Statement of Educational Philosophy

St. Mary’s University, a post-secondary institution firmly in the tradition of Catholic scholarship in this country, values this rich heritage of academic freedom, rigorous intellectual inquiry, respect for diversity of opinion and belief, and social responsibility. The University welcomes students of diverse traditions and cultures; it recognizes that the intellectual interchange essential to a vibrant university-level education requires and is enriched by the presence and voices of diverse scholars and students in a community of critical thinkers. St. Mary’s University proceeds on the assumption that individuals are not merely consumers or producers; we are spiritual beings, and there are ethical and moral dimensions to all we do. The examination of these dimensions is an integral part of the entire educative process.
While each discipline is taught systematically and according to its own methods, interdisciplinary studies assisted through the study of philosophy and theology enable students to acquire an organic vision of life and a continuing desire for intellectual progress. In promoting this integration of knowledge, St. Mary’s promotes dialogue between faith and reason so it can be seen more profoundly that faith and reason bear harmonious witness to the unity of all truth.
St. Mary’s provides an environment for the development of the whole person intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically in his or her social context, and presents a learning ethos that attempts to ensure advances in scholarship and technology are attuned to the authentic good of individuals and of society as a whole. It is an institution that inspires students to undertake responsible intellectual inquiry and accept the challenge of providing leadership for the creation of a socially just world based on sound moral principles.
St. Mary’s promotes understanding of and respect for the uniqueness and inherent dignity that defines each one of us, made as we are in the image and likeness of God. It is an academic community that, in a rigorous and critical fashion, assists in the protection and advancement of human dignity and of a cultural heritage through research, teaching, and various services offered to the local, national, and international communities. A Catholic institution recognizes human culture is open to revelation and transcendence; the University should be a primary place for fruitful dialogue between the Gospel and culture.