Berry College Gate of Opportunity

Purpose & Mission

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From its inception, Berry has pursued a bold and distinctive approach to meeting the challenge of preparing students for life. Our entrepreneurial founder, Martha Berry, understood that intellectual skills and practical skills could be combined to powerful effect in shaping people known for their work ethic, integrity, resourcefulness and willingness to serve. She believed in the wisdom of helping students to help themselves, and she used the intensity of a residential community as a potent context for teaching life lessons.

Building on this foundation, Berry today combines challenging academics with character-enhancing and career-building practical experiences. The college’s academic programs rival other top residential universities in the region, but its commitment to eight semesters of paid professional development experience is one of a kind. The Berry Compact emphasizes equally the importance of ownership and mentoring – it is what defines our culture and propels our collective success.


For students to graduate as self-motivated learners – knowledgeable, responsible and resilient – leaving Berry with a sense of direction, conviction about what matters and confidence moving forward.


To provide an integrated education of the head, heart and hands as the means by which to graduate responsible adults with the knowledge, experience, character and passion to improve the communities in which they live, work and serve.


“Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”


We educate the head, heart, and hands – to inspire leaders of integrity who cultivate thriving communities.
Combining academic exploration with meaningful work responsibilities in a residential setting, our approach emphasizes firsthand experiences and mentoring. We invest in the personal growth and professional preparation of talented students from varied backgrounds, with an enduring commitment to help those hindered by financial need. Guided by Christian principles, we value the dignity of individuals, the search for truth tempered with grace, and the well-being of our neighbors.

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