Mount St. Mary's University - Cardinal Newman Society

Mount St. Mary’s University

Year Founded 1808
Number of Traditional Undergraduates 1,661
Location Emmitsburg, MD
Total Cost (Tuition, Room & Board) $52,030
Net Price (learn more) $30,412
Number of Majors 36
Catholic Students 62%
Catholic Faculty 60%
Median High School GPA 3.3
Median SAT 1070

See the Q&A for more detailed information!

Nestled in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, one of the nation’s earliest havens for Catholic immigrants, Mount St. Mary’s University is the second-oldest Catholic university in America. It was founded in 1808 by the heroic French missionary Father John DuBois, a refugee of religious persecution, and sits on land once frequented by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint and founder of the Sisters of Charity. 

What is affectionately called “the Mount” includes the University, a seminary, and a shrine. The University has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 1,500 students from 38 states and 10 foreign countries and a growing number of homeschooled students. The seminary is the second oldest in the United States and is often referred to as the “Cradle of Bishops,” because 51 of its graduates have shepherded dioceses. The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an idyllic shrine for spiritual reflection located on the hill above the University, is the oldest American replica of the shrine in France. 

President Dr. Timothy Trainor was inaugurated in fall 2017 and has brought new energy, reaffirmed the University’s mission, and enhanced its well-deserved reputation. He is a retired Army brigadier general after a 33-year career, was chief academic officer at the U.S. Military Academy, and is an expert in engineering management. 

With its variety of majors, large athletics and recreation programming, and diverse community, the Mount has the feel of a typical private university but with authentic Catholic teaching and a commitment to students’ personal development. Students should not expect the degree of uniformity that can be found at some of the smaller Newman Guide colleges. Some of the faculty and more than a third of students are not Catholic, and many come to the Mount for secular reasons. 

Tuition, room and board, and fees cost $50,310 in 2016-2017. The average financial aid package for those students with demonstrated need was $28,795, and students have the option of a three-year program in any major, which requires summer study but can save on tuition costs. 

Students at the Mount can pursue more than 40 undergraduate majors, concentrations, and minors. These include the traditional liberal arts disciplines as well as preparation for careers in business, education, law, medicine, and science. An honors program is also available.

The Mount’s liberal arts core curriculum requires a sequence of 16 courses over all four years. The common curriculum begins with the new First Year Symposium “to initiate students into a Catholic liberal arts community;” assigned authors include C.S. Lewis, Cicero, and Jean Vanier.  All students receive a solid grounding in Western civilization through a sequence of history, literature, and art courses, as well as five semesters of philosophy and theology. Other requirements include courses in science, math, social science, “global encounters,” and at least a year of a foreign language.

Students can take a semester abroad in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, or the United Kingdom. Summer abroad programs are offered in Austria, Costa Rica, France and Spain. Faculty members join students and usually teach courses on location. The University recently added a summer study opportunity at Cambridge University in England for its most talented students.

The Mount’s speakers policy affirms the University’s responsibility to support and promote understanding of Catholic teaching, but speakers representing diverse viewpoints are welcome. Controversial topics are handled so as not to cause confusion about Catholic teaching.

The Mount has five chapels on campus, including two in residence halls.  There are four Sunday Masses on campus; the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. services are most popular for students.  Morning weekday Masses are celebrated at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at 7 a.m.  There are also weekday Masses at noon and 9:45 p.m.  An Extraordinary Form Mass is held monthly at St. Bernard’s Chapel.

Confessions are available every day and by appointment. Eucharistic Adoration is available 40 hours weekly, and students can enjoy praise and worship music weekly.

The Center for Campus Ministry is among the largest student life organizations on campus with more than 60 student leaders. There are more than 20 different groups under Campus Ministry including opportunities for growth in the spiritual life and vocation, men’s and women’s fellowship, faith and leadership opportunities, Bible Studies, liturgical ministries, Chapel Choir, 10 college retreats each year and student-led high school retreats. Every year there are national or international pilgrimages available for students.

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) engages more than 200 students through a peer-to-peer ministry that forms leaders in helping students integrate their faith into their daily life and leading others to grow deeper in their faith. There are also numerous opportunities for community service through the Center for Social Justice.

The Division I athletics department has a unique sports team chaplain program whereby seminarians mentor the teams and help organize opportunities for prayer, team Masses, penance services, team dinners, and talks on topics such as humility and perseverance. The seminarians also attend practices, home games, and encourage athletes to attend campus ministry events.

Located on campus is the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an ideal location for student prayer and reflection with a new visitor center and gallery, and nearby is the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Other spiritual opportunities, including Masses, confessions, benediction, novenas, and Eucharistic Adoration, are available at St. Mary’s Chapel on the Hill, affectionately known as the Glass Chapel.

About 81 percent of Mount students live on campus. Traditionalstyle residence halls (2-4 students per room with common bathrooms) separate men and women by floor, and each floor has a resident advisor. Suitestyle and apartmentstyle residence halls (private bathroom in each) separate men and women by suite or apartment.   

