College of Mount Saint Vincent and Sisters of Charity of New York
- Founded in 1911, the College of Mount Saint Vincent (hereafter the “College”) and the Sisters of Charity (the “Congregation”) have worked together to enable their complementary missions to flourish. The Congregation, as a founding sponsor devoted to the mission of Jesus, and the College, as a major congregational ministry, are together dedicated to serving the mission of the Gospel and the needs of society.
- In that spirit, the Congregation and the College desire to make a formal statement of mutual support, engagement and accountability. We create this covenant to nurture and sustain this most important partnership, building on the warm, positive and collaborative relationship between the Sisters and the College.
- This covenant is intended to inspire and guide the Board of Trustees, the College administration, and the Congregational Leadership Team, as well as the Mount community and the Sisters of Charity. As expressed in the College’s Mission statement,
At Mount Saint Vincent, a student’s education extends beyond knowledge, skills and preparation for work. We seek the development of the whole person. In the spirit of Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton, we foster an understanding of our common humanity, a commitment to human dignity, and a full appreciation of our obligations to each other.
- Recognizing that they are distinct institutions with a common history and home, the Sisters and the College have common interests and concerns about the long-term vision for their magnificent shared campus. Together, we agree to maintain stewardship of the land and respect the context of the neighborhood and region. (Campus Master Plan)
- Through the Congregation’s sponsorship, the College is part of the mission of the Church and the mission of the Sisters of Charity.
The history and tradition of the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, relate closely to the ministry of education. As Sisters of Charity, aspiring to be signs of God’s love and women of hope, open to the Spirit, we are called to acknowledge our unique gifts and talents and to appreciate and nurture these in one another. Our view of education impels us to inspire individuals to seek greater control over their lives since informed choices are possible only by developing critical thinking and inner discipline…
(SC Philosophy of Education)
Safeguarding this mission for the future is the shared responsibility of the Congregation and the Board and President of the College.
- To meet this responsibility, we seek to strengthen the relationship between the College and the Congregation. With that intent, we embrace values which reflect the spirit of our relationship.
- The Congregation sees its Mission as follows:
– We are called to be witnesses to the faithfulness of God’s love by our fidelity to our covenant relationship with Him
– We are called to share with others the life-giving bread of His Word and the material bread that sustains life.
– We are called to be women of healing, sensitive to the wounds of persons and to the social evils of our times.
– We are called to use every means in our power to reconcile and bring into unity persons and groups who are alienated or divided.
– We are called to share with others in a ministry of liberation from multiple forms of oppression and injustice. (SC Constitution 1.4)
- The College expresses its Mission through the words on the shield: bonitatem et disciplinam et scientiam doce me (Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge). The College of Mount Saint Vincent is an academically excellent, authentically inclusive, Catholic and ecumenical liberal arts college. It combines a strong core curriculum with a variety of majors in the liberal arts, and within the tradition of liberal education, selected professional fields of study. (CMSV Mission statement)
- In all that we do, the Congregation and the College affirm a commitment to open and collegial communication, a spirit of mutual trust, responsibility and accountability; and processes of respectful discernment and deliberation.
- The Congregation sees its Mission as follows:
- This document records our commitment to share moral and spiritual obligations and is not intended to create new legal requirements, and will not in any way adversely affect the independent status of the College or the rights and responsibilities of the respective parties under civil or canon law, the Articles of Incorporation or By-laws of the College.
- The terms of the Lease agreement between the Sisters and the College are consistent with and uphold the Sponsorship relationship between the Sisters and the College.
The Board of Trustees of the Sisters of Charity through the President and Council will:
- Ensure in whatever way possible that the College remains one of the Congregation’s priority ministries in the future and seek to encourage Sisters to consider ministry in the College in various capacities.
- Encourage the active engagement of Sister-Trustees in Board activities and campus life; encourage other Sisters as they are able, to be involved, formally or informally, in College activities and campus life.
- Participate, in collaboration with the Office of Campus Ministry, in ministry to the students and to the Mount community.
- Ensure regular communication between the College President and the President of the Sisters of Charity.
- Keep the Sisters living on campus informed about events and matters that affect them.
- Provide sustained programs for personnel across their sponsored institutions through the Office of Sponsorship Services.
The Board of Trustees of the College through the President will:
- Promote and ensure the integration of mission and identity, as appropriate, in the College’s curriculum, programs, policies and practices.
- Affirm the importance of seats on the Board for members of the Congregation. The By-laws provide for 3-6 Sisters of Charity, including the President of the Congregation, as members of the Board of Trustees.
- Elect the President of the Sisters of Charity to serve as Vice-Chair of the Board, if she is willing to serve.
The President of the College of Mount Saint Vincent will:
- Ensure that a mission program is operative within the institution and provide for on-going education of trustees, faculty, administration, staff and students.
- Provide opportunities for members of the administration, faculty, staff and students to develop and maintain awareness of the history, values and charism of the Congregation.
- Actively seek members of the Sisters of Charity who are qualified for faculty, staff and administrative positions.
- Maintain spaces on campus for worship and reflection, in collaboration with the Congregation, as well as visible symbols of religious art, to aid in providing a material culture of faith.
- Ensure that ethical issues are addressed within the framework of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
- Continue participation as an active member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and support its initiatives.
- Continue participation in partnerships with other Vincentian and Sister of Charity institutions, and develop additional mission-centered partnerships.
Administration and Review
- The President of the Sisters of Charity and the President of the College of Mount Saint Vincent will meet annually to share perspectives on the sponsorship relationship and the College’s Catholic identity.
- The President of the Sisters of Charity and the President of the College will formally review this covenant at least once every five years.
- The Parties can amend this covenant in writing only upon the mutual agreement of the parties.
This covenant applies to any future president of the College and of the Sisters of Charity. It expressly supersedes the earlier “Sponsorship Agreement.”