Rhodes Presbyterian History and Liberal Arts Heritage

Rhodes’ relation to the Presbyterian Church has remained close and unbroken since 1855. The most recent expression of the College’s relationship to the Church may be found in a covenant statement between Rhodes and the Church, summarized as follows:

Rhodes is a liberal arts college associated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The College has a covenant relationship with the Synod of Living Waters (Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky).

Rhodes, as a church-related college whose primary mission is to educate, guarantees freedom of inquiry for faculty and students. The College, without pressing for acceptance, maintains a climate in which the Christian faith is nurtured. The curriculum includes a variety of courses in Bible and religion that explore the Judeo-Christian heritage and its implications for the whole of life. Students are required to study the Bible and its relationship with history and culture as a part of their college work. As an academic community founded on Christian ideals, Rhodes expresses personal concern for students, provides opportunities for corporate worship, and maintains a commitment to social justice and human mercy.

More specifically, the educational purpose of the College is expressed in its maintenance of an environment for the pursuit of truth in which it is ensured that the Christian faith is clearly articulated, that its formative role in Western civilization is carefully considered, and that honest intellectual and moral questions are articulated and responded to intelligently and sensitively.

This commitment is made clear in a resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees of the College: It is the intention of the Board that the College substantially complies with requiring twelve credits of sound and comprehensive study of the Bible for the granting of a degree. In keeping with this resolution and with the mission of the College, the foundations requirement is structured so that there are two ways available to students to complete this part of the degree program. Students may choose the course The Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion or the Life: Then and Now Program.