Mission & History.


Mission & History


Drew University’s mission is to offer its diverse community of learners a challenging and individualized education shaped by a deep-rooted culture of mentoring, thoughtful engagement with the world beyond its campus, and a steadfast commitment to lifelong cultivation of the whole person. Through its distinctive emphasis on the reciprocity of knowledge, experience, and service, Drew prepares its students to flourish both personally and professionally as they add to the world’s good by responding to the urgent challenges of our time with rigorous, independent, and imaginative thought.


Drew was established in 1867 as a seminary, the antecedent of today’s Drew Theological School. In 1928, a gift led to the addition of the College of Liberal Arts, which began as a small college for men, became co-educational during the 1940s and grew significantly in the 1960s. In the early 1980s, it was granted what is still only the fourth Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the state. The Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, which is devoted to advanced study in the humanities, opened in 1955. Both its established humanities-based PhD programs and its degree programs in fields such as medical humanities are closely aligned to the curricula of the other two schools, from which it draws most of its faculty. The Caspersen School began adding professional programs in 2008 with the Masters of Arts in Teaching and has since continued to broaden the scope of Drew’s offerings.