Opposite-sex visitors are allowed in the residences until midnight on weekdays and until 2:00 am on weekends, but not overnight. Individual floor access is locked in traditional-style residence halls, with check-in security desks in most buildings.

There are traditional residence halls, suite-style rooms, a variety of apartment combinations (for juniors and seniors), cottage housing, and separate housing for honors students. 

There are also a variety of themed housing and living-learning options available for students; these include the Women in Science (WIS), Honors, and Summit Living.  Students who elect to participate in the Summit Living agree to a healthy living commitment through abstinence from tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. 

In addition to the student dining center with a plethora of food options, the Mount Café is open throughout the day, with late night hours. 

In an effort to keep parents and families informed about activities at the Mount, the University sponsors the Office of Parent and Family Engagement. Its activities include annual “Summer Send-Offs,” All Soul prayer requests, and the Annual Fall Family Festival.  In addition the Office makes available “Exam Care Packages” for purchase to all families.

The University operates a wellness center, and Gettysburg Hospital is about 15 minutes away. 

Mount St. Mary’s is located just outside the small town of Emmitsburg, Maryland, which has a population of 3,100. One of the town’s landmarks is the National Fire Academy, run by the United States Fire Administration, which provides advanced firefighting training to firemen from across the United States. Serious crime and property crime are well below the national average. 

Emmitsburg is one hour northwest of Baltimore and 90 minutes from Washington, D.C. The town is also just 15 minutes south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and 25 minutes north of Frederick, Maryland. These cities offer a large number of cultural, social, and sports opportunities. Students often take day trips on their own to these cities, and the University also offers shuttles to Baltimore and D.C. on weekends. 

Three major international airports are located about one hour away: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. The university runs shuttles to and from campus during break times for students who need transportation. 

Students can choose from more than 70 clubs, ranging from the Knights of Columbus and the Outdoor Adventure program to an Army ROTC program. Intramural sports, Campus Ministry, the Student Government Association, and the Activities Management Program (AMP) are popular organizations on campus.

The Mount Students for Life participates in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., and other activities. Nearly 300 students have attended the March in recent years. The group visits Mary’s House, a home for unwed mothers before and after the birth of their child, and students are involved in the spiritual adoption program.  Pro-life movies are also shown on campus, and Mount Students for Life participated in the Pro-Life Banquet with national pro-life speakers.

The Outdoor Adventures program takes advantage of the Mount’s location in the Catoctin Mountains, offering weekly excursions in canoeing, caving, backpacking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and rafting.

The University has a student-run newspaper, The Mountain Echo, which is available in print and online, and students produce a literary magazine, Lighted Corners, and Tolle Lege, a journal of philosophy and theology. Students are also very active in writing and editing for the Emmitsburg News Journal, a community newspaper. There also is a fully functional student-operated campus radio station, WMTB 89.9 FM.

Students are actively involved in a variety of service projects through the Office of Social Justice. These include service trips during breaks and work with Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, the National Coalition for the Homeless, accessible housing organizations, shelters, and food assistance programs.

Athletics are prominent at the Mount, with one of every five undergraduates a Division I athlete. The University fields 18 intercollegiate teams in NCAA Division I that compete in the Northeast Conference. In addition, there are club sports in dance, equestrian, ice hockey, ultimate Frisbee and rugby. There are typically about 25 options for intramural sports and events each in the fall and spring, and include basketball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, and even fantasy sports. The most popular sports in the fall are beach volleyball and indoor soccer, and most popular in the spring are basketball and outdoor soccer. 

There is a group called Allies for students with homosexual inclinations and others who care about them.  The group was formerly under the auspices of Campus Ministry, but it is now under the umbrella of the Center for Student Diversity, still with a priest as its advisor.  The Newman Society has concerns about this change and the wisdom of such groups generally, but the Mount’s Allies has not engaged in activism.  

Campus Activities hosts more than 150 entertainment events each year, both on and off campus, such as dances, comedians, and live bands. From small outings for 10-20 students, to mediumsize events for 100 plus students, to largescale productions for 500-1,000 students, there is always something to do and an option to suit students various interests. 

Mount St. Mary’s University is a small private university offering vibrant athletic, student life, and outdoor recreation programs, numerous majors, and a solid common curriculum rooted in the Catholic liberal arts tradition. Students have numerous opportunities to grow socially and spiritually.

“Students who’ll thrive at the Mount would be those who are willing to be active and part of a small community,” said Michael Post, vice president for enrollment management. “They have to know that they’ll recognize every face and be recognized. Their professors will ask about them if they’re missing from class.”

Given the University’s idyllic setting and deep heritage, its strengthened embrace of Catholic education, a solid core curriculum, and vibrant student life, the Mount is deservedly getting more attention from families nationwide.

Questions & Answers

Answers from the college on the most important questions. Click a topic below to read more.

Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association?


Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)  – DOE approved 

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)– DOE approved 

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)– not DOE approved 

Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools – DOE approved (Mount St. Mary’s Seminary) 

Please cite evidence of student or alumni accomplishment, such as graduation rate, graduate school placement, job placement, awards, etc.

