Carroll College, Helena Montana

Catholic Mission

Mary"Carroll College is a Catholic, diocesan, liberal arts college in the ecumenical tradition of the Second Vatican Council."

 This is the opening sentence of the Carroll College mission statement.  Approved almost forty years ago, it continues to guide Carroll's understanding of its role as a Catholic institution of higher learning.


Embracing and Renewing Our Catholic Heritage

At the Second Vatican Council the Church affirmed that its task was to discern the "signs of the times" so as to "recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics" (Gaudium et spes, #4).   In the same way Carroll College desires to summon both Catholics and all persons of of good will who are part of its community to discern the signs of the times so as to give new expression to its heritage as a Catholic, diocesan, and liberal arts college for the twenty-first century and beyond.  This endeavor is necessary as each new generation of students possesses unique characteristics that require evaluation and adaptation at all levels of the College.  In the last year the College has undertaken the following initiatives to embrace and renew its Catholic culture.

  1. An online survey of faculty and staff about Carroll's Catholic identity.  There were 81 respondents to the survey (57% faculty, 38% staff, 5% other). Responses to this survey have informed subsequent initiatives.
  2. A review and revision of how the College orients new employees to its mission by a task force of faculty and staff representing a broad spectrum of the campus community: Catholics, Protestants, and non-Christians.  The new seven-part orientation will span the entire academic year and cover the following topics: (1) the Values of Collegiality, Community, and Dialogue; (2) A Sense of Place/A Place of Sense; (3) Both faith and reason; (4) Developing the Fullness of Our and Others' Potential; (5) Working in Solidarity for the Common Good; (6) Non scholae, sed vitae; and (6) Finding Your Place in Carroll's Mission
  3. Development of the Catholic Engagement model to explain the relationship of Carroll's Catholic mission to all aspects of campus life: academics, student life, spiritual life, residence life, co-curricular activities, and hiring policies.
  4. Revision of the Carroll College Service-Learning Handbook to include the themes and structure of Catholic Social Teaching.
  5. In the coming academic year initiating an annual faculty roundtable on the Catholic intellectual tradition
  6. Hosting a series of summer lunch conversations for staff on the four main principles of the mission statement: (1) Catholic and diocesan; (2) liberal arts; (3) ecumenical; (4) Second Vatican Council.  Each session is followed up with a summary of the conversation along with other resources on a "Mission and Catholic Identity" Moodle page.