mission ambassadors from mount st. joseph university smiling outside.



Here at the Mount, we mean it when we say it’s about something much bigger than any of us. 

“Contemplate how you are being asked to give your heart to God amidst your everyday activities. Be prepared to meet your grace in every circumstance of life.” -St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Our Mission & Heritage

  Mission Statement

ӣɬ is a Catholic academic community grounded in the spiritual values and vision of its founders, the Sisters of Charity. The University educates its students through interdisciplinary liberal arts, and professional curricula emphasizing values, integrity, and social responsibility. 


Members of the ӣɬ Community embrace:

  • Excellence in academic endeavors
  • The integration of life and learning
  • Respect and concern for all persons
  • Diversity of cultures and beliefs
  • Service to others.
  Our Heritage

The mission of Mount St. Joseph University has its roots in the founding values of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. The legacy of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is steeped in more than 200 years of daring to risk a caring response through the education and empowerment of an immigrant nation dating back to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s ministry of education and service.


The University mission urges us forward as faculty and staff to educate, guide, and serve the needs of our students. We hope to empower them to discover and develop their gifts and talents, challenge them and encourage them to grow toward their full potential. The elements of the mission are our guiding principles.

Faith & Wisdom

Catholic Identity Statement

The Catholic Identity of the University is rooted in our Mission, in the Gospel values of service, compassion, and charity, and in the legacy and vision of our founders the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. As an institution Catholic in faith and tradition, we commit ourselves to creating an inclusive environment where persons of all faiths and no faith are welcomed. We expect and value mutual respect, by all and for all, in our pursuit of knowledge and truth and in our search for the sacred.


ӣɬ Mission Ambassadors

The Mission Ambassador Program is an intentional community of students who support and encourage one another in living the mission of ӣɬ. Visit our Mission Ambassadors page to learn more about our community.

Commitment to Service

The Service Learning & Civic Engagement Office at ӣɬ provides a comprehensive array of engaged experiences that help students to be prepared to lead in the workplace and in the community. Visit the Service Learning page to learn more.

The Mount's Sponsorship Transition

On September 14, 2022, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati announced that they are in the process of concluding the sponsorship of their five sponsored ministries, including the Mount. This change is necessitated by the current realities of having fewer Sisters of Charity to serve its five sponsored ministries. 

For reference, in 1960, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati had approximately 1,600 Sisters.  Today, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati have less than 200 Sisters.  Unfortunately, these demographic challenges and the demands of active sponsorship require the Sisters to make a change, while remaining deeply connected to and supportive of the mission of all of their sponsored ministries, including the Mount.  

As a result, the Mount is exploring its future Catholic sponsorship options.  The Mount Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring that the institution remains Catholic, and, as of April 24, 2023, has decided to only consider sponsorship options that will permit the Mount to remain a Catholic university after the sponsorship transition from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati takes place.

Questions and comments about the Mount’s sponsorship transition can be shared by emailing sponsorship.transition@msj.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Mount's Sponsorship Transition

  What does it mean that the Sisters of Charity “sponsor” the Mount?

The “sponsorship” of the Mount by the Sisters of Charity relates to the institution’s Catholic identity and certain governance matters.  It does not have anything to do with the Mount’s finances or day-to-day operations. 


Sponsorship by the Sisters of Charity has permitted the Mount to have a canonical relationship with the Catholic Church. The sponsorship transition requires the Mount to explore other options for maintaining its canonical relationship with the Catholic Church.     

  Will the sponsorship transition change the day-to-day operations of the Mount?

No.  The day-to-day operations of the Mount will not change as a result of the sponsorship transition.

  What day-to-day operations at the Mount will be affected by the transition of sponsorship?

None.  Currently, the Sisters of Charity maintain a limited governance role with: (1) up to 4 seats on the Board of Trustees, (2) approval of the hiring of the Mount’s President and appointment of members of the Board of Trustees, (3) approval of the annual operating budget, and (4) approval of certain actions of the Board of Trustees through reserved powers, such as approving large investments. 


With the sponsorship transition, the Sisters of Charity’s authority over these administrative operations will revert to the ӣɬ Board of Trustees, as is typical with other private, non-profit universities.  The day-to-day operations of the Mount will not be impacted by the sponsorship transition. 

  Will the Mount have any connection to the Sisters of Charity after the sponsorship transition?

Yes.  The Mount is grounded in the spiritual values and vision of the Sisters of Charity and is committed to honoring that legacy.

  How does the sponsorship transition affect the finances of the Mount?