As of Fall 2016 – 

Graduate/professional school going rate: 22% 

Employment rate of graduates (includes military, volunteer service): 77% 

TOTAL Employed (full and part-time) or in graduate school: 99% (based on 90% knowledge rate) 

Four-year graduation rate (three year average): 59% 

Six-year graduation rate (three-year average): 67% 

In 2016-2017 five Mount students were named finalists for Fulbright Scholarships. Three received the Fulbright ETA scholarship and two scholarships to study with the prestigious Fulbright Summer Institute program in the UK. 

Dylan Holden, C’18, was named the Mount’s first Marshall Scholarship semi-finalist. 

Nancy Abu-Bonsrah, C’12, was named the first African American female in the neurosurgery program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  

Blessed Stanley Rother, S’63, was beatified on Sept. 23, 2017 

David Ginty, Ph.D., C’84, professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School was elected to the National Academy of Sciences 

Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.

Chosen as one of the top 25 colleges and universities in the North region by U.S. News and World Report, and one of the top 10 colleges and universities for veterans in the same region. 

Mount St. Mary’s was chosen as one of two Catholic Colleges of Distinction in the state of Maryland by the Colleges of Distinction. 

First Things’ Survey of America’s Colleges and Universities ranked Mount St. Mary’s University in its top ten “Most Catholic Catholic Schools.” 

The Mount’s curriculum also received high marks in the “What Will They Learn?” report, a project of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. 

Are more than half of the current members of your faculty practicing Catholics?


Approximately what percentage of your current faculty members are practicing Catholics?


Are members of your faculty officially informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the institution?


Are members of your teaching faculty expected, as a condition of employment, to respect Catholic teaching and comply with Catholic morality in their public actions and statements both on and off campus?


Please identify key undergraduate faculty who are noted experts in their field, have produced important publications, have leadership roles in academic associations, etc. and briefly describe such accomplishments (optional):

Dr. Alejandro Canadas (Economics and Finance), Economics and Catholic Social Teaching 

Dr. Barbara Marinak (Education), Reading Specialist 

Fr. James M. Donohue, CR (Theology), Liturgy 

Sr. Anne Higgins (English), poet 

Dr. Layton Field, (Sociology), Catholic Church in America 

Dr. Joshua Hochschild (Philosophy), history of philosophy; executive council of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 

Dr. Paige Hochschild (Theology), Augustine and systematic theology 

Dr. Curt Johnson (History), focusing on evangelization in the 19th century 

Dr. John Larrivee (Economics), research on poverty, history of economic thought, religion and Catholic social teaching 

Dr. David Matzko McCarthy (Theology), theological ethics, including marriage and family; founder of Journal of Moral Theology and author of several books 

Dr. Sarah Scott (English), Marlowe and Shakespeare;  co-editor of New Variorium Shakespeare “Julius Caesar” and of journal Marlowe Studies 

Dr. Dana Ward (Science), heart research 

Does the institution have a department of Catholic theology, distinct from “religious studies” and other disciplines?


Are courses in Catholic theology clearly identified and distinguished from other courses dealing with religion?


Does every faculty member in the theological disciplines have the mandatum (or the “canonical mission” for ecclesiastical faculties) approved by the appropriate Church authority, as required by Canon Law?


Do all faculty in the theological disciplines make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?

No. The mandatum is the proper requirement for undergraduate faculty and institutions, and we require it of all Catholic faculty members in theology. The Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity are more proper for pontifical faculties teaching in seminary.

Does your institution require that all theology courses be taught in a manner faithful to Scripture, Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium, and also to the principles and methods proper to Catholic theology?


Please identify the theology courses that are included in the undergraduate core or distribution requirements and the professors who routinely teach those courses:

Two theology courses are required of all undergraduates. The first course attends to questions of faith and reason, modern challenges to our faith, and the Christian faith as a practiced, personal and communal response to God’s offer of salvation. The second course continues from the first course through more advanced study of Scripture, Tradition, Ecclesiology, and Christology. 


Students are also required to take an ethics course, “Ethics and the Human Good,” taught by philosophy and theology faculty. 

Please describe the place of Catholic theology in your institution’s undergraduate curriculum and how it is distinct from other institutions.

The theology courses taken by all students are part of a sequenced core curriculum. Theology is fully integrated with a study of Western philosophy and learning (culture and the arts). Theological themes and the Catholic understanding of a person are introduced in a First Year Symposium and are carried through to the ethics course, which functions as a capstone for the core curriculum in the senior year. 

Additional Theology information, clarification or description (optional):

The Mount offers professional certification programs for youth ministers and catechists. Qualified candidates are eligible for certification through the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:

The Core Curriculum includes the following sequenced, common courses, required for every undergraduate. 

Transfers with an associates degree take a modified Core. 

First Year Symposium 

Origins of the West (ancient and medieval civilization) 

Classical Philosophy 

Western Imagination (modern civilization) 

Modern Philosophy 

Mathematical Thinking 

America in the World 

Belief in Today’s World 

Encountering Christ 

Ethics and the Human Good 

Please identity the courses that students may choose from in order to satisfy common curriculum distribution requirements:

In addition to the common courses, all students must complete: 

The equivalent of two semesters of foreign language study 

A course each in social science and natural science 

a “global encounters” course 

How many credits are required for graduation and what percent are from core / distribution courses?

