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Statement on Catholic Identity

Introduction
The College of Mount Saint Vincent is a liberal arts college rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the mission of its founders, the Sisters of Charity, “…to share in the ongoing mission of Jesus by responding to the signs of the times…and by revealing God’s love in our lives and in our varied ministries with and for all in need, especially the poor.” Built on this foundation, the College is committed to excellence in all things, truth and integrity at all times, and respect for human dignity in all dimensions of the ethical and moral way of life. This identity is lived out in our faith, academic and community lives.

Faith
Deeply rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as lived out in the Catholic tradition, the College provides opportunities for spiritual growth for all its members. These include liturgy, prayer services, retreats, discussion opportunities, sacramental preparation, symbolic and artistic expressions, as well as interfaith prayer and dialogue. The College provides myriad opportunities for service. A key component in this effort is a vibrant Campus Ministry. While the College recognizes its connection with the universal Catholic Church, at the same time, it welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all religious traditions and of no religious tradition as valued members of this community of study and dialogue. As each person deepens his/her personal relationship with God, we are all enriched.

Academic Life
The College of Mount Saint Vincent exists within the Catholic intellectual tradition which holds that faith and reason form a profound and indissoluble unity. Both are needed to pursue the search for truth, wisdom, and learning. The College, therefore, encourages critical thinking and intellectual inquiry in all areas of study and affirms the vital significance of philosophical and religious traditions. The College respects multiculturalism, welcomes people from diverse ethnic, religious, and philosophical traditions, and invites reflective study of these traditions. Where appropriate, students are provided with the opportunity to become acquainted with the Catholic position on matters that arise in their courses of study.

Community
The College, faithful to the liberal arts tradition, promotes appropriate discussion of questions of meaning and value. It maintains a strong values orientation that is consistent with the spirit of the founders, the Sisters of Charity, and the history of Catholic social thought. In this regard, it is committed to social justice and encourages a spirit of service in all its constituencies. The College expects all its personnel to uphold high ethical standards and encourages students to develop a strong values system and a set of ethical principles which will help them to make reflective and caring decisions, rooted in personal integrity and responsibility towards others. The commitment of the College is further directed to fostering respect for the dignity of each individual person with the effort to build a community that is personally and socially enriching.