The purpose of this study was to provide a scholarly baseline about the emergence of liberal (arts) education around the world. Liberal education is based on a philosophy that uses interdisciplinary curriculum to cultivate critical thinking, analytical skills, and a sense of social responsibility. Despite its Greek and 17th century Oxford/Cambridge roots, liberal education has long been considered a distinctly American tradition (Nussbaum, 1997; Rothblatt, 2003). Recently, however, interest in liberal education has been percolating outside the US. Programs and curriculum reforms have emerged in countries where specialized, career-focused postsecondary education has been the enduring norm. Very little is known about liberal education in places where it is a unique approach to undergraduate development. There is no comprehensive global research about the location and prevalence of liberal education programs, about the format and evolution of their development, about their accomplishments and challenges, or about the reasons why this education philosophy is being pursued in new milieus. Thus, this research was guided by the question: Where, when, how, and why has liberal education emerged globally? This study resulted in the Godwin Global Liberal Education Inventory (GGLEI), a database of 183 (non-U.S.) programs with 59 data points. Programs were selected for the inventory based on a hierarchical criteria analysis. Inventory data was collected online and came from primary sources published by the liberal education programs. Sources included program websites, course catalogues, strategic plans, accreditation certificates, and institutional agreements. The GGLEI was then analyzed in conjunction with disparate scholarly research, grey literature, and information from key informants. Findings include profiles of liberal education in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Oceania, and North America (Canada only). Results were organized around the topics of program location, founding date, public/private status, institutional affiliations, students/faculty, language of instruction, and gender. A liberal education rationale schema is proposed for understanding the reasons for liberal education's global development. Challenges and critical questions related to liberal education's evolution in new cultural contexts are suggested for future research.