2003 - 2004 About Westminster

Mission Statement

Westminster College is a private, independent college offering both professional and liberal arts courses of study as well as selected graduate programs. We are dedicated to the integration of liberal arts with career and professional education in a learning environment that is supportive and challenging. Our programs build on the experiences students bring to the college in order to prepare them further for lives of learning, accomplishment, and service. The college emphasizes excellence in teaching and personalized instruction and provides support services to meet the needs of students of diverse ages and backgrounds.

Educational Goals

Westminster College seeks to create an environment that encourages intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and social growth by developing the following attributes and abilities in students:

  • the capacity for independent analytical thought
  • effective problem solving and effective communication skills
  • an understanding of social, scientific, and natural environments
  • a critical appreciation of the arts and humanities
  • an understanding of the foundations of ethical, moral, and spiritual values
  • a sensitivity to global and international concerns
  • an awareness of the ideas and events that have shaped the past and will shape the future
  • imagination and creativity
  • the depth of understanding and expertise necessary for mastery of a discipline or field of study

Undergraduate students complete a core liberal education program as well as a major field of study that incorporates liberal education goals in its curriculum. Students may also complete a minor or electives. Students thereby prepare for a career, a profession, or graduate work and achieve the satisfaction of completing a balanced undergraduate education.

Graduate students enhance their basic knowledge with advanced theory and practice in a chosen profession. They complete intensive courses of study to prepare them for the challenges of a changing world.

The Campus

The Westminster College campus is situated on 27 acres in a residential area of Salt Lake City within the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Students residing in the coeducational residence halls or nearby local housing are just 10 minutes from downtown, 15 minutes from nearby canyons, and only 30 minutes from spectacular ski slopes. Many cultural events, including symphony, ballet, and opera, as well as professional sports, are available to students year-round.

The campus has eighteen major buildings, including a performing arts center; student union; gymnasium; and residence halls, three of which have been built since 1998. The Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business building was completed in 1988 and we will celebrate the opening of a 32,000 square foot addition in Fall 2002. The flagship building of the campus, Converse Hall, was built in 1907 and renovated in 1989. It features classrooms and art studios, and houses a carillon. Foster Hall, renovated 1993-94, houses Arts and Sciences faculty and classrooms. Converse Hall and Foster Hall, together with the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, comprise the Jewett Center for the Arts and Humanities. The student union-the Shaw Center-was remodeled in 2001. In addition, there is a science laboratory building, computer labs, a flight simulator lab, a print shop, a theater, and a nursing laboratory. Classes in wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery are held in the Eccles Ceramics Center. Stately old trees, flowering shrubs, a mountain stream, and a towering water fountain in the center of the campus plaza enhance the overall beauty of Westminster's campus.

The Giovale Library, completed in 1997, is a 50,000 square foot state-of-the art library and information services center. The collection presently includes 113,000 books, and 350 current journal subscriptions in paper. Students have full text access to over 4,400 electronic journals and more than 10,000 electronic books via online electronic databases. The collection also includes videos, maps, audiotapes, and access to more than 48 million items contained in other libraries' bibliographic databases all over the world. The Giovale Library has seating capacity for 290 people, group study areas, a multimedia classroom, media viewing areas, and individual study carrels, all with network access. Many of the resources are available from off-campus via the proxy server. The library staff is well-trained to assist students, staff and faculty in formal classes or on an individual basis in accessing various databases and locating materials and information.

The dedication of the library marked the first in a series of master-planned campus improvements, which include a tiered parking structure on the northwest end of campus behind the Jewett Center as well as an apartment-style residence which were both opened for Fall Semester 1998. A second apartment-style residence was opened for Fall Semester 1999, and a third was opened for Fall Semester 2001. Currently under construction is the expansion to the Gore Business Building, to be finished in Fall 2002. Future building projects include expansions to the Jewett Center, a Health and Wellness Center, a Science building, additional parking and the replacement of the soccer field.

