ST. JOSEPH/COLLEGEVILLE -- Both campuses, the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University have been packed this week as hundreds of people have came out to talk about liberal arts education.

St. Ben's and St. John's is in the middle of a three day conference Liberal Arts Illuminated: Pathways, Possibilities, Partnerships discussing the future and current challenges in liberal arts education.


Over 200 people have attended the conference so far, representing over 50 colleges/universities and 20 organizations.

The College of St. Benedict President, Mary Dana Hinton says having a liberal arts education prepares you for more than just your profession.

"The liberal arts prepares you to work well with others, to engage diverse perspectives, to hold two competing ideas in your mind and to really think through them, it opens you up to evolving on how you think about ideas," says Hinton.

The differences between having vocational training and a liberal arts education has been discussed throughout the conference.  St. John's University President, Michael Hemesath says vocational training is something a student can consider for their immediate future but it doesn't necessarily give them job security.

"We don't know what kinds of jobs are going to exist 5-10-20 years from now and so to have people that can think critically, can communicate well, work in teams, adjust to new environments, to learn new things, 20-30-40 years down the road we think that is the best education," says Hemesath.

The conference continues tomorrow (Wednesday). For a full schedule of tomorrow's events visit the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University website.