Mission and Catholic Identity

The Church’s teaching mission includes inviting young people to a relationship with Jesus Christ or deepening an existing relationship with Jesus, inserting young people into the life of the Church, and assisting young people to see and understand the role of faith in one’s daily life and in the larger society. “This unique Catholic identity makes our Catholic elementary and secondary schools ‘schools for the human person’ and allows them to fill a critical role in the future life of our Church, our country and our world” (The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 1997). The following standards address Catholic identity and culture as vital to the mission of Catholic schools in the United States.

Standard 1

An excellent Catholic school is guided and driven by a clearly communicated mission that embraces a Catholic identity rooted in Gospel values, centered on the Eucharist and committed to faith formation, academic excellence and service.


1.1 The governing body and the leader/leadership team ensure that the mission statement includes the commitment to Catholic identity.

1.2 The governing body and the leader/leadership team use the mission statement as the foundation and normative reference for all planning.

1.3 The school leader/leadership team regularly calls together the school’s various constituencies (including but not limited to faculty and staff, parents, students, alumni(ae) to clarify, review and renew the school’s mission statement.

1.4 The mission statement is visible in public places and contained in official documents.

1.5 All constituents know and understand the mission.

Standard 2

An excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides a rigorous academic program for religious studies and catechesis in the Catholic faith, set within a total academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture and life.


2.1 Religious education curriculum and instruction meets the religious education requirements and standards of the (arch)diocese.

2.2 Religion classes are an integral part of the academic program in the assignment of teachers, amount of class time and the selection of texts and other curricular materials.

2.3 Faculty who teach religion meet (arch)diocesan requirements for academic and catechetical preparation and certification to provide effective religion curriculum and instruction.

2.4 The school’s Catholic identity requires excellence in academic and intellectual formation in all subjects including religious education.

2.5 Faculty use the lenses of Scripture and the Catholic intellectual tradition in all subjects to help students think critically and ethically about the world around them.

2.6 Catholic culture and faith are expressed in the school through multiple and diverse forms of visual and performing arts, music and architecture.

2.7 The theory and practice of the Church’s social teachings are essential elements of the curriculum.

Standard 3

An excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides opportunities outside the classroom for student faith formation, participation in liturgical and communal prayer and action in service of social justice.


3.1 Every student is offered timely and regular opportunities to learn about and experience the nature and importance of prayer, the Eucharist, and liturgy.

3.2 Every student is offered timely, regular, and age appropriate opportunities to reflect on their life experiences and faith through retreats and other spiritual experiences.

3.3 Every student participates in Christian service programs to promote the lived reality of action in service of social justice.

3.4 Every student experiences role models of faith and service for social justice among the administrators, faculty and staff.

Standard 4

An excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides opportunities for adult faith formation and action in service of social justice.


4.1 The leader/leadership team provides retreats and other spiritual experiences for the faculty and staff on a regular and timely basis.

4.2 The leader/leadership team and faculty assist parents/ guardians in their role as the primary educators of their children in faith.

4.3 The leader/leadership team collaborates with other institutions (for example, Catholic Charities, Catholic higher education, religious congregation-sponsored programs) to provide opportunities for parents/ guardians to grow in the knowledge and practice of the faith.

4.4 All adults in the school community are invited to participate in Christian service programs to promote the lived reality of action in service of social justice.

4.5 Every administrator, faculty, and staff member visibly supports the faith life of the school community.