Photo of historic Mary community gathered together to install original wooden cross

The Values that Guide Us

The best education is rooted in strong values. At the University of Mary, they are an integral part of your experience. The Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation first arrived in the Dakota Territory in 1878, bringing ministries of healing and learning. When the Sisters founded the University of Mary, they imbued our educational mission with the same Benedictine values that have guided them. 

University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea

Although communal life inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict stores a vast treasury of Benedictine values, six of these are of particular importance for our life at the University of Mary...

Monsignor James P. Shea, President

Benedictine Values

We integrate the Benedictine values of service, hospitality, moderation, prayer, respect for persons, and community throughout our curriculum and student life programs so students graduate with the capacity to live joyful, meaningful lives.

The freshman seminar introduces students to the Benedictine values, and Monsignor Shea delivers several talks to freshmen about personal development and self-discovery. Faculty and staff receive professional development training to model Benedictine values so students learn by example.

Values and ethics are also a part of the regular discussion at Mary. Events such as the Annual Prayer Day and weekly convocations bring in renowned keynote speakers to address current ethical issues in society and explore these topics.


Striving together for the common good and growing in relationship with God, one another, and self.
“Let all things be common to all.” (Rule of Benedict 33)


Receiving others as Christ with warmth and attentiveness.
“Let all be received as Christ.” (Rule of Benedict 53)


Honoring all of God’s creation and living simply with balance and gratitude.
“Regard all things as sacred and do everything with moderation.” (Rule of Benedict 31)


Attending to the mystery and sacredness of life, abiding in the divine presence, listening and responding to God.
“Listen intently to holy readings. Give yourself frequently to prayer.” (Rule of Benedict 4)

Respect for Persons

Recognizing the image of God in each person and honoring each one in their giftedness and limitations.
“Honor everyone and never do to another what you do not want done to yourself.” (Rule of Benedict 4)


Meeting the needs of others in the example of Jesus the servant leader.
“The members should serve one another.” (Rule of Benedict 35)