Life at Berea
You belong here.
One of the founding ideas of Berea College was that “impartial love” should be extended to everyone regardless of race, gender, or class. That idea was radical in 1855 and it’s still radical today. No matter how you identify, you’ll find a place you belong at Berea, whether in the classroom, at work, or in one of our many clubs or organizations.
With a wide range of student organizations, outdoor adventures and athletics, dance groups and music ensembles, you’ll find you aren’t just a number, but an essential member of our learning community.
Current students answer your questions
Do you love music? Are you on fire for social justice? Is nature your preferred classroom setting? With 60+ recognized active student clubs and organizations to choose from and the ability to create new ones, you can get involved in almost anything that interests you.
Clubs and organizations range from student government and campus publications to dance, arts, recreational sports and outdoor adventures. Each organization is committed to a specific topic of interest to serve a variety of students.
Berea College is an NCAA Division III school, offering student athletes the opportunity to participate in 16 intercollegiate sports, including cheerleading. Berea’s sports include baseball and softball, basketball, cross country and track and field, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball. If intramurals are more your speed, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Friendly campus competitions are available for students, faculty and staff, too.
Do you like to get outside and away from it all? The Berea College Forest spans 9,000 acres, and the trail to the famed Pinnacles was named the best hike in Kentucky by Outside magazine. In addition, you can enjoy one of Berea’s many bike trails or rent a kayak at Owsley Fork.
Berea College prides itself on maintaining a residential campus with many housing options. There are 14 residence halls of various types, including traditional, suite-style, dual-functioning, gender-inclusive and the Ecovillage, which provides environmentally friendly townhouse-style accommodations for single parents and married students.
Berea is one of the fastest growing towns in Kentucky, so dining options are increasing. On campus, there is the Mountaineer Dining Hall, Sandella's Flatbread Cafe, The Farm Store, The Pinnacles Cafe, as well as a suite of local eateries on College Square. Local foodie fare includes Native Bagel/Nightjar, Happy Jack's, Apollo Pizza, Papaleno’s and Noodle Nirvana, among others.
Berea is the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky. The College and the town are famous for working artists producing unique, handmade items and for teaching others how to make them. Berea College Student Craft makes traditional Appalachian handiwork like blankets, brooms, woodcraft and ceramics. The nearby Artisan Village in “Old Town” is home to artisan studios, jewelry and fabric stores, glass studios and gift shops. You can learn these trades through the student Labor Program, various LearnShops offered throughout the year, or at the Woodworking School at Pine Croft.
Berea is also a musical place, with live music venues on Chestnut Street, in Old Town and at Berea College convocations. Musically inclined students can join the fun by participating in one or more of the College’s many performance ensembles, including the Bluegrass Ensemble, the Black Music Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, and many others. Or maybe you love to dance. In that case, there are eight dance clubs, ranging from country dancing to hip hop to swing or Middle Eastern dance.