Mission & Foundations

Our Mission

Divine Word College, a Roman Catholic seminary in the tradition of the Society of the Divine Word, educates men and women for missionary service as priests, brothers, sisters and laypersons. For this purpose, we offer an education that combines spiritual formation, a liberal arts curriculum, language learning and mission preparation within an environment that teaches and honors the rich cultural diversity of the world. This spiritual, academic, and experiential preparation serves the particular learning needs of our students, promotes their development as whole and responsible persons, and fosters a lifelong commitment to serving God’s people.


Core Beliefs

Divine Word College embodies and gives expression to several beliefs fundamental to the Society of the Divine Word.

  • The Church is missionary by its very nature.
  • God calls some to give special witness to the Church’s missionary mandate.
  • The missionary charism of the Society of the Divine Word, its history, heritage and hopes, is a significant contribution to the Church’s missionary outreach.
  • Service to the local churches through apostolic ministry demands the proper education and spiritual formation of future missionaries.

Core Values

Diversity - Student recruitment efforts, the intercultural studies major, the spiritual formation program, intercultural activities, and the international teaching experience of the faculty foster and support cultural diversity at Divine Word College. Students, faculty, staff, and friends of the College grow in intercultural community, reflecting the strong international mission of the Society of the Divine Word.

Opportunity - A program of generous scholarship assistance, the Intensive English Language Institute, a low teacher-student ratio, and other academic resources meet the learning needs of Divine Word College students, especially those from immigrant and refugee communities. This commitment of College resources demonstrates an historic interest of the Society of the Divine Word in the United States in enabling the marginalized to assume their rightful place within the Church.
Community - Active involvement by members of the Society of the Divine Word in the life of the College, the organization of students into small faith communities, the Friends Across Nations (FAN) program, and the interdependence among departments and personnel foster a close-knit community at Divine Word College. College personnel in community portray the determination of the priests and brothers of the Society of the Divine Word to build community among themselves, their collaborators, and those whom they serve.

Spiritual Growth - An integrated program of spiritual direction, group retreats, daily, and special liturgies, and regular prayer opportunities support Divine Word College students, faculty, staff, and friends in the discernment of their call to follow Jesus Christ. While pursued within community, spiritual growth is highly and intensely personal.

Service - Outreach to the elderly at area nursing homes, to the poor in homeless shelters and at soup kitchens, to youth in religious education programs, and to disabled children in local care facilities is an important aspect of Divine Word College’s effort to follow the example of Jesus Christ who came “not to be served, but to serve.” Students and faculty members regularly put themselves at the service of the local and regional community.

Integrity - Honesty in academic policies and practices, respect for each student’s freedom in vocational discernment, the provision of just compensation, fair treatment for employees, and an adherence to high ethical standards in fundraising efforts and financial reporting help ensure that Divine Word College lives its mission and delivers on its promise.

Lifelong Learning - A liberal arts education program opens students to new worlds of knowledge, broadens intellectual horizons, and provides the critical skills increasingly necessary for informed leadership and service. Carefully designed curricula lead students to an appreciation of the complex and changing social environments of our time. Educational programs open to the wider community demonstrate Divine Word College’s commitment to lifelong learning as a key to effective religious and missionary service.



Our Vision

Divine Word College aspires to excel in the spiritual and academic formation of missionaries who are grounded in faith, broadly educated in the liberal arts, interculturally competent to appreciate and honor the rich diversity of the world, and committed to serving God’s people. Toward these ends, the College seeks to advance the following goals and priorities:

  • Provide a continuously updated, high quality undergraduate education that is interculturally informed and rooted in the liberal arts.
  • Offer an outstanding religious formation program that embodies SVD charism, values, and objectives and, for seminary students, meets the expectations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Program of Priestly Formation.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain a cadre of well qualified and competent faculty and staff who are committed to advancing the College’s mission
  • Maintain an optimum level of student enrollment that is consistent with the requirements of excellence in teaching and learning.
  • Take full advantage of technology to enhance teaching and learning as well as to maximize operational efficiencies.
  • Marshal adequate resources and strive toward financial independence through development efforts and endowment opportunities.
  • Assure adequate physical facilities through a program of scheduled maintenance and careful projection of future housing requirements.
  • Promote the international mission of the Society of the Divine Word and the College to external constituencies though a series of special cultural and educational events, school visits, support groups, and short-term visits to the College by external groups.  

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