Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a private liberal arts institution that pledges its faithfulness to Jesus Christ, Catholic values and excellence in academics. With an emphasis on the positive power of Providence, SMWC is a community of faith and scholarship. Our unique educational philosophy stresses an exploration of spirituality, a respect for diversity, a passion for stewardship and, as our college motto, “Virtus cum Scientia” (Virtue and Knowledge United) states, a devotion to the unity of faith and reason.
The College is a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, the congregation which founded it in 1840. Rooted in Catholic values and traditions, SMWC offers its students opportunities to promote Christian virtues in an active campus ministry program, to act upon their beliefs as part of a peace and justice organization, and to develop an inclusive sense of compassion that values and engages members of all faiths.
SMWC provides its students with an atmosphere of learning permeated with Catholic traditions. All undergraduate students entering prior to the fall of 2013 are required to pass two theology courses; students beginning at SMWC in the fall of 2013 or later under the Woods Core curriculum, must pass one theology course and two additional courses (WC 100 and a WC 400-level course). These three courses are the hallmarks of Woods Core; they allow students to learn the values foundational to the College’s mission, including issues pertaining to sustainability, women, and social justice, values that are also important for the Sisters of Providence. Our students are given the opportunity to participate in fall and spring break mission trips, such as excursions to help victims of tragedy and natural disasters and visits to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. In addition, SMWC faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the College-sponsored program Pomeroys Pay it Forward, which allows them to volunteer as a representative of SMWC.
Students at SMWC are encouraged to deepen their connection with Providence by engaging in quiet spiritual reflection. Locations all over campus, such as the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Sacrament Church, the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, the labyrinth, the Chapel in Le Fer Hall and the secluded outdoor Grotto allow students to reflect upon the role of Jesus Christ in their lives. Daily liturgies and Sunday liturgy are available to the students, faculty, and staff who wish to be nourished by the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Catholic faith.
As the church bells toll over the oak trees and shake the quiet stillness of our campus, our students are reminded of the mission of our beloved founder, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who believed, as our faculty and staff do, that a commitment to Catholic values combined with a passion for a rich liberal arts education is key to empowering individuals to effect positive change in the world.