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Our Catholic Identity

At the center of our Catholic commitment is the belief that every person is a gift, a child of God, and a bearer of the very image of God. As a Catholic university, we are called to inspire students to discover their gifts and callings, to embrace learning, to play an active role in the community, and to lead lives of significance in service to God and others.

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As a Catholic university, Mount St. Mary’s graduates ethical leaders who are inspired by a passion for learning and lead lives of significance in service to God and others.

Mount St. Mary’s University is a proudly pluralistic Catholic university, a community of friendship in pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty. We were founded more than 200 years ago by a priest fleeing religious persecution. Since then we have always been committed to welcoming students of any religious background. The Catholic faith commits us wholeheartedly to the dignity of every human being, as a child of God, reflecting the image of God. We serve the Church by embodying and engaging the diversity of human experience.

A university is a place to ask big questions: What does it mean to be human? How can I be happy? What are my responsibilities to others? What can I know – about creation, about myself, and about God? Our Catholic mission inspires us to ask, and seek answers, to these central questions of a meaningful life. We offer an array of academic majors for students to pursue answers according to their interest and calling, with a firm formation in a common intellectual experience through a cohort-model liberal arts core curriculum.

The university experience isn’t just about ideas. We expect students to experience and model the sacrifices of saints and heroes who have graced this campus before them. From formal service opportunities and social justice initiatives to internships and mentoring programs, from athletes serving their teammates to singers and musicians contributing to campus events, the strength of our community is in the active generosity of its members.

Each of us is called to lead our own lives, and through that, to participate in leading others. The Mount’s campus culture provides countless opportunities for students to experience their own model of leadership – in clubs, athletics, academic festivals, study abroad, outdoor adventures, retreats, and more. We are a supportive community, where students find their voice and grow in confidence as well as ability, preparing them for success and leadership in the wider world.

God made us to live significantly. Our very campus environment – with a beautiful natural setting, historic architecture, and comfortable size – lifts the spirit and cradles the heart. Our nationally recognized seminary forms future priests, and our National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes draws international pilgrims. Together our academic programs, our student life, and our physical environment embody our Catholic identity, inspiring all students to experience the wonder of learning, the joy of community, and the nobility of duty to friends, to society, and to God.

A Catholic Liberal Arts University

A Catholic university is dedicated to the formation of students in the pursuit of wisdom. The notion that truth is valuable and liberating to the human person is what inspires the very notion of liberal education. The idea of a university grew from the conviction that one is enriched by joining a community of inquiry, constituted by different approaches to truth, seeking together for a unified vision of life.

A significant inspiration for the Catholic university is the conviction that all truth is God’s truth, and that wisdom from whatever source may be identified, purified, and embraced within the tradition. The Catholic mind takes seriously St. Paul’s recommendation at the letter to the Philippians (4:8): “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

The Catholic university is thus called to be a locus for the Church to engage the world. Ex Corde Ecclesiae describes the Catholic university as a privileged place to “promote a continuous and profitable dialogue between the Gospel and modern society.” The Catholic faith, insofar as it is committed to the existence and value of truth and to the power of reason to seek it, underwrites the notion of an educational community dedicated to intellectual discovery and personal formation.

Mount St. Mary's University Catholic Identity Committee

This leadership committee is comprised of representatives from all aspects of campus life: academic and student life offices, as well as the seminary and National Shrine Grotto.