Mission, Vision and Identity

Mission statement

Shaped by the Catholic Benedictine heritage, The College of St. Scholastica provides intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.

Vision statement

The College of St. Scholastica aspires to be a diverse and inclusive academic community of excellence, grounded in the rich Catholic Benedictine heritage, sending forth thoughtful leaders sharpened and sensitized by the liberal arts, who are prepared and committed to serve and transform the world.

The purposes of The College of St. Scholastica are to:

  • Foster an environment in which students, staff, and faculty will be inspired with the Benedictine values expressed in community, hospitality, respect, stewardship, and love of learning.
  • Stimulate a zest for lifelong learning by supporting the general education goals of critical thinking, intellectual integrity, aesthetic appreciation, and intellectual curiosity.
  • Prepare students, through undergraduate and graduate programs, for responsible leadership in professional positions and/or advanced studies.
  • Provide programs for traditional and nontraditional students to meet community needs.
  • Lead public interfaith discussions of ethics and peace and justice issues in the tradition of our Catholic Benedictine intellectual heritage.
  • Ensure continued access to a faith-based institution of higher learning through proper stewardship of human and fiscal resources.

Benedictine values

Community

Sharing responsibility to create and support community. Creating a climate that promotes a sense of community while valuing the uniqueness of the individual. Manifesting an ability to adapt to circumstances without compromising our values.

Hospitality

Creating a welcoming atmosphere personally and institutionally. Listening and responding sensitively to all. Extending warmth and acceptance to all. Welcoming new ideas and being open to change.

Respect

Cherishing and promoting the worth of all human life. Treating people with dignity and reverence without regard to age, gender, race, minority, sexual preference or economic status. Honoring and supporting the spirituality of each person. Valuing the dignity of all work. Promoting participation of all people in the decisions affecting their lives.

Stewardship

Using human resources responsibly. Providing wise and respectful use of all material and monetary resources. Promoting prudent use of resources and energy. Finding time for work, play and prayer in daily life, which will promote physical, mental and spiritual growth.

Love of learning

Preserving the intellectual and material heritage entrusted to us by past generations. Transmitting the treasures of human culture to new generations. Creating scholarly, artistic and scientific works that enrich and enlarge human life. Integrating thought and action as complementary aspects of a full human life.

Statement on Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence derives from our Catholic Benedictine tradition

Inclusive Excellence — the idea that academic excellence is best realized in a community that is diverse and inclusive — is central to our mission as a Catholic Benedictine learning community.

The Catholic tradition reaches out to all peoples; this is its universal imperative. As a Benedictine institution, The College of St. Scholastica demonstrates hospitality to all, respects all persons as children of God, and creates community that values the uniqueness of the individual and honors diverse opinions and experiences. In short, because we are Catholic and Benedictine, we are compelled to be diverse and inclusive.

Inclusive Excellence provides a focusing lens for all that we do

Thinking about academic excellence in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion requires that we ask why there is an achievement gap between historically disadvantaged students and other students. Does the gap reflect differences in effort and ability, or does it run along ethnic, racial and socioeconomic fault lines? The action of making excellence inclusive requires that we uncover inequities in student and employee success, identify effective educational and workforce practices, and build such practices organically for sustained institutional change. Inclusive Excellence abides by the principle that the College cannot consider itself to have achieved excellence unless all students and employees feel empowered to succeed, and there is equity in access, opportunity, and success.

Inclusive Excellence articulates our unique identity

Inclusive Excellence will increasingly become a distinguishing element of The College of St. Scholastica experience. It will come to reflect who we are and how we are experienced by students, employees and the broader community.

Inclusive Excellence is not a free-standing initiative to be treated as separate or distinct from other College planning and operational efforts. It is not additional work; it is the work. It needs to be embedded into all aspects of College operations. It must be a coordinated effort; systemic, deliberate and intentional.

View the Statement on Inclusive Excellence.

View the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan Summary.

Our identity

The College of St. Scholastica is the only independent college in northeastern Minnesota. The College was founded in 1912 by a group of pioneering Benedictine Sisters who offered college courses to six young women. Today St. Scholastica educates more than 4,000 men and women yearly and has more than 20,000 alumni. The 186-acre Duluth campus is on a ridge overlooking Lake Superior. Campus buildings include Tower Hall, the Science Center (including a chemistry wing that opened in 2013), Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, the Burns Wellness Commons, Mitchell Auditorium, the College Library, the St. Scholastica Theatre, the Student Union, Somers Residence Hall and eight apartment complexes. The College offers selected programs online and at additional locations in several communities within Minnesota, including Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.  Adjoining the Duluth campus are St. Scholastica Monastery, home of the Benedictine Sisters; Westwood Apartments for seniors; and the Benedictine Health Center, a continuous care facility for seniors. These facilities serve the needs of the Duluth area and provide opportunities for practical experience for many of the College's health and behavioral sciences students. The College's small, friendly community enables students to participate successfully in academics as well as extracurricular and recreational activities. A 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio permits students to seek individualized help and encouragement. National surveys have repeatedly recognized the College for academic excellence and value. In its most recent "Best Colleges" rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks St. Scholastica as a top-tier Midwest Regional University.

Duluth

Mid-America's gateway to the sea, Duluth's Lake Superior harbor hosts ships from dozens of nations each year. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is within two hours of driving distance, as is Lake Superior's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Duluthians enjoy the beauty and sport of four seasons. In close proximity to the College are beaches, biking and jogging trails, ski resorts, cross-country ski trails, boating and fishing sites, and rinks for skating, curling and hockey. Duluth offers a variety of cultural activities as well. The city's entertainment and convention center hosts a long list of popular entertainers every year. The Minnesota Ballet, Duluth Playhouse and Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra provide exciting year-round seasons. Glensheen, a 39-room neo-Jacobean style mansion built on the Lake Superior shore, the Heritage and Arts Center and the Marine Museum at Canal Park highlight Duluth's many historical attractions. The city is a regional healthcare center and offers a variety of shopping in several malls and in many specialty shops. Duluth's low crime rate, high quality of life and extraordinary natural beauty frequently earn it high rankings in national "best places to live" surveys.