• Mission and History

    Hamline University’s mission statement, values, and vision are not something that exist in words alone.

    You can find them in the values that guide our education, in the way our community comes together, and in our professors, leaders, staff, alumni, and students’ hearts.

    They are not static. Rather, they are continually active, guiding us in what we do, whether it is creating new programs, erecting new buildings, or charting a course into our next 150 years.


    To create a diverse and collaborative community of learners dedicated to the development of students' knowledge, values and skills for successful lives of leadership, scholarship, and service.


    Hamline University recognizes its roots in the traditions and values of the United Methodist Church. Through our personal and collective effort, we will make a lasting difference in the world as we aspire to the highest standards for:

    • Creation, dissemination, and practical application of knowledge

    • Rigor, creativity, and innovation in teaching, learning, and research

    • Multicultural competencies in local and global contexts

    • The development and education of the whole person

    • An individual and community ethic of social justice, civic responsibility, and inclusive leadership and service


    Hamline University will be recognized as a diverse, learning-centered university that is:

    • Rooted in a tradition of liberal education

    • Dynamic and actively inclusive

    • Locally engaged and globally connected

    • Invested in the personal and professional growth of persons 


    Hamline University is Minnesota’s oldest university. Named in honor of Leonidas Lent Hamline, a Methodist bishop who donated the funds, Hamline's first home was in the town of Red Wing in what was then the Territory of Minnesota. The first classes were held on the second floor of the village general store. Hamline graduated its first class in 1859: two sisters, Elizabeth A. Sorin and Emily R. Sorin, who were not only Hamline’s first graduates, but also the first graduates of any college or university in Minnesota.

    Today, Hamline University is a nationally-ranked, comprehensive university serving nearly 4,500 students in its College of Liberal Arts, School of Education, and School of Business. It offers undergraduate, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees, as well as certificate and continuing studies programs. Governed by its Board of Trustees, Hamline is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit university.

    Read the full history of Hamline University >