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Benedictine Tradition

Welcome to America’s Flagship Benedictine Community

Saint Vincent College is a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts colleges founded and enriched by Saint Vincent Archabbey and Monastery, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

What makes a Benedictine College?

As a landmark Benedictine institution, Saint Vincent College calls all members of the campus community to move out of their comfort zone for the sake of building something durable and true. Benedictine education emphasizes the communal and incremental — one step at a time — nature of life’s challenges. While classroom and experiential learning prevail, we know that more than a strong intellect is required to live with integrity and to adapt to change.

More than ever, young people feel challenged to affirm the virtues that make for a good life and foster the common good. While Benedictines call upon each individual to develop and integrate heart and mind; we also support your growth through daily acts of community and caring. We know that the path to rigorous thinking and right living is lifelong. We consider the questions with which our tradition wrestles to be worthy and long-lasting. Most important, we elect to walk the path and pursue understanding together.

How we grow together.

We attract young people who appreciate the undergraduate experience as a crucial time for maturation; a time for moving from a discipline imposed by outside authorities to one that’s inner-directed.

Only then can you foster an active engagement with knowledge and set your own goals. With personal responsibility comes a sense of agency. You learn to trust your ability to listen, sort, and resolve ideas not based upon ignorance, whim, or prejudice, but upon your own worthy apprehension, examination, and evaluation of argument and evidence.

By pursuing this integration of reason and faith, you emerge more grounded and capable; able to persevere and bring fully what you learn — about yourself and the world — into a life lived with co-workers, family, friends, and community.

Benedictine Education: 10 Hallmarks

The values that animate Benedictine monastic life – love, prayer, stability, obedience, discipline, humility, stewardship, hospitality, community – illuminate for Saint Vincent College students, faculty, alumni and friends ways to engage the world and face its complexity and uncertainty.

  • 1. Grounded in Love

    God’s love reaches beyond all differences and calls upon us to support each other in a rigorous and disciplined search for knowledge.

  • 2. Purposeful

    The daily rhythms of monastic life make time for reflection and prayer; creating sufficient quiet to ask how we might go beyond living near one another and be in the right relationship — to others, to our sense of purpose and to God.

  • 3. Stable

    While daily demands pull individuals in many directions — toward different majors, career goals, personal interests — we remember that real growth depends on a sense of stability marked by strong and lasting relationships and a shared regard for human dignity.

  • 4. Generous

    A Benedictine education — whether in the classroom or through service — seeks to challenge closely-held assumptions and encourage a giving of self for the greater good.

  • 5. Attentive

    Benedictines cultivate a habit of listening required to see and hear each person — and every living thing — to know better the richness, fullness, and interconnected nature of life.

  • 6. Discipline

    The Benedictine motto, Ora et Labora (pray and work), calls us to be “clothed with faith and the performance of good works.”
  • 7. Modest

    Even as we complete difficult academic work and pursue goals outside our comfort zone, we remember that the measure of our lives is not found in a future job title or career alone, but in our ability to give and receive support, be good team members, champion the success of others and contribute to the well-being of all.

  • 8. Resourceful

    Collaboration, a desire to live responsibly and a fundamental respect and reverence toward nature and the creation that God has made — including each person — allows everyone in the community to remain resourceful and resilient, whether in times of plenty or scarcity.

  • 9. Hospitable

    As a community that grows and changes in our makeup each day, we look to remain open and quick to extend a big welcome to each arrival — visitor, new idea, special guest, fresh perspective — so that the sense of belonging we experience can be felt tangibly and easily passed along.

  • 10. Communal

    We seek to discover and realize our true gifts and greatest joys — to become who we are — by standing in the light offered in every relationship, especially those that challenge us to overcome preconceptions and surrender bias.