chesterton, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. The Wade Center implements these goals by:
- Assisting scholars in their study of unique materials by and about these seven authors in order to generate new understandings;
- Sharing insights with a broader audience through our numerous programs and publications;
- Supporting artistic works inspired by our authors;
- Welcoming visitors to our museum.
Housed in its own building on the northwest edge of campus, the Center has more than 18,400 books including first editions and critical works, and more than 2,400 volumes from C.S. Lewis' personal library. Other holdings include letters, manuscripts, audio-visual media, artwork, dissertations, periodicals, photographs, and related materials. Any of these resources may be studied in the quiet surroundings of the Kilby Reading Room.
In addition, the Wade Center museum showcases C.S. Lewis' wardrobe and writing desk, J.R.R. Tolkien's desk and writing pen, Pauline Baynes' original map of Narnia, and a tapestry from Dorothy L. Sayers' home. The Wade Center offers regular book discussion groups and lectures; current information on these programs can be found on the Wade Center website. Additionally, the Wade Center Podcast (wheaton.edu/listen) features discussions related to our seven authors.
An international study center, the Wade Center was established in 1965 by Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, and later named after Marion E. Wade, founder of The ServiceMaster Company, L.P. The Wade Center hosts a number of events each year including the Ken and Jean Hansen Lectureship given by Wheaton College faculty on one of the Wade authors, and the Muriel Fuller Celebration of the Arts, which highlights the works of contemporary artists who were inspired by the Seven.
VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center has been published by the Wade Center since 1980. As a forum for both the general and the specialized reader, VII prints articles and reviews relating to all of the Wade Center authors. For further information on subscriptions, back issues and submission of articles, see https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wadecenter/publications/vii-journal/
The natural sciences and mathematics at Wheaton College are housed in the Meyer Science Center on the Wheaton College campus. Six academic departments, offering ten majors, and the Pre-Health Professions office are all located in one facility housing state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, and offices. Thirty-five well credentialed faculty are engaged collaboratively in research with students, and are excellent teachers of science and mathematics. The frontiers of natural science and mathematics are explored by students and faculty in superb teaching spaces outfitted with the latest smart classroom technology, and the laboratories are equipped with outstanding equipment with which students and faculty expand the frontiers in their traditional disciplines. As a result of gifts from donors, foundations, and government agencies, the scientists utilize excellent technology and equipment to conduct scientific exploration.
Each of the natural science departments has teaching laboratories for general and advanced work, as well as research laboratories for each faculty member. Each department has specialized facilities and modern equipment, including:
Applied Health Science: State-of-the-art cadaver anatomy lab, a treadmill, a cycle ergometer, a metabolic cart, a BODPOD instrument, BioPac systems, a 12-lead electrocardiogram recorder, a KinCom device, a force plate and software, a cholestech instrument, HbA1c analysis, prothrombin time analysis, urine analysis instruments.
Biology: Greenhouse, controlled environment chambers, incubators for microorganisms and tissue culture, deep freezers, animal quarters, BioPac systems, refrigerated centrifuges and ultracentrifuges, PCR thermal cyclers, Real-Time-PCR system, eletrophoretic gel imaging system, microplate readers, a DNA sequencer, biological safety cabinets, laminar flow hoods, research microscopes with film and video cameras, dissecting microscopes with video cameras, inverted microscopes, an immunofluorescence microscope.
Chemistry: Infrared and VIS-UV scanning spectrophotometers, diode array spectrometers, a spectrofluorometer, two atomic absorption spectrophotometers, an ellipsometer, a 300MHz FT-NMR spectrometer, FT-IR spectrometers, a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, an x-ray diffractometer, gas chromatographs, a titanium-sapphire pulsed laser, a five-watt argon ion laser, an Immersion cooler, two scanning confocal microscopes, an optical trapping apparatus, a CO2 laser micro pipette puller, three pneumatic micro injectors, a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer, an Ar-ion laser (5 mW), vibration isolation optical benches (2), single molecule fluorescence detection facilities, an ion channel electrophysiology apparatus, an intensified CCD camera, a power E-chem suite, a capillary electrophoresis apparatus, high performance liquid chromatographs, an atomic force microscope.
Computer Science maintains a dedicated lab of 25 Linux workstations, each with at least 4GB of RAM and a 22-inch display; this hardware is updated every three to four years. In addition, these systems are supported by a variety of servers providing additional computational resources as well as ample shared file storage. The latest addition to the CS lab facilities is a small collection of student-managed systems dedicated to student projects.
