About Central

Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor, leadership and character formation, global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and sustainability education, athletics and service. The Central experience is rooted in exploration and self-discovery and enhanced by life in a residential community of 1,100 students. Founded in 1853, Central values its long-standing relationship with the Reformed Church in America. The college participates in NCAA Division III athletics and is a member of the American Rivers Conference.

Pella is a thriving community of more than 10,000. It is famous for its annual Tulip Time Festival, its Dutch letter pastries and its fully-functional 1850s-style windmill. Pella is located just minutes from Red Rock Lake, Iowa’s largest lake, and is the corporate headquarters of several international companies, including Vermeer Corporation, Pella Corporation and Precision Pulley and Idler, Inc. (PPI). Niche.com includes Pella on Best Places to Live in Iowa, Safest Places to Live in Iowa and Best Places for Millennials in Iowa 2018 lists.

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:

Learn more about Central’s accreditation.

Environmental Mission:

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

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