Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates persons to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.
"Saint Xavier University"
As an institution of higher education, Saint Xavier engages its students, its faculty and staff, and those who comprise its immediate and broader communities in the primary activities of teaching, learning, scholarship and service. The University is named after the Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Mother Frances Xavier Warde who, in 1846, brought the Sisters of Mercy from Pittsburgh to Chicago and founded Saint Francis Xavier Female Academy of Chicago, Illinois, the forerunner of Saint Xavier University.
"A Catholic institution"
Saint Xavier University reflects and extends the teaching mission of Jesus. It is a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church, a relationship made possible because of its continuing sponsorship by the Sisters of Mercy through the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. Catholic teaching, especially the dialogue between faith and reason and the social justice tradition of the Church, undergirds the University's mission and values.
"Inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy"
Grounded in the Gospel stories of a compassionate and hospitable Jesus who loved and served others, the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy to the poor, sick and uneducated began in Dublin and now extends around the world. Their reputation as educators prompted the city's first Catholic bishop to bring the Sisters of Mercy to Chicago, where they founded Saint Xavier in 1846, making it the first Mercy institution of higher education existing in the world today. Imbued with the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University extends a rich tradition of intellectual rigor, compassionate service and hospitality to its students and to the world through the work of higher education.
The University develops and sustains programs and practices that lead (L. ducere: to lead), all persons away from ignorance toward the expression of their fullest human potential. Among the expressions of full human potential are displays of personal and professional excellence, ethical decision-making and concern for the welfare of others.
"To search for truth"
As an educational ministry of the Church informed by its Mercy heritage and sponsorship, Saint Xavier University encourages and supports all members of its academic community in their search for truth, including religious and theological truths that derive from or point to the existence of a loving God in whose image each person has been created. The journey toward truth is lifelong -- Via, Veritas, Vita1 -- a quest that respects faith, reason and the diverse approaches of various disciplines and methods of observation, reasoning and analysis.
"To think critically"
When Saint Xavier became a college in 1915, the sisters designing the course of studies grounded the academic program in the liberal arts and sciences in order to "liberate" or "free" students to live reflectively as they acquired knowledge and searched for truth in their personal and professional lives. Becoming liberated, in this sense, requires the ability to think critically. Thus, Saint Xavier's curriculum, past and present, emphasizes careful observation and inquiry, reflection and contemplation, assessment, creativity, argumentation and integration. By learning to think critically, in all its dimensions, students can be freed from laboring under unfounded assumptions, preconceived notions and stereotypical judgments; they are freed to live informed, productive, good lives.
"To communicate effectively"
Saint Xavier University is a community of discourse in which the knowledge and critical thinking of individuals and groups can be both challenged and expanded. Effective communication within a community of discourse requires different skills and approaches, grounded in academic disciplines and characterized by civility and respect for the opinions, experiences and beliefs of others. As an educational community, Saint Xavier also has a responsibility to share its search for truth and its critical thinking with a broader public who are both critics and consumers.
"To serve wisely and compassionately"
Service is a fundamental message of the Gospel and a hallmark of the life and ministry of Jesus. Thus, as a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University educates persons not only for themselves but also for others. To serve wisely involves making good ethical judgments about the disposition of one's and the world's resources, including personal time and talents. To serve compassionately is to extend oneself in merciful action on behalf of others in their need. Service in the spirit of mercy derives from an awareness of the needs of others and a feeling of solidarity with them, informed by intellectual principles found in religious, ethical, and moral teachings and traditions.
"In support of human dignity and the common good"
A fundamental message of the Scriptures and a basic principle of Catholic social teaching is that human beings have innate dignity because they are made in the image and likeness of God. This personal dignity cannot be mitigated by conditions of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or physical ability. The common good, a complementary principle of Catholic social teaching, is predicated on the tenet that each person holds a God-given responsibility to promote a just and merciful world that make the benefits of God's goodness accessible to all. Saint Xavier University strives to be intentional about addressing human dignity and the common good in its programs, activities and relationships.
1. Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6)
*Approved by the Saint Xavier University Board of Trustees -- October 12, 2005
*Approved by the Corporate Member, Sisters of Mercy -- October 20, 2005
*Approved by the Saint Xavier University Board of Trustees -- September 30, 2020