01 Institutional Profile

//01 Institutional Profile

About This Catalog

This catalog explains the academic programs, the graduation requirements, the academic policies, and the academic services in effect at McPherson College as of July, 2024. Unless a student requests and is permitted to graduate under a subsequent catalog, the requirements and policies in this catalog shall govern the satisfactory academic progress and eligibility for graduation for all students entering McPherson College during Academic Year 2024-25.

This catalog does not constitute a contract between a student and McPherson College either expressed or implied. McPherson College reserves the right at any time to correct incidental errors or misstatements of policy or program requirements in order to align this catalog with the institution’s or faculty’s original intent. While the administration and faculty of McPherson College believe the academic programs described in this catalog are valuable and the instruction offered effectively delivered by qualified faculty, the ultimate responsibility for results such as achievement, employment, professional licensing, or other measure, lies with student. Likewise, students are ultimately responsible for knowing and fulfilling all the requirements of their academic programs. (See “Student Responsibility for Academic Progress” in the Other Academic Policies section.)

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Academic Calendar for 2024-2025

24-25 Academic Calendar

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Profile and Character of the College

Founded in 1887, McPherson College is a private, residential, four-year, career-oriented liberal arts college. The college’s mission is to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service. This mission leads the college to stress on-campus residency for traditional-age students as a means for encouraging participation and community involvement. The college offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 25 academic majors and a Master of Education degree with emphases in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or high-incidence Special Education.

McPherson is a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, competing in seven intercollegiate sports for men and eight intercollegiate sports for women. Although full-time enrollment has historically averaged little more than 425 students, in recent years it has exceeded 800. The teaching faculty includes 53 full-time professors, 64% of whom hold terminal degrees. A 13:1 student-faculty ratio offers a personalized education tailored to students’ needs. With 37 percent students of color, 33 percent women, more than 70 percent of students from out-of-state, and an international population now around 6 percent, McPherson is a vibrant community of learners consisting of rural and urban students and a wide variety of ethnic and faith backgrounds.

McPherson has a reputation for integrating excellent academic programs with career-preparation. The accrediting team that came to campus in December 2014 and extended the college’s accreditation through 2024 had special praise for the college’s senior capstone curriculum. They wrote: “The Team was very impressed with the Capstone program at McPherson and even more impressed with the diversity of programs and the number of students participating.… The Capstone experience utilized by all programs is excellent.” One hundred percent of 2019 McPherson College graduates who applied were accepted into graduate and professional schools. The accreditation team was similarly impressed with McPherson’s experiential learning curriculum: “Though not as promoted as the Capstone experience,” the team wrote, “the internship program of McPherson is impressive.” In 2022-23, 81 percent of graduating seniors had completed at least one internship, and 64 percent of the same graduating class had secured jobs before commencement (compared to a national average of 30 percent) and 98 percent were employed within six months of graduation.

McPherson College is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren but is independent of the denomination and welcomes faculty and students from all faith traditions. The college values its roots in the church and nurtures them, striving as an institution to model the Brethren values of ethical behavior, simple lifestyles, non-violence and peace, respect for the environment and all living creatures, and the expression of faith through service. In 2023-24, 465 McPherson College students participated in community service projects, averaging more than 5.92 hours of service per student.

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Statement of Mission and Identity

McPherson College is a vibrant community of persons from diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds committed to its mission: to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation and service.

Chartered in 1887 by leaders of the Church of the Brethren, McPherson College has a 130-year history of providing excellent career-oriented liberal arts education shaped by the essential values of its founding denomination. The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination founded in Germany in 1708. It accepts the New Testament as the rule of faith and emphasizes the inherent value of all persons, the communal discernment of truth, the necessity of putting faith into action, and the biblical calls to simplicity, non-violence, non-conformity and transformation through education. Brethren strive to “continue the work of Jesus – peacefully…simply…together.”

McPherson College’s programs integrate career guidance and practical experiences into a traditional liberal arts curriculum that upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. Our goal is to help students discern a vocational call consistent with their gifts and interests and to prepare them for a life of meaningful work.

