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Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic, liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition for men and women of all faiths and all ages. The 350-acre campus is situated on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, a half-hour from Portland, Maine’s largest city, and two hours north of Boston. Saint Joseph’s was founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy and chartered by the Maine Legislature in 1915. It is the Catholic college of Maine. Saint Joseph’s grants degrees in fulfillment of the educational ideals of the Sisters of Mercy, founded by Mary Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.
In 1970, Saint Joseph’s College became a coeducational institution. Distance education was introduced at Saint Joseph’s in 1976 to serve the needs of non-traditional adult learners in the U.S. and abroad. At that time, one degree program was offered at a distance. Over the past 29 years, Saint Joseph’s has continued to add programs geared to adult learners and now offers more than 40 programs through its Division of Graduate and Professional Studies. Approximately 4,000 students are currently active in distance education through this division. These students come from all 50 states and more than 20 countries.
Statement of Mission
Rooted in and professing fidelity to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Joseph’s College, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is a liberal arts college that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth in students of all ages and all faiths within a value-centered environment.
In fulfillment of this Mission, Saint Joseph’s College will:
- foster a strong academic community dedicated to the pursuit of truth through serious study, integration of knowledge, and an ongoing dialogue between faith and reason;
- encourage all students to explore widely the arts and sciences while they also prepare to live ethical and meaningful lives;
- provide a strong foundation for graduate study, professional service, and career advancement;
- offer, in an extension of its Mission to multiple areas of the world, both degree and non-degree programs through distance education;
- enhance students’ awareness of human dignity and the meaning of life;
- advocate for justice and peace in recognition of each person’s responsibility for the welfare of both humankind and the environment.
The Core Values of the College, rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and in the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, are the foundation for this educational mission. Taken to heart, these values exist at our very core; they are made visible in our daily interactions. The Core Values are:
FAITH — Rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, therefore, we respect diverse religious traditions and honor each individual’s religious beliefs. Through the curriculum, sacramental opportunities and co-curricular activities, we invite all members of the College community to develop their faith as an essential dimension of their lives.
EXCELLENCE — As a Catholic liberal arts college, we seek to combine faith with reason in the pursuit of academic excellence. We call all members of the College community to excel as individuals and as professionals within their specific roles.
INTEGRITY — Concerned for the common good as individuals and as a community, we commit ourselves to honesty in all relations with students, faculty, staff, and administration. Through our integrity, we maintain the trust of the surrounding community and of public and governmental agencies.
COMMUNITY — Informed by the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, we demonstrate our spirit of connectedness with one another through our expressions of hospitality, courtesy, inclusive relationships, shared values, and collaboration. We extend this value of community by reaching out to neighbors and to members of the broader civic and ecclesial communities.
RESPECT — Mindful of the achievements of the past, we value and respect the contribution of each member of the Saint Joseph’s College community to the advancement of our mission. We encourage and support each other as colleagues working together for the good of the whole institution.
COMPASSION — Inspired by the example of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, we open our hearts to those among us in physical, psychological, or spiritual need. We consciously reach out beyond our college boundaries to serve the needs of others with compassion and mercy.
JUSTICE — Recognizing the dignity of all persons, we seek to address instances of injustice both within and outside our College community from a stance of informed advocacy. We hold ourselves accountable to each other and endeavor to practice responsible stewardship of the resources available to us.