Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog 
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Westminster College

Westminster College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts college, related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). For almost 170 years, Westminster has been charac­terized by the excellence of its educational programs and its concern for moral and spiritual ideals and values. Development of the individual - intellectually, spiritually, and socially - is the primary purpose of Westminster. The College views education as a maturing experience and believes the liberal arts heritage offers exceptional op­portunities for development of the individual in today’s rapidly changing world. The advancement of Westminster’s graduates in a wide variety of careers and professions is evidence of the inherent value and relevance of the liberal arts. Westminster is a community of learning, small enough to encourage the exchange of different ideas and philosophies yet large enough to provide diversity of knowledge, experiences and values. Its residential atmosphere enhances personal interaction.

Westminster is proud of its heritage. It was originally founded to promote the spirit and values of Christianity. One of earliest coeducational colleges in the nation, Westminster has been dedicated to “the mental and moral training of youth of both sexes” since it opened its doors in 1852. The first catalog (1853) stated that “no person will be refused admission on account of color, caste, or sex,” making West­minster a pioneer in supporting nondiscrimination. Dedicated to these ideals today, the College admits students of all races, creeds, and national and ethnic origins, and accords all students equal rights and privileges.

Westminster College does not discriminate, and will not tolerate discrimination, on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, religion (except for those positions where religious affiliation is a necessary qualification), or any other classification protected under applicable federal, state, or local law, in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission and employment. Westminster College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and acts in accordance with applicable laws in all of our hiring and employment practices.

Mission Statement

The mission of Westminster College is to help students develop competencies, commitments and characteristics that have distinguished human beings at their best. The liberal arts tradition is the foundation of the curriculum continually designed to serve this mission in a rapidly changing world.

The College sees the well-educated person as one whose skills are complemented by ever-developing values and ideals identified in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Westminster’s quest for excellence is a recognition that stewardship of life mandates the maximum possible development of each person’s capabilities. The College thus realizes its mission to people who as students:

  • Develop intellectual curiosity and the competencies to reason logically, evaluate critically, communicate effectively, imagine creatively, appreciate and produce aesthetic and creative expressions of humanity;
  • Acquire a knowledge and appreciation of self, society, human cultures, and the natural world, and human relationships to God;
  • Develop and demonstrate moral and ethical commitments to neighbor, society, and the natural world consistent with the understanding of self;
  • Commit themselves to lifelong learning and the acquisition of skill for careers and responsible service as world citizens.

Westminster College Outcomes

The College’s mission statement expressed as statements of student ability-based outcomes:

  • To reason logically and evaluate critically;
  • To communicate effectively;
  • To think creatively, and appreciate aesthetic expressions;
  • To demonstrate intellectual curiosity;
  • To acquire knowledge of self, society, human cultures, the natural world, and human relationships to God;
  • To apply knowledge to contemporary issues;
  • To demonstrate moral and ethical commitments to neighbor, society, and the natural world;
  • To demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills for careers and responsible service as world citizens

The curricular and co-curricular learning programs are designed as a means by which the College endeavors to fulfill its mission.

Religious Perspectives

The student at Westminster is enrolled in a college sustained through the decades by what was the United Presbyterian Church in North America and is today related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). through the Synod of the Trinity. This heritage has at its core those ideals exemplified by Jesus Christ.

Today, the College continually strives creatively to understand and to express the relationship between its religious heritage and the liberal arts ideals and values in ways relevant to a rapidly changing world. Westminster embraces the total Church in its divisions and the human race in its diversity. The College is critically open to the moral and spiritual character of different religious traditions and resolves to be truly ecumenical, ready to participate in interfaith dialogues and endeavors.

Westminster’s Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and students develop their policies and practices based on the principles, values and ideals of Christian faith. Every member of the Westminster College community is expected to honor the standards of compassion, justice, and a disciplined life in the pursuit of excellence.

Accreditation and Memberships

Westminster College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and is a charter member of the Association.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1007 North Orange Street
4th Floor, MB #166
Wilmington, DE 19801
Telephone: (267) 284-5011

The teacher preparation programs are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
Telephone: (717) 783-6788

The program in chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society.

American Chemical Society
1155 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: 1-800-333-9511

Westminster College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

National Association for Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248
Telephone: (703) 437-0700

The RN-BSN/ Post-licensure Program at Westminster College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
655 K Street NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: (202) 887-6791

The College is a member of the American Council on Education, the National As­sociation of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, and other national organizations.

Students should direct complaints regarding Westminster College’s qualifications for and compliance with accreditation standards to:

1007 North Orange Street
4th Floor, MB #166
Wilmington, DE 19801
Telephone: (267) 284-5011

Westminster College complies with the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). Students must first seek resolution of a com­plaint through Westminster’s internal complaint procedures, as defined in other sec­tions of the Undergraduate Catalog. Complaints about grades or student conduct violations can only be handled through Westminster’s internal procedures.

For complaints that cannot be resolved through Westminster College’s internal procedures, students should contact the appropriate agency for their home state as listed at the NC-SARA link below.

https://nc-sara.org/student-complaints (for online courses)

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will review any written and signed student complaint against higher education institutions that operate in Pennsylvania.

Division of Higher & Career Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education -
Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: (717) 783-8228 | Fax: (717) 722-3622


Teacher education programs at Westminster College are approved for Level I Instructional certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students who complete coursework and Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) require­ments in the following education programs can obtain certification to teach in pub­lic schools across Pennsylvania: Early Childhood Education PK-4, Special Education PK-8, Secondary Education 7-12, K-12 Spanish, K-12 French, and K-12 Music Education. The requirements for Pennsylvania teacher certification are generally similar to many US states and jurisdictions, including US territories and Department of Defense schools. Reciprocity agreements typically exist, but the requirements in other states should be investigated before considering out of state teaching possibil­ities.