Community is central to McPherson College. We affirm diversity within the community, emphasizing unity and acceptance rather than judgment and rejection. Because we believe that the pursuit of truth is a collective endeavor, and that the point of scholarly learning is to advance the common good, McPherson College aspires to be a healthy community of learning where whole persons nurture and balance their physical, intellectual, and spiritual components; develop and live in respectful, reciprocal relationships with others; and are committed to responsible service to the world.

To accomplish our mission, McPherson embraces the ideals of scholarship, participation and service.

Scholarship. All absolute Truth is God’s Truth and humankind must labor diligently in the pursuit of truth we can know; thus, McPherson College upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. Faculty strive to teach students to think critically and independently, to communicate clearly and effectively, to integrate knowledge across the disciplines, and to assess the value conflicts in issues. This is done without coercion, letting the evidence lead the search, and with respect for the consciences and value differences of others.

Participation. Students apply knowledge, practice skills, and deepen and broaden their understanding of themselves and others through active participation in diverse learning experiences. A smaller community requires greater participation from its members. For these reasons, McPherson College is committed to being a small college and encouraging student participation in a variety of activities.

Service. God’s love is personified in the life of Jesus who came to serve the world. Through works of peacemaking and compassion, humanity responds to God’s love and becomes an instrument of God’s servanthood in the world. Therefore, McPherson College emphasizes service to others, encouraging all members of its community to give selflessly of themselves to others.

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The Campus

The present campus, with its 19 major buildings and 42-acre setting, has matured into an institution of which its founders would be proud. To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1987-88, McPherson College architecturally redesigned its entire campus, closing two city streets that bisected campus on both the east and the west—a factor that has improved the quality of living and learning at McPherson College.

In 2016 the college invested $7.4 million in its heating and cooling system and began installing a keyless entry system on its exterior doors that includes security cameras. That keyless entry system provides an additional margin of safety for all students and employees.

Campus community members have exceptional access to health care services. The college has its own clinic on campus, staffed by Partners in Family Care physicians. Office visits are free for students and employees, with only lab or technical services being charged to insurance.

McPherson College is located in predominantly rural central Kansas. According to census figures, McPherson County is home to 29,356 people; 23.3 percent of this population is under 18 years of age while 18.7 percent is 65 or older. Ethnic and racial minorities constitute 4.2 percent of the county’s population.

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Academic Advising

Academic advising at McPherson College is an intentional relationship between advisor and student as they plan and reach the student’s educational, career, and personal goals. Incoming freshmen are assigned a professional academic advisor. This advisor will help the student plan a program of study consistent with the student’s interests and abilities and oversee the student’s progress toward completing the plan of study. After earning 57 cumulative credit hours, or at the completion of their second year at McPherson College, the students will be transitioned to a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor also engages students in exploring their long-range occupational and professional goals and directs the student to resources that will help them confirm and achieve these goals.

Disability Services

Students with temporary or permanent disabilities are welcome at McPherson College under the regular admissions requirements. It is the college’s policy to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities and to afford them an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of college courses, programs, services, and activities. These students are urged to inform the college of their disability and special needs prior to their arrival to allow the college ample time to determine necessary resources and accommodations. Persons needing assistance may notify the Admissions Office or Linda Barrett.

Counseling and Health Care Services

Campus community members have exceptional access to health care services. Partners in Family Care maintains a walk-in clinic located at 1800 Gordon Street across from Metzler Hall. Office visits are free for students and employees, with only lab or technical services being charged to insurance.

McPherson College has entered into an agreement with Prairie View that allows full-time enrolled students to receive up to 10 counseling visits for free. Students can go to 1102 Hospital Drive on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fridays from 8:30 am to noon for an initial intake meeting. Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs prior to meeting with Prairie View to obtain student verification information.

