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Vision & Mission



The vision of the University of the Cumberlands is to be the premier liberal arts university that encourages intellectual and spiritual growth, leadership and service.

Cumberlands will capitalize on its history, location, and close student and faculty bonds to become a forerunner institution, a distinctive kind of learning center, an independent pioneering 21st century university that is unusually devoted to preparing young people for the future.

To do so, Cumberlands will:

  1. Remain a relatively small undergraduate university, with approximately 1600 undergraduate students.
  2. Continue growing the graduate and adult programs oriented toward emerging professional opportunities, each of which features superior teaching, applied learning and experiences.
  3. Be grounded in the liberal arts while continuing to develop delivery methods that work to improve student learning outcomes.
  4. Create and sustain an environment for learning and professional development.


University of the Cumberlands has historically served students primarily, but not exclusively, from the beautiful mountain regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Alabama which have traditionally been described as Appalachia. The University's impact can be seen in the achievements of its graduates who have assumed roles of leadership in this region and throughout the nation. 

While located in the resort like area of Appalachia, with emphasis primarily on serving the beautiful mountain area, the university now reaches into every state and around the world through its student body and alumni.

UC continues to offer promising students of all backgrounds a broad based liberal arts program enriched with Christian values. The University strives for excellence in all of its endeavors and expects from students a similar dedication to this pursuit. Its commitment to a strong academic program is joined with a commitment to a strong work ethic. Cumberlands encourages students to think critically and creatively so that they may better prepare themselves for lives of responsible service and leadership. This focus of its undergraduate programs is extended and extrapolated into its graduate programs. These programs also nurture critical and creative thinking in pursuit of the “life-more-abundant” for both the individual and society. At Cumberlands, graduate study prepares professionals to be servant-leaders in their disciplines and communities, linking research with practice and knowledge with ethical decision-making.

Commitment To Liberal Arts

In the belief that freedom is the result of respect for truth and concern for humanity, University of the Cumberlands, through a traditional liberal arts program, attempts to foster in its students a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the search for truth and a deepened responsibility toward mankind.

The University seeks to graduate men and women with Christian values derived from spiritual and intellectual experience within the university community as well as from the traditional academic disciplines.

Self-Help Through Work-Study

Since its founding in 1888, the self-help feature has been an integral part of University of the Cumberlands.

Cumberlands believes the privilege of a university education should be based upon motivation, ability, character, and purpose rather than upon the amount of money a student or his parents might have. The most wholesome type of financial assistance consists in helping the student to help himself. A student aid program should develop qualities of thrift and self-reliance, as does the work-study plan at Cumberlands.

Much of the financial assistance at Cumberlands is given in form of remunerative employment. The work program is optional and the amount of work depends on ability and need.

In recent years many students have earned their college expenses. Continued employment and promotion depend upon the quality of work done. At Cumberlands students receive a formal education for minimal cost and if they don't have the money, they pay for a large portion of their education by doing daily work in the college cafeteria, in the maintenance department, in Appalachian outreach programs-as student assistants, photographers, postal clerks and part-time secretaries.

Self-help opportunities are afforded to over six hundred students who work an average of twelve hours per week under guidance and supervision. These students are taught the value of promptness, industry, dependability, and initiative.

Plan Program Growth Through Service And Work

The Mission Statement of University of the Cumberlands clearly states the University's position on the value of work and service to others. The Service/Work and Leadership Program is centered in the belief that students must be placed in positions where they may experience opportunities for service and leadership. Students are required to become involved in a planned activity of campus or community service, concurrent leadership activities, and work prior to graduating. Each student must propose an acceptable plan for at least forty hours of campus/community service or take part in the College Workstudy Program.

To provide all students with leadership training as an integral part of the program, each student involved in the service or work activity will also be required to take part in several leadership seminars. The goal of this activity is to not only make students aware of their responsibilities to others through the service/work experience but also to provide the students with the skills to organize and lead others in similar activities.

In order to record the full range of activities in which a student has been involved at University of the Cumberlands, a "Service Leadership Transcript" will be developed for each student. This transcript will be a permanent part of each student's record and will be forwarded upon the student's request along with his/her academic record.


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