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St. Mary's University College


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St. Mary's University College is a Catholic post-secondary, student-focused liberal arts, and sciences teaching and research institution. Through the synthesis of faith and reason, St. Mary's University College invites and challenges all community members to become compassionate, thoughtful, and resourceful members of society. St. Mary's University College is a beacon of learning, civility, and hope, inspiring students to lead with integrity and meet the future with confidence, intellectual acuity, moral conviction, and a passion for social justice common good. The original St. Mary's College Act received Royal Assent on September 18, 1986. On June 16, 2004, St. Mary's College officially became St. Mary's University College and was authorized to grant its own Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees.
The Christian ideal of Education is based on love, solidarity, the common good, truth, and justice. Right, Education is a moral activity that has at its heart the fundamental worth of each person and the belief in a higher common good to which each belongs and through which each expresses her/his common God-given humanity. Education is simultaneously a sacred and secular activity that is intrinsically linked to the process of becoming a fully human and spiritual being. It seeks a synthesis of competence and conscience. The pursuit of academic excellence is a vital component, but so is the affirmation of human dignity, the liberation of humankind from ignorance, and the empowerment of the marginalized.
Thus, Education is a creative and inspired activity through which we can fully realize our human attributes and help build a world where all people come to share and experience their common humanity. If, in practice, Education is reduced to preparing individuals to compete in the labor market, it leaves people and communities completely ill-prepared for many of the significant components of a well-balanced and fulfilling life. These include relationships, parenthood, vocation, community-building, self-expression, and recreation. Education must not only prepare students for the world of work but life in and for the community.
The goal of an education founded on Christian values is to develop young people's formation and development as communal beings living in harmonious relationships with self, others, God, and the environment. Such Education aims at nurturing in each individual a sense of self-esteem and a concern for others, rooted in the certainty of God's love. The real test of Education is, therefore, how a student uses her or his gifts and talents, not falling prey to the possessiveness, individualism, fragmentation, consumerism, and lack of caring that a purely secular, market-driven education can imbue, but becoming genuinely human and being socially responsible.
At St Mary's, we have a vision of Education in the Catholic tradition, which emphasizes the integration of faith and reason and an ethos that is person-centered, inclusive, and rooted in the Gospel values of respect for life, love, solidarity, truth, and justice. Students of diverse identities are welcome at St Mary's, where they are respected and cherished. Our mission emphasizes the dignity of the human person and the importance of community and social justice.
St Mary's celebrates its distinctiveness and wishes to communicate it and share it with others. The Education we offer our students has a profound sense of the sacred dignity and value of every human person, made as we are in the image and likeness of God. In our increasingly secular and materialistic world, St Mary's serves the common good by the quality of our testimony to this truth. Through hard work and commitment, we have gained a sterling reputation for pastoral care and the intellectual, moral, social, cultural, and spiritual development of our students. We are a very high performing institution as judged by the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of entry-level points, retention, examination performance, student satisfaction, and graduate employment. Our approach to Education is ambitious for the students: it wants everyone to recognize their gifts and talents, and use them, not merely for their benefit, but in the service of their neighbors.
At St Mary's, we place great emphasis on a sense of community. We believe that the very nature of human beings is that we are communal, and we live and grow in the community. It is our experience that many students excel in a learning environment that emphasizes a sense of community. We are a small, specialist, and peculiar institution and one that is very focused, high performing, and with an international outlook. We enjoy an excellent academic partnership whereby St Mary's is autonomous and academically integrated with a top-class research-intensive university, Queen's University, Belfast.

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