Career and Experiential Learning

The college recognizes that general life skills such as written and oral communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving, ethics and integrity, and leadership constitute the major portion of the skills people need to succeed in their careers and in life in general. In collaboration with college faculty and staff, the Career and Experiential Learning Office offers special programs, seminars, and courses that assist students in refining life objectives, career goals, and internships and in making sound educational choices for achieving those goals and objectives. Seminars, workshops, and individual meetings are also offered to help students with preparing their résumés and developing the skills needed to secure employment. For additional information, visit the Career and Experiential Learning Office in Miller Library or consult the Career and Experiential Learning Office web page.

Tutoring and Academic Services

Students who need a tutor can download McPherson College’s tutoring app, Penji. Free tutoring services, both individual and group, are offered free of charge. For additional assistance, students may visit with the Academic Services staff, located in Miller Library. Through individualized study, small group instruction, supplemental instruction, and tutoring, students are offered personalized attention while working to improve reading, writing, math, or study skills. The writing tutors are free of charge and can assist students with academic projects.

Miller Library

Miller Library serves as McPherson College’s academic hub. The library’s extensive collection of print and digital resources are aligned with the curriculum and can be searched using the Online Catalog. Miller Library also houses an automotive restoration collection featuring many rare items pertaining to the history of the automobile, as well as special collections documenting the history of the Church of the Brethren and McPherson College. Librarians offer formal research instruction, as well as point-of-use assistance for students conducting research. Miller Library’s extensive hours, along with computer workstations, study tables, carrels, lounge areas, and group rooms provide an environment conducive to group and private study. For more information, consult the Miller Library web page.

Housing & Residence Life

Residence Life at McPherson College is a comprehensive living experience that strives to build a strong and involved community. Our goal is that the residence hall are more than just a place to sleep. They are places to explore personal ideologies through the experience of living away from home. To do this, our Residence Life Team will host events; facilitate community agreements, floor meetings and roommate mediations; create opportunities for themed housing; and provide emotional support for all residents. The Residence Life Team consists of the Director of Residence Life, Professional On-Call Staff, Resident Assistants (RAs). This team is responsible for the daily operation of each hall, and is trained in basic emergency response, mental health support, programming, conflict resolution, and much more. Please contact [email protected] regarding questions or concerns.

Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs supports the mission of the college by developing and graduating whole persons through exploration, experience, and engagement. Student Affairs consists of several areas with a common purpose to help you thrive during your time on campus, including housing and residence life, student organizations and clubs, adventure programs and wellness, spiritual life, diversity and inclusion programming, Title IX, student conduct, and others. We provide leadership and student employment opportunities. The main office for the Division of Student Affairs is located in Miller Library, on the 1st floor, in the Royer Center. Contact information: [email protected] or 620-242-0500.

Dining Services

Sodexo is the McPherson College dining service provider. They provide students with 10, 14, and 19 meal plans. Students have different meal plans depending on their status as a student and the location in which they live. Our corporate dietitians are always available to provide guidance for students and families. In some cases, special food is kept on site for students with dietary restrictions. Students may contact Benny Lopez, Director of Dining Services at [email protected] for more information and to work out the details of their dining plan.

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Courses Outside of McPherson College

Kansas Independent College Association (KICA)

McPherson College is a member of the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA).  KICA strengthens the competitive standing of the 19-member independent, nonprofit, regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities in Kansas through professional development and collaboration, governmental advocacy, and public engagement collectively aimed at supporting the ability of students to choose and afford an independent college education that fits their goals.

Through McPherson College’s affiliation with KICA, students can benefit from special programs and expanded course offerings. Currently, KICA offers an Adaptive Special Education program. Students who participate in this program will graduate with licensure in High Incidence Special Education (intellectual disability, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and other health impairments) at the K-6 and 6-12 levels. In the future, participating KICA members may also make synchronous distance classes available to McPherson College students. Please see the registrar for additional information.

Member institutions of KICA include McPherson College and Baker University (Baldwin City), Benedictine College (Atchison), Bethany College (Lindsborg), Bethel College (North Newton), Central Christian College of Kansas (McPherson), Cleveland University-Kansas City (Overland Park), Donnelly College (Kansas City), Friends University (Wichita), Hesston College (Hesston), Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina), Manhattan Christian College (Manhattan), McPherson College (McPherson), MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe), Newman University (Wichita), Ottawa University (Ottawa), Southwestern College (Winfield), Sterling College (Sterling), Tabor College (Hillsboro), and the University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth).

