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United Methodist-Related Colleges Rank in Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2012

Nashville, Tenn. — What are colleges doing for the country? The Washington Monthly magazine named 13 United Methodist-related colleges in the top 100 in its 2012 liberal arts college rankings, based on schools' contribution to the public good in three broad categories (social mobility, research, and service).

"We are very pleased to see a recognition that education should include character and community building, as well as spiritual formation," said Dr. Gerald D. Lord, who heads the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. "United Methodist-related institutions have a long history of being able to reach thousands of people in their most formative years and give them opportunities regardless of their income, race or gender."

Here are the United Methodist colleges and universities in the top 100 and their overall rankings: 22 Millsaps College; 23 Willamette University; 33 Emory and Henry College; 34 Wesleyan College; 38 Claflin University; 41 Allegheny College; 45 Southwestern University; 59 Dillard University ; 65 Albion College; 80 Hendrix College; 89 Drew University; 90 Centenary College of Louisiana ; and 95 Dickinson College.

United Methodist-related institutions such as top-ranked Millsaps College not only provide a first-rate liberal arts education that explores the relationship between values and knowledge, but also affords students vocational discernment to reflect on questions of faithful living across a range of professions. "Millsaps strives to connect the life of the mind with the habits of the heart, and we aim to educate and nurture the entire person mind and spirit," said Robert Pearigan, president of Millsaps College. "All the intelligence in the world profits little if not guided by good character."

Those values scored high on the Washington Monthly rankings. Each school was evaluated in three main categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs); and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). Three United Methodist schools Emory and Henry, Willamette and Wesleyan College were ranked in the top 10 schools specifically for community service participation and hours served.

The Washington Monthly editors say in an online statement that they created their ranking system to offset rankings that push individual colleges to raise prices and only cater to the most privileged students.

"The more expensive college becomes, the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in our best colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back."

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Media contact:
Diane Degnan
ddegnan@umcom.org
615-742-5406 (office)
615-483-1765 (cell)