120 credits, 40% are core/distribution courses, and, of these, 6 to 15 credits are likely to overlap or are integrated with major courses. 

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more courses in which they are taught authentic Catholic doctrine and practice?


If yes, please describe them generally and note how many courses are required?

Two theology courses are required: Belief in Today’s World and Encountering Christ. The first course attends to question of faith and reason, modern challenges to our faith, and the Christian faith as a practiced, personal and communal response to God’s offer of salvation. The second course continues from the first course through more advanced study of Scripture, Tradition, Ecclesiology, and Christology. 

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more interdisciplinary courses relating theology or philosophy with other disciplines?


Additional Core Curriculum information, clarification or description (optional):

The Mount St. Mary’s Core Curriculum is both sequenced and integrated. Students take the courses in a particular order, and the curriculum builds upon itself over a period of 4 years.  Moreover, courses are integrated in that themes and even readings from previous courses are intentionally addressed later in the curriculum, reflecting students’ growth over the four years.

List the major, minor and special program areas that students may choose for specialization while pursuing an undergraduate degree:

Majors and Minors: Accounting; Biochemistry; Biology; Biology/Osteopathic Dual Degree Program; Business; Chemistry; Classical Studies; Communication Studies; Computer Science; Creative Writing; Criminal Justice; Cybersecurity; Economics; Education; Elementary Education; Elem. & Special Education; English; Entrepreneurship; Environmental Science; Environmental Studies; Fine Arts – Art, Art Educ.; Music; Theater; Foreign Languages – French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish; Health Sciences – Pre-Nursing, Pre-Occupational or Physical Therapy; History; Human Services; Information Systems; Interdisciplinary Studies; International Studies; Mathematics; Non-Western Studies; Nursing Dual Degree Program; Philosophy; Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE); Political Science; Pre-Law; Pre-Med Studies; Psychology; Secondary Education; Sociology; Sport Management; Theology. 


What are the three most popular majors or specialty disciplines for undergraduate students, and about what percentage of undergraduate students specialize in these disciplines?

Business = 15%

Criminal Justice = 11%

Biology = 9%

Does each undergraduate degree program require Catholic ethical formation related to the student’s major field(s) of study?


Does your institution regularly provide academic events to address theological questions related to specialized disciplines?


If yes, please describe:

Annual Symposium on Corporate Responsibility for students in business; events held by Center for Catholic School Excellence for teacher education candidates; annual Meredith Science & Philosophy lecture addresses issues of contemporary interest to science; new “Faith and Field” student groups forming for each major; faculty development workshops on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Does your institution require cooperation among faculty in different disciplines in teaching, research and other academic activities?


If yes, please describe.

A number of the courses in the Core Curriculum are taught by faculty in several departments and disciplines. There is extensive faculty development for these faculty in the context of developing and rolling out core courses. In addition, a number of honors students engage in senior projects which rely on expertise in several disciplines.  Faculty work together with such students in order to provide expertise from several perspectives. Faculty have collaborated in several book projects about Catholic social teaching. 

Does the local bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) select or approve the appointment of your chaplain?


Does your institution offer Mass on campus at least on Sundays and other days of obligation?


On average, about what percentage of undergraduate students attend Sunday Mass (including the Saturday vigil Mass) during the academic year? 


Does your institution offer daily Mass to students?


On average, about how many undergraduate students attend daily Mass during the academic year?


Does your institution offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to students at least weekly?


Latin Masses – a Novus Ordo (low Mass) is offered once a month.  A Solemn High Mass is celebrated on the Thursday of Easter Week.

Ordinary Form – offered twice per semester

A Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Divine Liturgy is celebrated each year on the Feast of St. Andrew

Spanish Mass – offered weekly

Are all of the Masses celebrated on campus reverent and in accord with liturgical norms and directives?


Are the altar servers at your institution’s Masses male only or both male and female?

Both male and female

Only male at National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes masses

Please list the schedule of Masses, noting the following for each Mass: the day and time, the Form or Rite of the Mass, and the style of music, if any (chant, traditional, contemporary, etc.):

Mo 7:00 a.m. traditional, noon & 9:45 p.m. no music 

Tu 7:00 a.m. traditional, noon & 9:45 p.m. no music 

Wed. 7:00 a.m. traditional, noon no music, 9:45 p.m. contemporary 

Th 7:00 a.m. traditional, noon and 9:45 p.m. no music 

Fr 7:00 a.m. traditional, noon no music 

Sa 7:30 a.m. traditional, 11:00 a.m. 

Su 9:00 a.m. traditional, noon traditional, 7:00 p.m. (Chapel Choir) & 9:00 p.m. contemporary Praise and Worship 

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?


List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

Monday – Friday 6:15am-7am 

Tuesday – Thursday 8:45pm-9:40pm 

Saturday and Sunday 11am-12noon Grotto 

Sunday 6-6:50pm, 8:20-8:50pm 

Does your institution offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least weekly?


