Mission: We are informed by the Quaker heritage of Friends University. We also are rooted both in the liberal arts tradition and in the Christian intellectual tradition. Because of these roots, we insist that our students learn, inside and outside the classroom, to integrate their intellectual lives with their social and spiritual lives in ways that will improve the world. In doing our work authentically, we prepare our students to adapt to change and to make a difference.
The University: One of the largest independent institutions of higher learning in the state, Friends University is a successful and growing independent university located just west of downtown Wichita, in the heart of Kansas. The University’s 54-acre main campus is located in a park-like setting in a quiet residential community. In addition to the main campus in Wichita, the University operates permanent centers in the state’s capital city, Topeka and in Lenexa, a suburb of greater Kansas City, as well as in numerous outreach sites across the state. The University currently enrolls some 2,800 students, and enrollments have nearly doubled during the last 10 years. Classes are small, ranging in size from as few as 10 to a maximum of 50. The student population is diverse, representing a variety of cultures, backgrounds, ages and states.
The city of Wichita combines the benefits of an urban center with a small-city feel. The metro area of some 500,000 persons offers rich opportunities to experience the arts, music, theater, education, sports, world-class restaurants and excellent shopping. The cost of living is well below the national average. In July 2006, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Wichita ninth of 10 in U.S. big cities in which to live and in 2008, MSN Real Estate ranked Wichita first on its list of affordable “best, livable cities.” In June 2009, Wichita was recognized for the fourth time as an "All American City." Wichita is rich both in the breadth of its arts communities and in corporate support for the arts.
Founded in 1898, by the Society of Friends, Friends University provides a welcoming and supportive environment for both traditional and adult students. In the 1930s, governance of the University was vested in an independent Board of Trustees and the University now operates in an amicable but independent relationship with the founding denomination. The University’s Quaker/Christian heritage continues to shape its ethos, values and mission. Long known for the excellence of its programs in the fine and performing arts, the University has gained an excellent reputation for the quality of its academic programs as well as for its more professionally oriented programs such as business and education.