Berea College strives to create a rich learning community that welcomes and respects “all peoples of the earth.”  In the context of the Great Commitments  and its long-standing tradition of “impartial love,” Berea seeks to provide a community of social equality that is welcoming of diversity. For that reason, discrimination of any form is contrary to Berea’s values. This includes, for example, any personally identifiable differences such as those identified in the non-discrimination statement,  but also extending to national or regional origin, accent or dialect, and cultural background.
A number of groups contribute to the Berea College community. Faculty are appreciated and value one another for their academic talents, participation in the shared task of responsible instruction, engaged advising of students, and labor supervision. Administrators and staff members engage in all facets of the campus and participate in the education of students through operation of Centers and departments, provision of learning resources such as the library and information technology, participation in residential education, and supervision within the Labor Program. Students inspire one another and members of the community through stories of enterprise and initiative, by taking full advantage of the learning opportunities offered by the College, and moving on to lives of service and accomplishment. In their relationships and in their academic work and labor, students conduct themselves with honesty and integrity.
Interactive relationships and engagement not only within but also between these groups form the foundation of Berea’s academic community. Members of each group learn from and educate the others. Faculty and staff partner in providing an engaged and transformative educational experience for all of Berea’s students and enjoy learning from one another as colleagues. This rich learning community encompasses students as well, both when they are on campus and later when they are in the world as Berea graduates. Learning in the Berea community is mutual and reciprocal, and governance is shared and collaborative.
Berea College values freedom of expression and collegiality. Education and edification both proceed through rich engagement and honest sharing of knowledge, perspectives, and insights. Hindrances to dialogue and free expression can very much impede learning. The concept and application of academic freedom at Berea College protect these values and are articulated in the Faculty Manual.  While these rights and responsibilities specifically apply to teaching faculty at the College, they should also be taken as a guide for other members of the community, along with the Workplace Expectations.  Dialogue, engagement, and learning, however, can also be limited when prejudice, discrimination, or insensitivity result in the discouragement and silencing of members of the community. The Berea College community functions best when all members are doing everything possible to learn from one another, when all make charitable assumptions regarding the intent of others, and when all value rich dialogue and commit to responsibility and sensitivity in their engagement with others.
Relationships extending beyond the College are also important, and in all these interactions members of the College community strive to be good neighbors, as does the institution itself. The College values the good will and respect of the City and its residents as well as that of visitors to the area. Bereans are aware that their dealings and activities will influence views of others about the school and its mission. They aim to be good citizens and to participate actively and positively in civic life, striving to conduct their affairs so as to enhance the quality of life for all, and respecting the property and interests of others. Bereans realize the value and necessity of challenging one another and those others who share this place with us for purposes of education and to promote necessary social change, but endeavor to do so in ways that avoid the giving of unnecessary offence.
This statement of community aspirations describes the values that the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Berea College are encouraged to endorse and to uphold. This statement does not mandate these values and is not intended to restrict any person’s conscience or academic or personal freedoms. It is hoped that all Bereans will choose to make these values their own and to live by them on campus, in the local community, and in the wider world.
Approved by the General Faculty Assembly, February 9, 2016
 Acts 17:26
 The Great Commitments constitute the mission statement of Berea College and define its identity. See http://berea.smartcatalogiq.com/en/Current/Faculty-Manual/The-Great-Commitments-of-Berea-College