List the schedule for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by day and time:

40+ hours weekly 

Monday:  8:00 am – 11:00 p.m. 

Tuesday 8:30 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. 

Wednesday: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Thursday:  12:30-4 p.m, 8:00 p.m.-10:50 p.m. 

Friday: 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. 

Sunday 4:00-5:00, 5:30-11:00 p.m. 

Extended adoration during Advent and Lent 

Please identify regularly scheduled devotions on campus for students such as the Rosary and prayer groups:

Militia Immaculata – Marian group inspired by St. Maximilian Kolbe 

Morning Prayer – Liturgy of the Hours – daily 

Evening Prayer – Chanted Vespers, Sunday 

Eucharistic Adoration 

Praise & Worship 

Rosary for the Unborn & Pro-life efforts 

Rosary Fridays & Spanish Rosary 

Marian Procession (annual) 

Stations of the Cross 

Does your institution offer retreat programs available to all Catholic students at least annually?

Yes – 10+ retreats per year.

Please describe any formal programs to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life:

One of the largest seminaries in the U.S. (144 seminarians) is at Mount St. Mary’s University.  Seminarians work with the Center for Campus Ministry, are Sports Chaplains for every Div. I athletic team and a number of Club Sports teams, and are part of campus life.   

Regular invitations for religious communities to preach at Sunday Mass and give talks on faith, discernment, vocation and service including:  Dominicans, Benedictines, Franciscans, etc. 

Men’s Discernment opportunities in small groups and individually.   

The Daughters of Charity are connected to Mount St. Mary’s University through original connection with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton that continues through religious on campus, relationship with outreach and service to the local poor in our communities.    

Spiritual Formation Program (6 weeks per semester) – “Duc in Autum” – “Cast out into the Deep” – program deepening one’s spiritual life, growth in virtue and grace, and discernment.  Those who participate are connected to a spiritual director/spiritual mentor as well.   

Various priests and religious are on campus including from the Congregation of Resurrectionists (CR), Missionaries of the Eternal Word (EWTN), Dominicans, Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), Daughters of Charity, Sisters of St. Joseph, etc. 

Opportunities for talks and meetings with religious communities and seminarians 

Silent Retreat – Listening to and Responding to God’s Voice 

Nun Runs 

Pilgrimages to places like Rome/Assisi, National Shrine in DC, Philadelphia, Birmingham/Nashville 

Women’s Discernment – There are numerous opportunities for women’s discernment.  Speakers and visits by women’s religious communities 3-4 times/semester, discernment evenings, the presence of several religious sisters on the faculty. 

If your institution has formal vocation programs, about how many students participate in them each year?


Are you aware of any graduates from your institution (not including seminary students, if any) who are ordained to the priesthood or have entered religious life? Please describe.

Approximately 12 students have entered seminary or consecrated life over the last 5 years.

Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification or description (optional):

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) active at the Mount – 109+ students in Bible studies on campus. 

10+ retreats per year – includes Outdoor Retreat in Mountains, Beach retreat, Kairos retreats, etc. 

Faith and Athletics Bible Studies – Div. I 

Athletes Retreat 

Sports Chaplains for every Division I team. 

Faith and Culture events: 

–    Back from the Dead Cemetery Walk – signature Mount program established 6 + years ago – inspiring evangelization drama in the cemetery that encourages people to reflect on the “last things” and to live their lives in light of eternity with faith, hope and love.  Over 1200 from the Mount and the surrounding community from a 1 + hour distance to participate.   

–    Christmas Caroling 

–    St. Therese Feast Day/Hand out 200 roses with spiritual quotations 

Faith and Relationships Events/Couples Ministry 

Faith Unplugged nights (music and Christian witness) 

Promotion of Spiritual and Corporeal Works of Mercy through talks and service opportunities. 

Mount Students for Life 

Office of Social Justice – numerous opportunities to grow in understanding of Catholic social teaching, service to those in need locally and abroad including Semester Break trips to Florida, Costa Rica, Appalachia Mountains, KY, etc.   

Chapel Choir 

Praise and Worship  

Knights of Columbus (National Catholic Men’s Fraternal Organization committed to growing in faith and service.)   

Faith on Tap 

High School Retreats 

Faith and Leadership Opportunities 

Internship Opportunities 

11th Hour Confessions – Thursday nights 10:30-11:30pm  Theme:  “Never too late for Confession” 

RCIA & opportunities for Catholics to be confirmed 

Please describe options for students to reside on and off campus:

Students are able to live in several types of campus housing ranging from traditional residence halls (shared room with a common floor bathroom), to suites and full apartments (with full kitchens). 

Several specialty housing areas are available such as Honors Housing, Summit (Wellness) Housing, and Women In Science Housing. 

Does your institution offer only single-sex residence halls?


Your institution offers single-sex residence halls for (please put an “X” in front of any that apply):

All students
Any Student who wishes
No students
All freshmen (only if not “All students”)
Only freshmen
X Other

Single-sex housing is open to female students of any year through Summit Living, a holistic, drug and alcohol-free wellness community, and the Women in Science Community, a group of students who are majoring, or have a strong interest in, science and technology fields.

