Made for the Adventure
About Carroll College
Our motto, in Latin, reads Non scholae sed vitae, translated, "Not for school, but for life."
Some may ask what we mean by "life." At Carroll, we believe that to live well is a choice that each of us makes; a choice to merely exist, or to truly live.
When we live fully and well, we step outside of the cramped and narrow space of a mediocre life, and discover life as it was meant to be.
We are made for lives of adventure—each one of us playing our part in a grand story. At Carroll, we guide each student to discover a transformative sense of calling and to pursue that calling with joy. A commitment to personal formation in the search for Truth is foundational to intellectual pursuit as we live and learn together. The Carroll experience is the beginning of a lifelong journey—for the adventure.
What you can expect at Carroll:
View our "Purple Book" for a summary.
A commitment to excellence is foundational to learning at Carroll. As an academically prestigious institution, Carroll demands the best from its students and upholds the dual goal of vocation and enlightenment. Students are challenged to pursue universal knowledge, not merely information or skills. The College instills an enduring wonder for knowledge that prepares students for leadership in a chosen profession, while simultaneously encouraging and expecting an integration of knowledge through broad formation in a variety of academic disciplines.
There’s a reason U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks us the #1 Regional College in the West, the #2 Regional Best Value College in the West, and the #1 Regional College in the West for Veterans—our students and faculty excel. In the classrooms, labs, and athletic fields, ours is simply a higher standard.
We don’t seek these accolades, but we are grateful for them, as they are a testament to our success in accomplishing our mission.
"Not for school, but for life" is a strongly unifying theme that is valued and intentional in the Carroll experience. Carroll’s leadership, faculty, and staff are intentional about cultivating virtue, communication skills, and leadership qualities that lead to a transformative, beautiful life journey. The College facilitates a culture of encounter, leading to uncommon friendships for life. Carroll graduates are prepared to engage culture with a generous spirit, knowledge of truth, and a continual pursuit of wisdom.
Carroll College warmly embraces our identity as a diocesan, Catholic college, and the centuries-old Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Carroll represents a beacon of light in the culture, welcoming all persons of good will in a cooperative journey toward knowledge and virtue. Students encounter the love of God for each human person, and the liberating joy of learning in an environment that harmonizes faith and reason. Carroll believes that a life of adventure unfolds when we embrace the purpose for which we were made, for “a life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.” We insist that higher education must address the deepest questions of human life, and that education closed to transcendence fails fundamentally in its mission. Following the example of Christ in service to others, the Carroll community aspires to a vision for greater good in the world.
Our community lives its faith every day through a Catholic liberal arts tradition of service and social justice. Every week you’ll find hundreds of students coming together for Sunday Mass. And our dozens of service events, Campus Ministry programs, spiritual retreats, and fundraisers personify a community that is dedicated to developing our spirit as well as our minds and contributing to the greater good.
All of this can be found in Carroll’s exceptional geographic setting, Montana, a paradise for both contemplation and exploration—for the nurture of mind, body, and spirit. Carroll is located in Montana’s capital city, Helena, a town that “perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the west, serving as the ultimate backdrop for adventure.” As the leading liberal arts college in the American West, Carroll beckons students to an immersive and grand encounter. Our campus, featuring iconic gothic, romanesque architecture, rests on 63 acres at the edge of downtown and historic Helena, the capital city of Montana. The beauty of Montana and the Rockies fosters wonder and awe, preparing students to receive all that is true, beautiful, and good.
Our students enjoy the kind of lifestyle here that very few colleges or universities in the country can match. Within walking distance, students have access to movie theaters, restaurants, miles of biking and hiking trails, and a golf course. In thirty minutes students can be on world class mountain biking trails, fly-fishing, or ski and snowboard.
Situated in west, central Montana, and surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and Lewis and Clark National Forest, Helena is a world-class outdoor recreation destination. National Geographic ranks Helena in the Top 20 Mountain Biking Town, Great Values College places Carroll at #33 in their Great Affordable Colleges for Outdoor Enthusiasts list, Outside Magazine calls Helena "Montana’s mountain biking paradise," and Livibility ranks Helena #27 on their Top 100 Best Places to Live survey.
You’ll find more than 75 miles of hiking and biking trails just minutes from campus, and Helena is in close proximity to the Continental Divide Trail, natural hot springs, Great Divide Ski Area, and the Missouri River. Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park are just a few hours away.
The weather is usually clear, sunny and dry. The average annual snowfall in Helena is 47.5 inches, and the average number of days with snow on the ground is 61 per year.