Geology and Environmental Science: Binocular petrographic microscopes, monocular petrographic microscopes, digital camera for microscopy, cathodoluminescence petrographic stage, rock cutting saws and polishers, Raman spectrometer, Rigaku Miniflex X-ray diffractometer, multi-wavelength scintillometer-Gamma-ray spectrometer. Donath rock deformation apparatus, 12-channel exploration seismograph, teleseismic seismograph, digital storage oscilloscope, proton magnetometer, groundwater resistivity instruments, GIS computer lab for instruction and research (20 workstations), ESRI software for Advanced GIS, Trimble and Magellan Research GPS units for GIS, Student GPS units for field mapping and orienteering, large format, color HP inkjet printer, photogrammetric stereoscopes, Alidade, sedimentation flume, EmRiver stream table, groundwater (sandbox) models, sediment sieves and vibration sieve shaker, mud rotary drill rig (LS-100), Vibracore rig, stream flow-meters.
Physics: A newly opened engineering design lab with 3D printers, CNC mill and router, and a wide assortment of hand tools; an observatory dome with a 24” reflecting telescope, several 8-14” “go to” telescopes, high speed video cameras, campus MATLAB license, Brewster’s Angle apparatus, Reuben’s flame tube, precision spectrometer, low friction air table, TeachSpin magnetic moment experiment, Van de Graf generator, Tesla coil, National Instruments ELVIS (educational laboratory virtual instrumentation suite), Michelson interferometer, open cavity He-Ne laser, WIRX (Wheaton Impulsive Reconnection Experiment) plasma vessel, intensified CCD cameras, high vacuum equipment, twelve Vernier educational suites (Lab Pro, motion detector, magnetic field sensor, rotational apparatus, sound level meter, current/voltage probe, force plate, 3-axis accelerometer, force sensor, light sensor, temperature probe, photogate, rotary motion sensor, digital radiation monitor).
The Perry Mastodon exhibit and additional exhibits displaying relevant discoveries in the natural sciences are located in the Meyer Science Center. Reference collections of rocks, minerals and fossils are housed in the Geology Department.
Outdoor observational and experimental work can be taken in summer courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, and geology offered at the Wheaton College Science Station located on an attractive 50-acre campus in the Black Hills, near Rapid City, South Dakota.
Other laboratory facilities are provided for education, foreign languages, and psychology.
Academic and Institutional Technology
Academic and Institutional Technology (AIT) enables the College's teaching, learning and research, its business functions, and its students' residential experience through leadership and support of appropriate information technology solutions and services.
Major systems include a high-speed wired network connecting offices, labs, classrooms, and student residences; a wireless network providing service throughout the campus with more than 600 access points; a two gigabit per second internet connection with connectivity to Internet2; installed audio-visual and presentation systems in classrooms and auditoriums; academic and administrative computing servers. Services include facilitation of a web-based learning management system, development and management of enterprise applications utilized across all divisions, networked printing from computers and mobile devices, a range of audio-visual event support and media production services, a lending collection of computers, projectors, sound systems and other portable equipment, and support for computer hardware, software, telephone, printer, network, and account permissions. The department's facilities include 34 academic computing labs located in major academic buildings and residence halls, music production and recording studios, and a video production studio.
AIT provides support for 350+ applications utilized in labs, classrooms, and on College-owned computers. AIT also supports approximately 2,400 college-owned Windows & Apple laptops, desktops, and tablets, over 1,200 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones and 380 local and network printers. Each year accounts and permissions are prepared for incoming students, and throughout the year accounts and permissions are adjusted as needed for faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Email accounts are kept by students post graduation. Alumni retain access to their student records.
AIT provides technical support to all faculty, students, and staff in the areas of network access, printing, anti-virus, enterprise software (Schoology, Banner, Email, etc.), VoIP telephones, and account permissions. On personally-owned computers, AIT provides network support and virus removal. For College-owned computers, AIT provides support for all approved software and hardware. For guests of the College, including speakers and prospective students, AIT provides access to a guest wireless network.
Behind the scenes, AIT provides enterprise application, infrastructure, and security support, and management for all network and enterprise applications utilized by the college. This management allows for Internet and network access as well as management of all College data.
The department also provides audiovisual services during concerts, chapel services, and other Wheaton College events. Recordings of select events are available on the Wheaton College YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/wheatoncollege