The Catholic character of CSB/SJU is shaped by the Benedictine communities that founded the colleges in the 19th century and continues to foster the academic, spiritual and social life of these institutions. Today, Benedictine women and men remain actively involved in teaching and administration. Their prayerful presence in community life provides the stable sense of home for which CSB/SJU are so well known. By living according to Saint Benedict's Rule, members of the monastic communities cultivate love of God, neighbor and self through the art of listening, worship and balanced, humane living. They challenge students to embrace these values as well.
As two of the nation's foremost Catholic liberal arts colleges, CSB/SJU share in the rich tradition of Catholic intellectual thought. Students' coursework in theology seeks to promote a deeper understanding of their faith and to lay the foundation for meaningful participation in student liturgies, campus ministry programs, retreats, community service and social justice activities, through which their faith finds expression in the world.
The Benedictine value of hospitality creates a welcoming community for individuals of all faiths. Students and faculty from many diverse belief systems collectively bring a rich dimension to the academic, cultural and religious experience at CSB/SJU.