What percentage of students living on campus live in single-sex residence halls?


If your institution offers co-ed residence halls, how are students of the opposite sex separated (choose all that apply):

By wing or by floor, both of which are locked during non-visitation hours in traditional style halls and by suite or apartment for suite and apartment style halls. 

When are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit common areas of residence halls?

24 hours a day

Are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit students’ bedrooms? (Not including irregular (once or twice a semester), “open house” events.)


If yes, when?

8:00 a.m. – Midnight Sunday – Thursday

8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. Friday – Sunday

If students of the opposite sex are permitted to visit students’ bedrooms, does your institution have an “open bolt” policy? Please describe.


How does your institution foster sobriety and respond to substance abuse on campus, particularly in campus residences?

Through active education, a plethora of programing options, and policy enforcement.

How does your institution foster a student living environment that promotes and supports chastity, particularly in campus residences?

Through a proactive Campus Ministry program, active education which includes a holistic approach to virtues, including programming about healthy relationships and chastity.

Does your institution have formal programs to foster Catholic prayer life and spirituality in campus residences?


If yes, please describe:

Campus Ministry staff provide programs to foster and promote prayer life and spirituality in campus residences. Chapels can be found in our freshmen housing areas as well as our largest residence complex (The Terrace). 

Additional Residence Life information, clarification or description (optional):

Resident Assistants are found on every floor, wing or stairwell.  Professional Residence Life staff also live on campus in the residence halls.  The Mount’s Chaplain lives within one of the student apartment buildings on campus.

Please identify and briefly describe officially recognized student clubs and activities at your institution that…

foster spiritual development:

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students): Peer-to-peer ministry helping students respond to the call to a deeper conversion in Christ and the “New Evangelization.” 

Interdenominational Ministry (IDM):  Brings students of various Christian denominations together for opportunities of faith, worship and fellowship.  Also hosts an “Evening of Witness and Worship” each semester that includes music, dance, singing, and poetry. 

Retreats/Retreat Leadership Committee:  Each year Campus Ministry student leaders host 10 retreats including:  Campus Ministry Leadership Retreat, Kairos retreats, Outdoor retreat, Senior Retreat, and Mount 2000. 

Couples Ministry:  opportunities for couples to get together for faith and fellowship. 

Faith & Relationships:  Includes programs like “Healthy Relationships without the Baggage”, Theology of the Body, “Dating, Faith and Relationships” 

Pilgrimages:  Fall Break & Summer Pilgrimages have included trips to Niagara Falls, NY, Auriesville, NY, Quebec & Montreal, Canada, Rome/Assisi 

Liturgy Planning Committee & Liturgical Ministries 

Men’s & Women’s Fellowship:  student led opportunities for men and women gathering for fellowship and faith. 

High School Retreat, Catholic Conferences- Student Leadership Opportunities

engage in corporal works of mercy:

Through the Office of Social Justice, Mount students participate in the following:  Feed the Hungry/Give Drink to the Thirsty program; Frederick County Rescue Mission Community Kitchen Partnership where students cook and serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner; Sandwich Saturday; Multiple food drives throughout the year; Shelter the Homeless; Habitat for Humanity builds across the country (working with many habitat affiliates to build homes); People’s Homesteading Group of Baltimore  (a community revitalization initiative in Baltimore that engages students in construction); HabiFest is an advocacy event for fair and equitable housing in the United States; Advent Giving Trees provide warm clothes to those in need in our immediate community; Visit the sick; each week, students visit residents of Montevue Nursing Home; Best Buddies with the ARC of Carroll County provides friendship and positive socialization to individuals with developmental disabilities. 

address sexual issues (including birth control, abortion, homosexuality):

Mount Students for Life: This group sponsors spiritual and educational activities to promote a great respect for the gift of human life from conception to natural death.  Includes trips to annual March for Life in D.C. and Annapolis, MD March for Life. 


The Mount emphasizes the Church’s teaching on chastity and life through campus ministry, numerous pro-life activities, theology of the body and FOCUS Bible studies.

address issues of social concern:

Office of Social Justice programs include: 

Educators for Justice Society- Students who work together to promote and seek positive reform in America’s public and private schools. 

Best Buddies- Students meet twice a month with individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Mount Mentors for Kids- an after-school mentoring program for elementary and middle school students. 

America Reads- college students work as classroom assistants, tutors, and mentors with Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg. 

Break-Away- Service/Immersion trips around the country over school breaks that engage students in service and discussions of social injustices in the world and contemporary United States. 

International Service and Immersion Programs to Nicaragua, Belize, Peru, and Costa Rica. 

Community Kitchen- Students cook and serve meals at the Frederick County Rescue Mission. 

People’s Homesteading Group of Baltimore- students learn about fair and equitable housing in the United States through construction and community development projects. 

Habitat for Humanity- building homes in our local community. 

