Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict are affiliated to two Benedictine monasteries, Saint John's Abbey and Saint Benedict's Monastery. The monastic men and women are a very important part of life on campus. They are the original founders of Saint John's and Saint Benedict's, and continue to share their life and their faith with college students, faculty and staff.
Two ways in which a specifically Benedictine identity can be seen at the two colleges are:
- Benedictines understand both the benefit and the challenge of living in community. Thus there is a high level of respect for individuality here. Living in community makes us tolerant of difference. At the same time, it also provides opportunities for mutual support and a challenge for growth. There are a number of opportunities for faculty and students to speak and eat together, to read books and discuss issues together. All of these foster an active sense of belonging to both a campus and a larger world community.
- Benedictines take a vow of stability, leading to a "sense of place." This place is honored as home, therefore great respect and care is taken of both the buildings and the natural setting. The arboretum and wetlands, the woodland trails and the campuses themselves are all cared for and maintained: faculty and students are involved in this care. Stability also leads to continued long-term relationships among faculty and students.