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Thoreau College - Liberal Arts for the Whole Human Being
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"The Mission of Thoreau College is to provide transformative post-secondary liberal arts education for the whole human being based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy. Thoreau College seeks to cultivate an environment of experiences and relationships in which motivated students can explore the deeper nature of the world and of themselves and prepare to embark upon lives of courageous service to the ongoing development of humanity."

Thoreau College is envisioned as a small, intensive residential liberal arts college with an initial size of about 6 or 7 students per class, or 25-30 students over all four years of the program. We expect that the main body of students will be drawn from young people in the decade of life between 18 and 28, although we are open to older individuals who are ready and able to make the personal commitment envisioned here. Immersive general education based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner for students older than 18 is largely lacking in the world and Thoreau College is eager to research and develop a model for anthroposophically-based education for students from 18 to 21 and during the 4th seven-year period from 21-28. This is a period of life characterized by maturing adult powers of rational thinking, a heightened sense of idealism and interest in the problems of the world, the formation of key life-long relationships, and a dawning awareness of vocation and personal purpose. People between 18 and 28 have been key instigators and activists in the major political, social, artistic, and philosophical revolutions of history. Thoreau College seeks to connect the energy, courage, and idealism of this period of life with the powerful techniques and skills for self-discipline, self-knowing, and consciousness-raising found in anthroposophy to nurture a group of heroic individuals ready to stand in the world with confidence and undertake the difficult tasks required by this critical moment in the evolution of humanity.

Rooted in the unique natural and cultural landscape of the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin while extending its vision and engagement throughout the world, Thoreau College strives to create a tightly-knit community of seekers engaged in intensive self-development across spiritual, intellectual, emotional, practical, and interpersonal dimensions. This community is intended to be residential, with students and at least some faculty living, working, studying, and having meals with one another. In this way, Thoreau College seeks to cultivate a strong daily, weekly, and annual rhythm of life, positive habits for healthy personal development, and a context for supportive and enriching human relationships. To further these goals, students and faculty commit to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy consumption of media and electronic entertainment while in residence at the college. Thoreau College seeks to be an active part of the cultural and social life of our local community, including mutually beneficial partnerships with other local organizations.

In its organizational structure and economic life, Thoreau College seeks to realize Rudolf Steiner’s vision of the Threefold Social Order to the greatest degree possible, while recognizing that it will need to function in the context of a society organized according to very different principles.

In the cultural/spiritual sphere, Thoreau College affirms the necessity of freedom of thought and expression in the arts and in cultural and spiritual matters. This includes ideas and forms of expression that might be stigmatized or silenced in the wider society or in other academic contexts. At its heart, Thoreau College is dedicated to the spiritual freedom of the human being, as well as to the cultivation of this freedom through spiritual knowledge. For this reason, anthroposophy and the ideas of Rudolf Steiner form an essential element in the mission and purpose of Thoreau College and these will continue to hold a place of central importance and respect in the life of the college. Thoreau College faculty members should combine a strong understanding of and commitment to the mission of the college with a serious personal engagement with anthroposophy and the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and a strong professional grounding in their field of teaching, based on education, life experience, or both.

In the political/rights sphere, all Thoreau College students, faculty, staff, and senior fellows will have a formal decision-making role in the operations of the college and the organization will maintain a high degree of transparency in all policy and fiscal matters. Participation in college governance will form an integral part of the curriculum for all students. In its relations with government and other outside organizations, Thoreau College will seek incorporation as a non-profit organization, as well as recognition from the US federal government that would allow international students to attend using student visas.

In the economic sphere Thoreau College seeks to build an institution of higher education that liberates its students to pursue their important life-works free from the burden of educational debt, while at the same time ensuring financial stability and security for faculty, staff, and senior fellows and funding the construction and maintenance of facilities with excellent aesthetic, environmental, and functional qualities. Education for all motivated and qualified students who have been accepted as members of the Thoreau College student body is guaranteed regardless of personal financial means, with the understanding that all members of the college community have a personal responsibility for the financial well-being of the college as a whole, as well as a karmic duty to put the gift of education they have received at Thoreau College to good use in their work and life thereafter.
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april 2016 by robertogreco

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