Silence of Mary Home- a family home in Harrisburg that provides a Loving, Catholic environment to those experiencing homelessness and living in poverty. 

address particular academic interests:

Accounting Club, Association for Computing Machinery, Circle K, Criminal Justice Student Org., Education Club, Finance Club, History Club, French Club, Marketing Club, Mathematics Association of America, Philosophy Club, Psychology Honor Society, Psychology Club, Science Club, Sociology Club, Sports Management Club, Theology Club, Women in Science, Business Networking, Enactus.

address particular cultural interests:

Black Student Union, Hispanic Cultural Association, Asian Cultural Alliance, Women’s Empowerment. 


Faith and Culture Events:  Events or programs that highlight the connection between faith and culture.  Events include:  St. Cecilia Concert & St. Patrick’s Day Concert, Back-from-the-Dead Cemetery Walk – an evangelization drama, teaching the faith through encounters with the saints telling their stories in the cemetery, St. Juan Diego Celebration, Trip to Handel’s Messiah, Mardi Gras Program, “You can’t have Fat Tuesday without Ash Wednesday.

provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:

The Mount currently has 18 Division I NCAA Athletics teams that participate in the Northeast Conference as well as a very active intramural and club sports program. Three more teams will be added in fall 2018. Club sports include hockey, volleyball, rugby, basketball, soccer, field hockey, dance, and equestrian club.

If applicable, in which athletic Division and Conference does your institution compete? (Please specify NCAA, NAIA, etc. as well as Division Level.)   

The Mount currently has 18 Division I NCAA Athletics teams that participate in the Northeast Conference. Three more teams will be added in fall 2018. 

What athletic teams are offered for men and women?  

Division I sports include: 


Basketball (m/w) 

Bowling (w – beginning fall 2018) 

Cross country (m/w) 

Golf (m/w – beginning fall 2018) 

Lacrosse (m/w) 

Rugby (w) 

Soccer (w – men’s team begins fall 2018) 


Swimming and Diving (m/w) 

Tennis (m/w) 

Track and field (m/w) 

How do you help develop the mind, body, and soul of student-athletes?

Every Division I team has a sports chaplain, and the Mount also has an Athletes Bible Study group.

please list all student clubs not listed in the above categories:

Student Government, Amnesty International, Anime Club, Best Buddies, Cooking Club, Educators for Justice Society, Environmental Club, Mount Mentors 4 Kids, Liturgical Music Ministry, Gospel Choir, The Mountain Echo newspaper, WMTB radio, Lighted Corners (literary magazine), Tolle Lege (journal of philosophy and theology). 

In addition to the clubs and offices listed, the Mount has a nationally recognized student life program including Campus Activities, Outdoor Adventures, Campus Recreation, Center for Student Diversity and Student Government Association. 

Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching?


How does your institution address student clubs and activities that may conflict with Catholic teaching?

Every club/org and activity is overseen by a professional staff member or a faculty advisor and is held to strict standards to uphold the mission of the University and Catholic teaching.

Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives?


Additional Student Activities information, clarification or description (optional):

Over the past several years Campus Ministry Student Organization (CMSO) has doubled its number of student leaders from approximately 30 student leaders to 60+ student leaders. 

CMSO has increased its number of students in small groups from 60 in 2007-08 to 230 through groups like FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), Women’s Fellowship and Interdenominational Ministry. 

During the past 3 years we have added an increasing number of “Faith and Culture” activities:  St. Cecilia Concert (November), Back-from-the-dead Cemetery Walk (October), St. Juan Diego Celebration (December), St. Patrick’s Day Concert, Marian Procession (October), among other programs. 

There has been increasing outreach to student athletes to help them grow in faith, and we have a Sports Chaplain for every Div. I athletic program. 

Interdenominational Ministry (IDM) began in the last 3 years with “Light of Christ” ministry for a weekly Bible study and a weekly gathering of Christians of various denominations for a streamed-in Sunday service.  IDM also hosts a Evening of Witness and Worship each semester for a time of Prayer, Worship, Dance, Praise and Music. 

Several years ago Campus Ministry helped start the Candlelight Prayer Service in the Grotto for Freshman during orientation and has nearly doubled the number of retreats offered from 6-10 retreats/year. 

There have been expanded opportunities for reflection on preparing for one’s vocation including programs like the Marriage Panel, talks on “Healthy Relationships without the Baggage”, “Faith and relationships”.  This past year saw a group start called “Couples Ministry” that organizes some gatherings for couples who are dating.  In addition, there are a number of opportunities for discerning priestly and religious vocations during the year. 

Over this past year, Campus Ministry began leading pilgrimages twice per year. We have traveled to New York and also Quebec and Montreal, and Rome/Assisi for faith, fellowship and an experience of beauty of God’s creation. 

Mount Students for Life has increased from 1 bus (approximately 45 students) to 2 buses (approximately 110 students). 

There has been an increasing outreach to high school students through several high school retreats and conferences.  Vigil for Life and Catholic Live (Summer youth Conference).  High School Retreats and Conferences has been a great opportunity for our student leaders to organize, plan and lead their younger peers while gaining valuable experience as leaders. 

Has your institution’s diocesan bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) officially recognized the institution as Catholic?


Do your institution’s governing documents include or reference the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?


