Mercer University was founded in 1833 in Penfield, Georgia, by Georgia Baptists. The school, under the leadership of Baptist minister Adiel Sherwood, was named for Jesse Mercer, a prominent Baptist leader who provided a founding endowment and who served as the first chairman of the school's Board of Trustees.
Mercer University is a faith-based institution of higher learning that seeks to achieve excellence and scholarly discipline in the fields of liberal learning and professional knowledge. The institution is guided by the historic principles of religious and intellectual freedom, while affirming religious and moral values that arise from the Judeo-Christian understanding of the world.
The purposes of Mercer University are:
* To offer undergraduate, graduate and professional programs based upon a strong liberal arts foundation.
* To support a highly qualified faculty that is student and teaching oriented and is engaged in scholarly, research and professional activities.
* To foster independent and critical thinking and a continuing interest in learning.
* To foster intellectual and spiritual freedom in an environment that encourages tolerance, compassion, understanding and responsibility.
* To offer a variety of intellectual, cultural, recreational and spiritual activities designed to enlarge capacity for improved judgment and moral, ethical and spiritual growth.
* To encourage the enrollment of qualified persons from diverse backgrounds and situations.