The Faculty

There are approximately 115 full-time faculty and 140 associate instructors who teach at Westminster College. Of the full-time faculty, more than 80% hold a Ph.D. or professional terminal degree. Among the members of the faculty are published writers, active scholars, and many who left successful professional careers in order to teach. The Genevieve W. Gore Distinguished Residents Program and the Weldon J. Taylor/American Express Executive Lecture Series bring noteworthy faculty, scholars, and business leaders to campus every year. The Tanner-McMurrin Lecture Series attracts an outstanding scholar in the history and philosophy of religion each spring, the Key Bank Diversity Lecture Series helps focus the College's commitment to diversity and respect for differences, and the Kim T. Adamson Chair and annual lecture helps bring international perspectives to disciplines and majors throughout the college.

The Students

? A combination of approximately 2,400 full-time and part-time students representing 29 states and 24 foreign countries are enrolled in the college's daytime, evening, and weekend classes. Seventy-eight percent are undergraduate students, 22% are graduate students.

? About 82% of undergraduate students attend full time (12 hours per semester or more), and 18% attend school part-time. The majority of graduate students attend part-time. Eighty percent of undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance with an average financial aid award for full-time undergraduates of over $8,000.

? Students are offered a choice of 30 undergraduate programs and majors as well as graduate degrees in business administration, education, professional communication, and nursing. Westminster students publish a weekly newspaper and a nationally recognized literary magazine, are active in student government and college committees, and are members of both special interest and honorary clubs.

Student Life and Services

Detailed information on student life and services can be found in the Student Handbook, which is personally distributed or mailed to all registered students, faculty, associate instructors and staff each fall. The handbook contains information on:

Student Resources

Athletics/Intramural Programs


Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Campus Organizations


Prevention Program

Campus Crime and Safety


Campus Ministry

Policies and Procedures


Career Resources


Academic Honesty


Center for New Student Advising and Orientation (START)


Computer Ethics and Use Policy


Cooperative Education/Internships


Sexual Harassment Policy




Smoking Policy


Prior Learning Assessment


Student Disciplinary Code


Residential Life


Substance and Alcohol




Weapons Policy



Federal Laws Affecting Students Rights


Veterans Services

Volunteer Service Learning

Accreditation and Affiliation

Westminster College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges and Universities of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges; the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs; the Teacher Education Programs by the Utah State Board of Education; and the Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Utah State Board of Nursing. Programs at Westminster College are approved for veterans benefits, and the College is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.

In addition, the college is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges, American Council on Education, Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, Council for Independent Colleges, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, National Collegiate Honors Council, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Western Institute of Nursing. Westminster is an independent, freestanding, nonsectarian, self-governing college.


Westminster College has played a pivotal role in the educational heritage of the intermountain area. Founded in 1875 as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, a preparatory school under the auspices of the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, Westminster first offered college classes in 1897 as Sheldon Jackson College. Named in honor of its primary benefactor, Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian clergyman and supervisor of public education in Alaska, the college operated for many years on the Collegiate Institute campus in downtown Salt Lake City. Gradually the institute became identified as the college preparatory department, and high school classes continued to be an integral part of the curriculum until 1945.

In 1902 college trustees adopted a new name to reflect a more generic Protestant orientation than its former title afforded. The name Westminster derives from The Westminster Confession of Faith, a comprehensive exposition of Presbyterian theology produced by English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians at Westminster, a borough of London, in the seventeenth century.

Moving to its present location in 1911, Westminster became the first accredited two-year junior college in the intermountain area. In 1935 Westminster modified its curriculum to qualify as a four-year junior college and in 1949 became a four-year liberal arts institution offering baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences. In the years since, the college has added a number of professional programs.

Founded by Presbyterians but always interdenominational in outlook and governance, Westminster had legal ties to the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America administered through the regional Synod of Utah. By mutual consent of church and college, Westminster ended its official covenantal relationship in 1974. Today Westminster exists as a fully independent, privately funded, nondenominational, comprehensive liberal arts institution of higher learning with selected graduate programs, meeting the West's educational needs as it has since 1875.


Address letters of inquiry concerning the college to:
Office of Admissions
Westminster College
1840 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
Phone 832-2200 (local) or 1-800-748-4753 Fax 801-484-3252.