Do your institution’s governing documents or institutional policies require conformity to the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?


What is your institution’s mission statement:

As a Catholic university, Mount St. Mary’s graduates ethical leaders who are inspired by a passion for learning and lead lives of significance in service to God and others. 

Does your institution have a written policy regarding speakers and honorees that at a minimum meets the standards established by the United States bishops in “Catholics in Political Life?”


If yes, please give the policy:

The official speaker’s policy, adopted by faculty, administrators and the Board of Trustees, and included in the university’s Governing Documents, reads as follows: 

Since the intellectual life of a Catholic University depends on vigorous discussion, debate, and inquiry, Mount St. Mary’s desires to host speakers and other events that will expose students to diverse viewpoints, and will help students to grapple with difficult questions facing modern society. In doing so, the university has a fundamental responsibility to its students, to their parents, and to the rest of society not to cause confusion about what Catholic teaching is or about whether the university supports Catholic teaching. Events on campus that address areas where there could be confusion (especially controversial moral, political, or scientific issues) should represent ideas fairly, and should be an occasion for the university to remind students that the university upholds the authority of Catholic teachings, encourages inquiry and discovery, and trusts that any truths discovered by human intellect can in principle be reconciled with Catholic teaching. 

Responsibility of Speakers and Other Guests of the University: 

A Catholic university cannot expect that all of its guests will agree with Church teaching, but it has the right to expect that its guests will appreciate the responsibilities of a Catholic university and show respect for Church teaching. Respectful disagreement with Church teaching is not simply tolerated but welcome, so long as the disagreement is voiced in a context that allows the university to fulfill its responsibility as a Catholic institution. 

If there is controversy or confusion regarding the appropriateness of a particular speaker, the President of the University will make the final decision on the matter. 

Describe the makeup of your institution’s undergraduate student body with regard to sex, religion, home state/country and type of high school (public, private, homeschool):

Male: trad UG=45% 

Female: trad UG=55% 


Catholic: 62%  Other Christian: 35% 

Jewish: 0%  Muslim: 0%  Other: 3% 


Number of states represented:  39 

Top three states: MD, PA, NJ 

Students from top three states: 80% 


Home School 2%

Public School  53%

Catholic School 41%

Private School, not Catholic 4%

Most up-to-date information provided by the University

Additional Student Body information, clarification or description  (optional):

Mount St. Mary’s University’s student body is primarily residential; however, the Mount is also home to students who transfer from other colleges, and to students who commute from home. The Mount also offers undergraduate degree completion to adult students at our Frederick, MD campus as well as MBA, MHA, MED, and MAT, Masters in Biotechnology and Management and Masters in Sport Management graduate programs.  The Mount is also home to the second largest Catholic seminary in the country.

Editor’s Note: Campus safety and security information for most colleges is available via the U.S. Department of Education website here.

Are prospective and current members of your institution’s governing board(s) informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of your institution?


Are more than half of the current members of your institution’s governing board(s) practicing Catholics?


Do Catholic members of your institution’s governing board(s) make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?

No. The Mount St. Mary’s Board of Trustees made their commitment to the letter and spirit of Ex corde Ecclesiae — part of the Governing Documents of the University. Upon the beginning of their terms, each Board Member commits to a statement of the Mount’s Catholic Mission and Identity. This commitment is renewed each year at the Board’s Fall Retreat. 

Is your institution’s president a practicing Catholic?


Does your institution’s president make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?


Additional Leadership information, clarification or description (optional):

President's Note

A message from the president.

Dear Parents and Prospective Students:

With great pleasure I invite you to learn the story of Mount St. Mary’s University. Our founding in 1808 is an enduring testament to religious liberty, and since then our beautiful mountainside campus has welcomed people of all backgrounds willing to learn in the light of the Catholic faith.

Our mission – Catholic education in service of truth – has a long tradition of forming responsible citizens and leaders in Church and society. The vocation of Catholic universities, as expressed in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, is to be a place where the mind of the Church can fully engage the world. Under Mary’s patronage, this has always been the Mount’s calling.

Mount St. Mary’s offers intentional Catholic education for success. Our robust liberal arts core curriculum enriches the imagination, fosters critical judgment, and provides all students with a coordinated formation in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Building on this foundation, students choose from a wide variety of traditional majors – in arts and sciences along with pre-professional programs – to pursue specific interests and career opportunities.

The campus includes a national shrine, as well as a leading seminary – America’s “cradle of bishops.” Student life is also enhanced by clubs, honor societies, and internships, as well as opportunities for service trips, artistic performance, and study abroad. Our active student body enjoys adventure trips and intramural sports—and includes many Division I athletic teams. And of course, there are abundant opportunities to be formed in the practice of faith: from service projects, social justice initiatives, and FOCUS bible studies, to campus ministry retreats, music ministry, Adoration and daily Mass.

At Mount St. Mary’s, we celebrate a long tradition of preparing students for the future in an environment of faith engaging culture. We invite you to visit, and find out why so many have been proud to cultivate their gifts and talents on this mountain, under Mary’s peaceful gaze.


Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.

Contact Mount St. Mary’s University


16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

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