Central College

Pella,, IA 50219-1999
United States

Central College, Founded in 1853, Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, residential four-year liberal arts college known for its academic rigor and strength in global, experiential learning. Characteristics of the college are also defined by its strength in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success and traditions, and leadership and service. Central continues to value its long-standing relationship with the Reformed Church in America that began in 1916.

Mission Statement:

Central College is a residential liberal arts college dedicated to helping students discover and develop their greatest potential. Guided by its ecumenical Christian tradition, the college community engages in vigorous, open inquiry in pursuit of academic excellence.

The College nurtures the development of the mind, while fostering spiritual and emotional maturity and physical well-being. Central integrates career preparation with the development of values essential to responsible citizenship, empowering graduates for effective service in local, national and international communities.


Just two minutes from Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake, the community of Pella is home to corporate headquarters of international companies such as Vermeer Corporation, Pella Corporation (Pella Windows and Doors), and Precision Pulley and Idler, Inc. (PPI). Pella is a thriving community of 10,350 people, famous for its annual Tulip Time festival which is held each May.  While located in Pella, Central is also an active part of the Greater Des Moines region, ranked No. 1 in strongest local economies (POLICOM Corporation, 2014), No. 1 for America’s best cities for young professionals (Forbes, 2014), and No. 2 for best places for business and careers (Forbes, 2014), with dozens of other top rankings earned as well. The college and the Pella community are both members of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a regional economic and community development organization.


  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Member of:
    • North Central Association
    • Iowa Department of Education
    • CAATE
    • National Association of Schools of Music
    • American Chemical Society

Environmental Mission:
Central College is a leader in environmental stewardship in Iowa and the Midwest.

  • Received Iowa's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, silver, by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2003 for the renovation of the Vermeer Science Center.
  • Earned gold LEED rating in 2004 for McKee Residential Hall.
  • Received platinum LEED rating in 2010 for the Roe Center.
  • Central is committed to LEED guidelines for all new campus construction and to an environmentally friendly campus.
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