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Mission & Philosophy

Education with distinction, for the head and the heart.

The Simpson College mission and vision define who we are and what we strive to be—for our students, for the region and for an increasingly connected community of global citizens. To reach these objectives efficiently, with Simpson’s hallmark conscience and character, our strategic plan establishes current challenges and a direction for carrying opportunities to their fullest potential.

In the Spring of 2018, Simpson College began a campus-wide process to review and update the college's mission, vision and value statements. To facilitate this important work, feedback from students, staff, faculty and alumni was sought. This process resulted in the development of themes from the community about who Simpson College is and why the vital work we do matters to our community, state, region and world. The following statements went through multiple rounds of community feedback and were approved by the Board of Trustees at their February 2020 meeting.

Our Mission

Through innovative learning opportunities, individual student attention, and an unwavering commitment to inclusive educational access, Simpson College cultivates a diverse community of learners to lead lives of meaning and purpose. 

Our Vision Statement

To be nationally recognized as the quintessential liberal arts college of the Greater Des Moines area, transforming students through welcoming communities, exceptional programs, and distinctive opportunities.

Our Core Values

Grounded in the liberal arts tradition and drawing from our Methodist heritage, Simpson College affirms these values as guiding principles that create our cultural foundation.

Discovery - We design learning opportunities in which curiosity and creativity flourish, where students venture outside their comfort zone to explore their identity and place in the world.

Access - We extend higher education opportunities to all types of learners, empowering students to pursue intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

Citizenship - We prepare students for global and local leadership through broad liberal arts education, experiential and service-learning, and civic engagement.

Belonging - We engender communities of radical hospitality where all are welcome and unique identities are embraced. 

Justice - We defend the dignity and worth inherent in all human beings, creating an atmosphere where equity and inclusion are hallmarks of our community.

Integrity - We recognize a moral responsibility to respond to ethical challenges through our religious, secular, and spiritual identities.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on February 7th, 2020


Our Diversity and Inclusion Statement

We, the members of the Simpson College community, recognize as an essential component of its mission and history that Simpson College is committed to creating and maintaining a creative, diverse, just and inclusive community in which all develop their abilities to live and thrive in a complex and interconnected world. Consistent with our educational mission, we recognize ourselves as a community that respects individual identities linked to varying socio-cultural characteristics including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, first language, religious or spiritual tradition, age, functional ability, socioeconomic status, physical attributes or familial status. 

Further, we recognize that diversity of identities exists in a context of differential power and privilege that we as a community must critically evaluate and engage. 

At Simpson College, we strive to create a socially just world that honors the dignity and worth of each, and we seek to build a community centered on equality, mutual respect, and openness to ideas - one in which individuals value cultural and intellectual diversity and share the responsibility for creating an affirming safe and inclusive environment. We recognize that our community is most inclusive when all participate to their full capacity in the spirited, and sometimes challenging, conversations that are at the center of the College's educational mission to develop personal integrity, moral responsibility, social justice, and global citizenship. 

 Institutional Learning Outcomes  

Graduates of Simpson College’s undergraduate programs will be able to: 

  • Apply skills and insights gained in curricular and co-curricular engagement toward attainment of their goals
  • Demonstrate self-efficacy and develop healthy relationships
  • Actively engage and integrate their Simpson education and values wherever and however they interact with the world
  • Utilize interculturally appropriate communications with people of diverse world views and social identities
  • Demonstrate a commitment to meaningful activity for the benefit of themselves and others

Our Strategic Plan

We’re committed to making our mission and vision actionable through tangible goals that, when achieved, will ensure Simpson College’s ability to extend these values far into the future.


Accreditation Information

Since 1913, Simpson College has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is preparing for a site visit as part of the commission's reaffirmation of the accreditation process.

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Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Simpson celebrates diversity on campus and is committed to providing a supportive campus environment for all.