Mission & Values

Naropa has a mission that is unique among America’s institutions of higher learning: We are the only school in the country that grounds the student experience in contemplative education principles. 

Through rigorous academics, contemplative practice, and experiential learning, we look to prepare people with knowledge, wisdom, and skills so they can “be the change” in their workplaces and communities, and live joyous, meaningful lives.

Naropa University Mission Statement

Inspired by the rich intellectual and experiential traditions of East and West, Naropa University is North America's leading institution of contemplative education.

Naropa recognizes the inherent goodness and wisdom of each human being. It educates the whole person, cultivating academic excellence and contemplative insight in order to infuse knowledge with wisdom. The university nurtures in its students a lifelong joy in learning, a critical intellect, the sense of purpose that accompanies compassionate service to the world, and the openness and equanimity that arise from authentic insight and self-understanding. Ultimately, Naropa students explore the inner resources needed to engage courageously with a complex and challenging world, to help transform that world through skill and compassion, and to attain deeper levels of happiness and meaning in their lives.

Drawing on the vital insights of the world's wisdom traditions, the university is simultaneously Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical, and nonsectarian. Naropa values ethnic and cultural differences for their essential role in education. It embraces the richness of human diversity with the aim of fostering a more just and equitable society and an expanded awareness of our common humanity.

A Naropa education—reflecting the interplay of discipline and delight—prepares its graduates both to meet the world as it is and to change it for the better.

Naropa Values

We are fundamentally a contemplative education institution. This core mission inspires everything we do and asks all community members to live with awareness and respect for one another and the world.

In keeping with this mission, Naropa University holds the following values:

 We are Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical, and nonsectarian welcoming faculty, staff, and students of all faiths as well as those who don’t ascribe to any religion.

 We fiercely embrace diversity and inclusivity. Through admissions, hiring, and our curriculum we strive to foster an environment of “belonging with differences,” working consciously to include persons of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, veteran status, perspectives, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, disabilities, national origins, and, of course, religions.

We respect the world as our home and are committed to its sustainability. To that  end we are moving toward zero waste, climate neutrality, and 100 percent renewable energy, recognizing that the “practice” of sustainability connects us more deeply to ourselves, other beings, and the natural world.