2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Young Harris College Tradition

Young Harris College was founded by the Reverend Artemas Lester, a circuit-riding Methodist minister. During the College’s first year of existence, Judge Young L. G. Harris of Athens, Georgia, provided generous financial support, which enabled the mountain school to continue to operate. Originally known as McTyeire Institute, for the town in which it was located, its name was soon changed to honor its first great benefactor. The name of the surrounding village was later changed to Young Harris by an act of the Georgia Legislature.

From its beginning, Young Harris was more than just a school for young men and women of the mountains. Because of its academic standing and Christian tradition, the College attracted students from across Georgia, from the Southeast and, in due time, from foreign countries. Today the student body is drawn from over 100 counties in Georgia and from many other states and countries. Young Harris sends back to these places, in the words of one of its graduates, “… men and women able to serve their communities and their God, for in the mountain college of North Georgia, they found a place in society and a faith to live by.”

Mission Statement

In a world of continual change, Young Harris College educates students in the liberal arts and professional programs, serves both the region and the world, and empowers its graduates to create and define service, successes, and meaning throughout their lives.


“Educate, Inspire, Empower”


Young Harris College will:

  • Educate students through a comprehensive liberal arts experience.
  • Challenge students through innovative academic, cultural, athletic, and spiritual programs.
  • Recruit and retain excellent students, faculty, and staff.
  • Empower students, faculty, and staff to reach their full potential.
  • Increase significantly the College’s financial resources and facilities to support growth and development.
  • Contribute to the quality of life of our local community.


Young Harris College Values:

  • Truth
    • Truth and its unfettered pursuit through intellectual inquiry.
    • Integrity in all aspects of academic, professional, and personal life.
  • The Liberal Arts
    • Open-minded and inquisitive learners.
    • The liberal arts model of higher education and its role in transforming students.
  • Heritage
    • Its historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church and the Wesleyan tradition of higher education which seeks to develop both a trained mind and a warm heart.
    • Academic freedom, affirmation of the dignity and worth of all persons, moral integrity, and support for the spiritual journeys of the members of our college community.
  • Community
    • The relationships engendered through a small and diverse campus community.
    • The support provided by our faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and friends.
    • The natural world and the cultural traditions and rich history of the southern Appalachian region.
    • The role of leadership dedicated to creating a sustainable, just, and caring society.
  • Citizenship
    • Our personal and collective responsibilities as citizens in service to society.
    • The role of leadership dedicated to creating a sustainable, just, and caring society.

Vision Statement

Young Harris College will be a liberal arts institution of recognized excellence, comprised of a vibrant community of learners.

EDUCATE: Young Harris College seeks to be recognized in the Southeast as an institution that, through its liberal arts education, encourages students to be intellectually curious. The College will educate the whole person through a comprehensive program of classroom, residential, and extra-curricular experiences. Faculty and staff will be active lifelong learners, and the College will support their intellectual and professional development. The College will examine its processes and learn not only from itself, but also remain involved with the academy at-large. The College will embrace emerging technology and pedagogical innovations.

INSPIRE: Young Harris College will be inclusive in character, providing opportunities for the development of faith through study, worship, and service. The College will take advantage of its mountain setting, incorporating the heritage and natural environment in both academics and student programming. The College will provide diverse educational, recreational, social and cultural experiences for its students and the surrounding community.

EMPOWER: Young Harris College will prepare its students to exercise mature and independent moral judgment in an ever-changing and diverse world. The College will challenge students to find and develop their particular talents, skills, and abilities. The College will provide opportunities for students to interact with others from diverse backgrounds, thus preparing them for responsible citizenship. The Young Harris College experience will exemplify environmental awareness, stewardship, and service to the community.