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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, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success and tradition, and leadership and service. Central continues to value its long-standing relationship with the Reformed Church in America. The college participates in NCAA Division III athletics and is a member of the Iowa Conference. Central is an active part of the Greater Des Moines region and minutes from Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake.

Learn more about our history. Read our welcome statement and our covenant with the RCA.

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.

Location: Pella, Iowa, just 40 minutes southeast of Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines and two minutes from Lake Red Rock. Pella is a thriving community of 10,000 and home to several large international companies such as Pella Corporation (Pella Windows), Vermeer Corporation, Heritage Lace and Precision Pulley. The city of Pella is known for tourism and the annual Tulip Time Festival that brings over 200,000 visitors each year.


Member of:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • State of Iowa Board of Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Educators
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • American Chemical Society

Learn more about Central’s accreditation.

Environmental Mission:

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

  • 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.

Learn more about Central College’s commitment to the environment and campus sustainability efforts.

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Additional Details

  • Undergraduate Degrees:Bachelor's
  • Undergraduate Enrollment:1386
Show all
  • Student to Faculty Ratio:Unknown
  • Room and Board:9980
  • Student Diversity – % Asian/Pacific Islander:Unknown
  • Student Diversity -% Hispanic or Latino:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % Black or African-American:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % American Indian/Alaskan Native:Unknown
  • Year Established:1853
  • Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission
  • Price Range $30,700 (includes fees)
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