Defiance College's Mission, Values, & Strategies


Defiance College graduates students to lead distinctive lives in their chosen professions through a spirit of service by preparing them To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve.

Academic Values of Defiance College Supporting the DC Mission

    We believe that the liberal arts form a broad basis for all learning. We affirm that academic excellence demands a committed search for truth, competency in research and other problem-solving methods, the ability to synthesize knowledge from many sources, and a capacity for self-directed learning.

    We provide opportunities for students to perceive and make connections between the intellectual realm and the world. We strive to develop awareness of and sensitivity to global interdependence and diverse cultures.

    We are committed to the betterment of the community, the nation, and the world through the development of leadership skills and abilities. We create opportunities for students to initiate and facilitate beneficial action in and out of the classroom and encourage self-reflection on the role of the dedicated leader.

    We encourage our students to be of service to their fellow students, their chosen fields of study, their communities, and the world. We provide opportunities for students to transform society through civic engagement along with application of their knowledge and understanding to service.


Holistic Learning and Adaptability for Life.
Prepared Professionals.
Community Leaders.
Civic Stewards.


At Defiance College, we go together:



  1. Career readiness undergirded by liberal arts-based learning (Jacket Journey):
    1. Fully develop the four-year program
    2. DEFI: Discover Engage Formulate Initiate
    3. Competencies:
      • Oral & written communication
      • Teamwork & collaboration
      • Ethical judgment & decision making
      • Critical & creative thinking
      • Digital technology
      • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  2. Holistic and transformative learning: Extent to which students connect their out-of-class experiences with in-class learning. Nurturing the mind, body, and soul as part of a well-rounded education.
    1. Assist students to seek and find their potential and aptitude for vocation and avocation
    2. Continue to affirm and implement our decades-long commitment to support students who have both the desire and capacity to succeed in college through our We Support You program
    3. Continue to nurture the "soul" of Defiance College
  3. Resource management
  4. Quality programs
  5. Vibrant campus environment
    1. Belongingness: demonstrating our value proposition and our mission through the integrity and risk to stand alone rather than acclimating ourselves to a situation that compromises DC's essence or authenticity (Brene Brown, 2017). To what extent does one feel welcome on campus?
    2. Inclusion: "The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people." Kapila, Monisha. Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter. 6 Oct. 2016.
    3. Accessibility: ability to effectively address how the [structural] issues of race, culture, language, and disability affect students' quest for equitable education (W.J. Banchett, J.D. Kingner, B. Harry (2009)).
    4. Anti-Racism: supporting an anti-racist policy through actions or expressing anti-racist ideas. Racism is any policy that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups (adapted from I. X. Kendi (2019)).


Defiance College is a community of learners dedicated to nurturing the whole person of each of its members. We seek to inspire a commitment to know the truth, to understand our world and the diverse cultures within it, to lead within our professions, and to serve our families, our communities, and our world as responsible citizens.

As a member of the Defiance College community...

  • I will respect the dignity and worth of each person.
  • I will recognize the importance of interpersonal relationships and of a caring community.
  • I will strongly advocate honest and open intellectual inquiry and academic freedom.
  • I will trust that truths, in all their complexities, are ultimately interrelated.
  • I will move beyond tolerance and acceptance to understanding and appreciation of religious, cultural, and individual diversity.
  • I will recognize the privilege and responsibility of my stewardship for individuals, institutions, and for the resources of the natural world.
  • I will commit myself to serving others as an expression of faith and a way of life enrichment and fulfillment.
    This statement is intended as a reflection of the central values of Defiance College. It is designed to be discussed and supported by the entire Defiance College community with the understanding that it is always a work-in-progress. This covenant is recited by all incoming students at fall convocation.
    *Adapted from the University of South Carolina's The Carolinian Creed and from the Defiance College statement covenantal status as a United Church of Christ related college.

9 learning objectives which complement our Mission & Vision

  1. Sense of community: demonstrate an ability to understand the complexity and diversity of the world in order to make informed, socially-responsible actions.
  2. Powerful communication: demonstrate thoughtful, critical communication practices for a range of audiences and subjects.
  3. Individual empowerment: understand the methods and benefits of intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical self-reflection, and self-direction for positioning the self in the larger public world in culturally-aware ways.
  4. Creative and expressive arts: ability to describe cultural production using an established aesthetic theory.
  5. Historical, political, and multicultural perspectives: ability to describe historical, political, or multicultural issues, concepts, or theories.
  6. Quantitative reasoning: ability to utilize quantitative data to obtain and apply an appropriate conclusion when addressing a selected problem.
  7. Scientific knowledge: ability to comprehensively and objectively analyze and evaluate appropriate data (e.g., issues, texts, artifacts, and events) and develop an informed conclusion.
  8. Social and behavioral sciences 1: ability to describe findings and theories in at least one area of social or behavioral science.
  9. Social and behavioral sciences 2: ability to describe the scientific method and how it can be used to assess human behavior and/or interaction.


  • Continual expansion of graduate programs, majors, minors, and certifications
  • Development of robust continual education partnerships with local businesses and organizations
  • Showcase Jacket Journey as premier program at Defiance College
  • Grant and foundation expansion for support of facility and curricular improvements
  • Develop DC into a national model of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion