Preamble and Introduction
From Strength to Strength
Seton Hall University is a community of individuals committed to the transformation and molding of our future servant leaders through Catholic ideals, principles, and values. Seton Hall University is a community of scholars representing the many branches and facets of human knowledge and exhibiting steadfast dedication to research, teaching, and various forms of service to the larger community. Seton Hall University is a community of active learners eager to be partners and collaborators in building a just society. The strategic plan builds upon twelve goals and fifty objectives and advances the University to the year 2020 and beyond. It invites and encourages members of the Seton Hall community to discover and build upon the riches and resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Seton Hall University is a premier Catholic institution of higher education founded in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, nephew of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, as part of the educational outreach of the Archdiocese of Newark. A direct heir to the Catholic Christian tradition in the genesis of universities, Seton Hall fulfills its mission by encouraging the intellectual pursuit of all that is good and right and true. It does so within a democratic society immersed in the evolving global culture as it serves all students, undergraduate and graduate, regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, ethnic background, culture, or religious creed.
As described by Bishop Bayley, Seton Hall is “a home for the mind, the heart and the spirit.” It is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and professional expertise, as well as to the values they inspire, foster, and reflect. The University’s core mission is to form servant-leaders—those who will enrich the lives of others through effective leadership and authentic concern for local, national, and global communities.
Seton Hall University’s foremost objective is the education of its students through a broad array of excellent academic and professional programs. The University cultivates a learning environment where students are immersed in rigorous curricula, nurtured by highly qualified faculty, dedicated priests, and supportive staff, transformed through intellectual inquiry and prepared to succeed in a culturally diverse world. Seton Hall vigorously promotes faculty scholarship, innovative programs, student-centered teaching and concrete opportunities for service. The “University Core Curriculum” provides all undergraduate students with a “signature Seton Hall educational experience” that seeks to develop the competencies, capacities, and the literacy of its students. Its programs in arts and sciences, business, diplomacy, international relations, education, health care, law, theology, and ministry, prepare students for meaningful and productive lives. Striving for academic excellence, Seton Hall’s entire intellectual endeavor is focused on the deepening of knowledge through rigorous research as well as on the effective dissemination of information and values.
Pope John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae identifies the Catholic university as a “center of creativity and dissemination of knowledge for the good of humanity.” As that document explains, “Through the encounter which it establishes between the salvific message of the gospel and the variety and immensity of the … fields of knowledge, a Catholic University enables the church to institute a fertile dialogue with people ... of every culture.” This definition speaks to the ideals and image of a university committed to making positive contributions to society as it serves the individual person. The University seeks to share the Catholic vision that perceives human existence as the expression and consequence of God’s loving regard for each and every human being. This Divine love is a basis for human rights and it demands reverence and respect for individuals of the many diverse races, religions and cultures of humanity. In the tradition of ecumenical respect and dialogue, our Catholic mission inspires our quest to understand, appreciate and respect every religion, race and culture. We hope that all members of this learning community gain an understanding and appreciation of Catholicism and offer it, in turn, the respect it deserves as one of the world’s great religious traditions. This aspiration is always an invitation, never an imposition.
Our ethical tradition assists the University’s administration, faculty, staff, and students to make decisions — organizational, programmatic, and curricular — that express and reflect our identity and mission. In our approaches to knowledge and professional responsibilities, we view society as more than the sum of its individual parts. Our economic and cultural systems should therefore be guided by our highest values. Given the universal destination of human goods, the alleviation of poverty and suffering is a high priority for all Catholic institutions. We are the stewards of creation, obliged to assure the responsible and sustainable use of natural re-sources.
Seton Hall University continues the pioneering work of our patron, Elizabeth Ann Seton, who established the first schools in the United States that offered a rigorous education in the Catholic tradition to a diverse student body. The unique perspective of Seton Hall’s faculty, administration and staff arises from the fact that it is a Catholic university, eager to share with its students and the world the riches of a vibrant Catholic intellectual tradition. Seton Hall should always be a place where faith matters in everything we undertake and a place where truth and knowledge are vigorously pursued. Seton Hall should always strive to be what Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley envisioned: a Home for the Mind, Heart and the Spirit.