Centered in the University's Mission and Values and consonant with its Reformed Christian identity, the Initiative engages the university community in a cooperative and spirited effort to foster intellectual understanding of and personal commitment to leading lives of purpose and excellent moral character.

In Short...

The Wendt Character Initiative promotes a campus culture of excellent moral character and purposeful lives.

By character, we mean we aim to become excellent people characterized by integrity, justice, and compassion.


The Initiative's Ten-year Character Alumni Survey demonstrates the program's significant impact on participants' lives while a student, as well as after graduation.

The NSSE survey data demonstrates that UD helps students grow above our comparison groups when it comes to:

  • Developing a personal code of values and ethics
  • Developing a deepened sense of spirituality
  • Community service or volunteer work
  • Participating in a community-based project (e.g., service learning) as part of a regular course

The Acorn

The acorn respresents the God-given potential embodied in each person under the care of the initiative. To quote the English proverb, "Great oaks from acorns grow." Through education and reflection, potential is realized. Within the initiative's intentional community, each individual receives the opportunity to grow, develop, and mature into a person of strong and enduring character, rooted in the values of integrity, justice, and compassion in the context of the University's Christian identity.

Character on Campus

Learn more about our presence on campus.