Acadeum Courses

By arrangement with KICA, McPherson College students may also enroll in pre-approved online courses offered through the Acadeum platform. Students can explore the available online courses at https://students.acadeum.com/institutions/mcpherson-college?collegeConsortiumIsNowAcadeum=%E2%9C%93. All Acadeum courses must be approved by both the academic department and the registrar. Only those online Acadeum courses which are accredited will be considered for approval. During the fall and spring semesters, an Acadeum course will only be taken on an as-needed basis and included in the student’s tuition. Summer classes are not included in a full-time student’s financial aid package. Summer Acadeum courses must be paid for prior to enrolling in the course. Acadeum courses are billed at the part-time, per-credit-hour rate as published in the current academic catalog. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by both the Chief Academic Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

The Acadeum course sharing platform offers additional courses outside of the KICA consortium. Students are able to explore these courses as well, and follow the same guidelines as listed above.

StraighterLine Courses

McPherson College will accept up to six credits of coursework from StraighterLine, as long as the credit recommendation comes on an official transcript from the American Council on Education (ACE) or their designee, and the grade received is C or better. The credit earned will be accepted as elective credit. Current students wishing to enroll in a StraighterLine course must do so in coordination and with a monitoring plan from the Academic Athletic Advising office and the Academic Affairs office, prior to enrolling in the course.


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McPherson College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411, telephone: 800.621.7440, web address: www.hlcommission.org); by the Kansas State Department of Education (900 SW Jackson Street, Topeka, Kansas 66612); and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (see Teacher Education Program for details). McPherson College is in good standing with all accrediting bodies. In addition, the college is a member of the following:

  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American College Personnel Association – College Student Educators International
  • American Library Association
  • Association for Institutional Research
  • Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education
  • Association of College and University Housing Officers – International
  • Association of Governing Boards
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Kansas Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Kansas Association of Private Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
  • Kansas Higher Education Professionals
  • Kansas Independent College Association
  • Kansas Independent College Fund
  • Kansas State Department of Education
  • Liberal Arts Racial Equity Leadership Alliance
  • McPherson Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • South Central Kansas Regional Library System
  • University of Southern California Race & Equity Center
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Institutional Policies

Nondiscrimination and EEO Statement

In accordance with state and federal law, McPherson College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, sex, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic, in the hiring process, during employment, and in the operation of all College programs, activities, and services, including, but not limited to, academics, athletics, other extracurricular activities, the awarding of student financial aid, recruitment, admissions, and housing.

Persons having inquiries concerning the College’s compliance with this policy or any laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination are directed to contact the following:

  • A current student or potential student with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination is encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who may be contacted at: (620) 242-0506 or [email protected]. Additionally, any member of the college’s administration may be contacted with questions or concerns.
  • An employee with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace or an applicant, who has applied for an open position at McPherson College, is encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of the Director of Human Resources, who may be contacted at: (620) 242-0454 or [email protected]. Additionally, employees should feel free to raise concerns of discrimination with their immediate supervisors at any time.
  • Questions or concerns regarding the College’s compliance with Title IX and its prohibition of sex discrimination may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. McPherson has designated a Title IX Coordinator as named in the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Title IX Grievance Procedures.

For questions or concerns related to the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, please contact:

Office of Advising and Student Success
Linda Barrett
Coordinator for Student Success and Engagement
1600 East Euclid
McPherson College
McPherson KS  67460
[email protected]
(620) 242-0510

For all other inquiries related to discrimination at the College, please contact:

Matt Skillen
Vice President for Academic Affairs
McPherson College
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
(620) 242-0506
[email protected]

  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces discrimination laws related to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. Complaints related to these protected classes can also be filed with OCR by visiting: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.

