Mission, Goals, and Principles


The purpose of The Institute is to shape America’s future by educating students with a passion for public affairs and a commitment to free inquiry and the search for truth. Exploring diverse ideas about politics, markets, and society, The Institute seeks to challenge presuppositions, question easy answers, and foster constructive dialogue.

  1. To support free inquiry and free and spirited expression where students with diverse points of view and values can study, discuss, and debate political and social issues in a respectful environment.
  2. To offer curricular and co-curricular opportunities to study and debate these ideas and issues.
  3. To use both on-campus and off-campus resources to enliven the discussion.
  4. To bring nationally recognized thinkers and practitioners to campus.
  5. To expand the College’s capacity for teaching and research in the disciplines most relevant to governments, markets, and societies.
  1. To be interdisciplinary. Theological, philosophical and economic considerations will be employed to identify what sorts of things have ultimate value and what sorts of conditions can be understood as just. Historical and genealogical approaches will help elucidate how ideas and institutions have developed and what has already been attempted. Social scientific approaches will contribute to an awareness of how the world works and what sorts of things are practical.
  2. To emphasize discussion and deliberation, challenging students to think critically and carefully about their own assumptions by examining topics from diverse cultural and ideological perspectives.
  3. To foster an environment of civil and respectful disagreement in which all students are encouraged to share their ideas, regardless of how unpopular their ideas may be.
  4. To foster an environment conducive to constructive, civil and respectful exploration of a wide range of issues and ideas.
  5. To help students explore vocations and careers related to the goals of The Institute.