Earlham strives to be an educational community of mutual support, responsibility, and accountability. The college’s Principles and Practices is a statement of the values that guide our community. In acting according to these principles, we try to cultivate a community that values not only the development of broad knowledge and deep competencies, but an active, successful, and joyful engagement in human society and the world around us. As an educational community, we are a changing group of diverse persons, bringing to this institution a variety of identities, as well as a great range of personal and cultural and spiritual values, experiences, and perspectives. We welcome this diversity and the strengths and transformations this diversity makes possible.
The principles that shape and sustain the Earlham community include the following:
Respect for Persons
We aspire to be a community whose members act with regard for the intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being of everyone. We seek to find mutual respect, trust, and happiness in our relationships with persons of every race, ethnicity, class, religious preference, gender identity, physical ability, sexual orientation, or age, even seeking to respect persons removed by time and place.
The Quaker testimony of Integrity asks us to aspire to personal wholeness, honesty, and truthful living. Integrity means completeness or one-ness, and implies a commitment to truth-telling. Integrity nourishes our trust in one another, allowing us to rely on one another and others to rely on us. It means engaging with each other openly and honestly.
A Commitment to Peace and Justice
The Quaker peace testimony holds that violence, whether physical, emotional, or verbal, is an injustice that harms all parties involved, and is never the means to achieve a just and lasting peace.
Here, we invite each other to recognize what is central in our lives by listening to inward leadings and learning from others. That listening can give us clarity as we make choices about the responsible use of our time and our resources. A life guided by the testimony of simplicity can lead us to recognize what makes us genuinely happy and to be good stewards of community, personal, and global resources. It replaces distraction, stress, and excess with clarity, focus, and a sustainable life.
Community Decision Making
Quakers believe that the ideals that guide us are best encountered in a community of openness and mutual respect. Educational communities exist as an opportunity to discover and test truth. Because each person brings different knowledge and perspectives, truth-seeking is best fostered in community. As a result, the individual has a great many rights and responsibilities, but it is in the act of participation in a community that we come to know our interdependence with one another and to develop individual virtues such as openness and restraint and communal virtues such as justice and equality.
People in consultation with one another have the potential to make better decisions than will individuals alone or majorities unaided by minority views. Therefore, an important dimension of learning to which we aspire is discerning the needs of others. Differences can be sources for growth and new insights. Accordingly, we consult broadly, value the opinions of others, and often incorporate consensus in decision-making.
More information on our Principles and Practices can be found online.