No individual will be subject to any form of retaliation, discipline, or other adverse action for reporting conduct in violation of the College’s nondiscrimination/EEO policy, assisting/cooperating in making a complaint, or assisting with the investigation of a complaint. Any individual who believes they have experienced or witnessed retaliation should immediately notify the appropriate member(s) of the administration as identified above. Those found to be engaging in any type of discrimination in violation of the law or College policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.

ADM 180 – McPherson College Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation and Complaint Procedure explains the process for an individual to file a complaint.

In addition, the following policies and procedures are utilized by McPherson College in addressing various forms of discrimination complaints:

Disability Accommodations

Students with disabilities are welcome at McPherson College under the regular admissions requirements. For details about accommodations, see Disability Services on the Services page of this catalog.

Student Right to Know Information

The Student-Right-To-Know And Campus Security Act of1990, as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991, requires all colleges and universities participating in the Federal Student Aid Program to disclose basic institution information, graduation rates, and information on students receiving athletically related student aid. For the most up-to-date and complete information, see the Student Right to Know Information web page on the college website.

Consumer and Disclosure Information

For the most up-to-date and complete consumer and disclosure information, see the Consumer and Disclosure Information web page on the McPherson College website.

Student Records Policies

Student records are confidential but are open for inspection by the student. Records may also be inspected by parents of financially dependent students. Official transcripts must be requested through the college website https://www.mcpherson.edu/alumni/transcript-request/; other records must be requested in writing from the appropriate dean.

Privacy of Student Records

Certain information is considered to be public or directory information while other information is private in nature. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, email address, telephone number(s), hometown, photograph and/or video content, enrollment status, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance at McPherson College, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. Directory information can be disclosed without a student’s consent unless the student gives a signed notice to the college restricting such disclosure.

A federal law known as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, gives students and former students the right to inspect, review and copy education records related to them. Students have 10 days following the release of directory information to notify the college that any or all of the information designated should not be released without his/her prior consent. This notice must be given in writing to the office of the dean of students.

Education records and personally identifiable information from those records will not be released without the written consent of the student involved, except to other college personnel, officials of other schools in which the student intends to enroll, authorized state and federal government representatives, or unless it is released in connection with the student’s application for financial aid, in response to a judicial order or subpoena, or in the case of a bona fide emergency.

The college maintains with education records of each student a record identifying all persons other than college officials who have requested or obtained access to the records and indicating the legitimate interest of those persons. This record of access is available upon request to the student in question. Finally, all personal information about a student released to a third party will be transferred on the condition that no one else shall have access to it except with the student’s consent. A complete list, with location and custodian of all records kept on college students, is obtainable from the dean of students.

Upon request, a record covered by FERPA will be made available within a reasonable time, and in no event later than 45 days after the request. The student should direct the request to the custodian of the records in question. Copies of the record will be made available to the student at the student’s expense (usually limited to cost of materials).

A student may also request explanations and interpretations of the records from the official in charge. If the student believes that a particular file contains inaccurate or misleading information or is otherwise inappropriate, the college will afford an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record. Prior to any formal hearing, the official in charge of the record is authorized to attempt to settle the dispute through informal meetings and discussions with the student.

If the student is not satisfied, he/she may request a hearing. Procedures for such a hearing will be those outlined in the student handbook for all cases coming before the Campus Hearing Board. The student will have the opportunity at the hearing to present any relevant evidence.

Academic Record

A transcript is a student’s official record of courses taken and grades earned. The records are kept and maintained by the registrar’s office. Student records are confidential, but are open for inspection by the student. Inspection of records must be made in writing, with the request being made to the registrar’s office for transcripts and to the appropriate dean for other records. The registrar will notify the student when the file is available for inspection within 20 days of the date of the request.

Student Development File

The student development file is maintained in the office of the dean of students. It contains directory information for the student, emergency contact persons, copies of correspondence between the student and the dean’s office, a record of any disciplinary action which involved the student, and summary records of student involvements on campus such as work or internship experience and achievements through student organizations. Students who wish to review the contents of their Student Development File should make a written request to the dean of students, who is responsible for maintaining the files. The dean will notify the student when the file is available for inspection within 45 days of the date of request.

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