It does not.  The Mount is and has been financially independent from the Sisters of Charity for many years.  The Mount does not rely on funding from the Sisters of Charity to operate.  Consequently, the sponsorship transition will not impact the Mount’s finances. 

  How does the sponsorship transition affect the property and real estate of the Mount?

It does not.  The Sisters of Charity own certain grounds on and facilities in which the Mount operates. The lease agreements between the Sisters of Charity and the Mount provide that the Mount maintains control and use of these properties and facilities.  The lease agreements are unrelated to and not impacted by the sponsorship transition.   

  Who is leading the sponsorship transition process for the Mount?

The Mount’s Board of Trustees has established a Sponsorship Transition Ad Hoc Committee, which will lead the institution through the sponsorship transition process. The Mount community will be kept informed about the process and about key decisions made by the Board. The Sisters of Charity are working closely with the committee as well.  Questions and comments can be shared by emailing sponsorship.transition@msj.edu.

  Will there be opportunities for members of the Mount community to be involved in the sponsorship transition process?

Forums with students, faculty, staff, and alumni to learn more about the sponsorship transition process and to engage in discussions about sponsorship options are taking place.  Comments can also be shared at any by emailing sponsorship.transition@msj.edu.

  What options for future sponsorship are being explored by the Mount?

The Sponsorship Transition Ad Hoc Committee has explored all sponsorship options available.  As of April 24, 2023, through its thoughtful discernment process, the Mount Board of Trustees has resolved that the Mount will take one of two paths forward: (1) create a group of Catholic institutions of higher education to seek sponsorship through Vatican approval to remain Catholic, or (2) join an existing group of Catholic institutions of higher education who have already obtained sponsorship approval from the Vatican to remain Catholic.  Both of these sponsorship options will ensure that the Mount remains a Catholic institution. 

  Is sponsorship required for the Mount to remain Catholic?

As the sponsor of the Mount, the Sisters of Charity have maintained the Mount’s canonical relationship with the Catholic Church.  As an institution of higher education, to remain recognized as a Catholic institution by the Vatican, the Mount must have a Catholic sponsor that is approved by the Vatican.   

  Will the Mount change without Sisters of Charity sponsorship?

Over its 102 year history, the Mount has evolved and transformed into the world-class living and learning community it is today.  Yet, our mission, vision, and values have remained constant. The Mount is grounded in the spiritual values and vision of the Sisters of Charity and is committed to honoring that legacy.


The Sisters of Charity will provide resources and expertise to the Mount as it moves forward in the sponsorship transition process.  While the Sisters of Charity sponsorship will eventually transition, its relationship with the Mount will endure.

  Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Heritage and Values
ӣɬ continues to be inspired by and faithful to the heritage and values of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, which include:
  • Doing justice
  • Sharing resources for the liberation of the oppressed
  • Commitment to the healing of our global home
  • Embracing cultural expansion
  • Learning from and being in solidarity with the poor
  • Being prophetic in church and society
  • Risking a caring response.

Sisters of Charity Mission, Vision and Charism statements:

  Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching:

  • Life and dignity of the human person
  • Call to family, community, and participation in society
  • Rights and responsibilities for the common good
  • Care for the poor and vulnerable
  • Dignity of work and the rights of workers
  • Solidarity in the pursuit of justice and peace
  • Care for and stewardship of creation.
Adapted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-andteachings/what-we-believe/catholic-socialteaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-socialteaching
  Six principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Six principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition:

  • Complementarily of faith and reason
  • Value in the study of all disciplines as a way of knowing God
  • Respect for the cumulative wisdom of those who have come before us
  • Integration of knowledge and education of the whole person
  • Attention to the dignity of all humanity
  • Cultivation of inclusiveness and diversity.

The Center for Mission & Belonging

Dedicated to furthering the intentional focus on the mission of the University, The Center for Mission & Belonging provides mission a specific home on campus.

Mater Dei Chapel

priest doing mass in mater dei chapel at mount st. joseph university.

The refracted brilliance of stained glass, mosaics and the artwork of Mount students grace the magnificent Mater Dei Chapel. The chapel hosts liturgies, religious performances, ecumenical services and weddings. The annual celebratory baccalaureate mass for graduates is held in the chapel each spring.

To view a virtual tour of the beautiful Mater Dei Chapel, click the video below:

Contact Information:

For interest, questions, suggestions and concerns, please feel free to contact The Center for Mission & Belonging at any time!

Sister Karen Elliott, C.PP.S, Chief Mission & Belonging Officer of The Center for Mission & Belonging

Michelle Arnold, Assistant Director of The Center for Mission & Belonging

Maria Ditullio, Coordinator for Mission Ambassadors of The Center For Mission & Belonging