Benedictine Values

Where Character Matters



Forward, Always Forward

Saint Vincent College was founded in 1846 by Benedictine monks led by Boniface Wimmer, who became the first Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey, now the largest Benedictine archabbey in the world.

Benedictine Values

Where Character Matters

From global outreach to local investments in campus and our mountain environment, Saint Vincent and its students invest in the care of all creation.

Faith and Service

Commitments Kept

The Saint Vincent community invites people of all faiths to find meaningful connection in service to others.


A Living Faith

The Saint Vincent community draws love and strength from the tradition of the Catholic faith, the heritage of Benedictine monasticism and a value for lifelong learning.

About Saint Vincent College

On Saint Vincent College's 200-acre campus, you'll find people who inspire you and opportunities that invite you.

With more than 1,500 students, Saint Vincent College offers the personal attention and educational tools to integrate your intellectual aptitudes with your professional goals. Student life at Saint Vincent College is enriched by the unique programs, activities and opportunities that collectively shape the educational journey of those who live and learn here.

At a Glance 
  • U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of National Liberal Arts Colleges – first tier
  • 98 percent of those responding to a survey of the Class of 2019 employed or in graduate school
  • Benedictine priests and brothers make up 15 percent of the faculty, adding a spiritual dimension and unique heritage to Saint Vincent’s welcoming, supportive community and challenging academic environment.

Campus Setting: 
200-acre picturesque campus in Laurel Highlands of PA

More than 50 undergraduate majors and 9 graduate and professional programs
11:1 student-faculty ratio
Freshman-to-sophomore retention: 81%
Four-year graduation rate: 66%
Six-year graduation rate: 69%

1,560 Undergraduate Students
179 Graduate Students

Male/Female Ratio:

Median Age: 
Undergraduate: 20
Graduate: 27

Applications: 2,028 
Enrolled: 359
Test Scores:

  • SAT I Middle 50%
    • Math: 510-620
    • ERW: 520-620
  • ACT Middle 50%: 20-27
Average High School GPA: 3.55

Annual Tuition (2020-21):
Undergraduate: $36,586 for full-time undergraduates
Graduate: varies by program

Student Life: 
More than 50 clubs and programs offered

Benedictine Valuesbenedictine-values

Bible Study Group

Being Benedictine

Saint Vincent College was founded in 1846 by Benedictine monks led by Boniface Wimmer, who became the first Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey, now the largest Benedictine archabbey in the world.

Place is important to Benedictines, who profess vows of stability, or remaining within the same religious house for life; obedience to their Archabbot; and conversatio, or continual transformation, as they strive to draw closer to God.

One of the most striking features of our campus is Saint Vincent Basilica, which in its own beauty reflects the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith. The Basilica, completed in 1905 and renovated for Saint Vincent’s sesquicentennial in 1996, is also a place of community and honor, where our students receive honors during our annual Academic Convocations, where cellist Yo-Yo Ma gave a powerful recital when he received our first Fred Rogers Legacy Award, where thousands gathered to honor golf great and Latrobe native Arnold Palmer after his death on Sept. 25, 2016.

An expression of how the beautiful spaces touch the lives of our students is touchingly expressed at about the 3:30 mark by in this video of a speech by Michael Bartkowski, who won Saint Vincent’s highest student honor, our President’s Award, in 2012.

Beneath the Basilica is the Crypt, which was renovated in 2010, with striking stained-glass windows and numerous eclectic pieces of art.

The Mary, Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel, built during a 2004 renovation of the Robert S. Carey Student Center, provides a home for Catholic student life on campus. It offers three weekend Masses, daily Masses and Compline, or night prayer, as well as numerous opportunities for Reconciliation. 

Both within and without are opportunities for prayer, reflection and community. Melvin Platz, German for Melvin’s garden, is a green, leafy space in the center of campus, lying between the administrative offices and classrooms of Alfred Hall and the student gathering spaces of the Carey Center. It was planned and planted by Fr. Melvin Rupprecht, O.S.B., a monk who had been diagnosed with cancer, who foresaw the beauty that would result from his work even though he would not live to see it come to fruition.

But Benedictine life is not centered in buildings, but in people, and expressed in how they live their lives. Benedictine values have taken shape in a number of initiatives that reflect the Benedictine value of stewardship, or care for the earth and all of God’s gifts. Several of these initiatives, ranging from a 20-plus-year commitment to abate abandoned mine drainage to campus construction to water bottle refilling stations, are documented on our Green Campus initiatives page.

One of the ways in which Saint Vincent and its students are connected with the larger Church is Saint Vincent’s participation as a Global Campus with Catholic Relief Services, the global outreach and development arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Being a Global Campus involves a commitment to partner with CRS through education, prayer and action for justice, peace and human dignity around the globe. CRS asks for a three-pronged commitment: faculty engagement, student involvement and institutional commitment.

Faculty brought Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ into the curriculum as the shared reading for all first-year seminar students, and CRS staff have spoken at the College, including an address to all first-year students at the start of classes in fall 2016.

Students have become engaged in fundraising for needs such as Operation Rice Bowl and for victims of natural disasters, and raised awareness of current issues such as human trafficking.

Campus Minister Fr. Killian Loch, O.S.B., chairs the advisory committee and coordinates campus efforts, beginning new initiatives and building on existing efforts. He sees it as an opportunity to incorporate Catholic, Benedictine values throughout the campus community. “It’s not only doing projects; it’s doing things and living life in a way that reflects Catholic values,” he said.

Another opportunity for growth and understanding of Benedictine values is the Benedictine Leadership Studies program, which invites applications from freshman students of all majors who have an interest in the study of leadership principles and a desire to experience followership and leadership roles through their years at Saint Vincent College.

The Rule of Saint Benedict serves as the cornerstone leadership model, exposing students to a deeper understanding of leadership in their personal and professional lives and in service to the local, national and global community. The purpose of the BLS program includes the analysis of who we are as individuals, how we serve and influence our communities and the development of a meaningful understanding of God’s purpose for our lives.

Freshman students also have the opportunity to get to know members of the Benedictine community on a more casual basis through the Neighborhood to Neighborhood program, in which they share Evening Prayer, or vespers, and a meal with the Benedictines.

Community, another Benedictine value, truly is the key at Saint Vincent.  As one of our student leaders, Peter Santiago, advised freshman students: “You should find one monk, one teacher and one older student that you can go to for advice. We’re all here to help you.”

Faith & Servicefaith-and-service

Chapel MassAn important component of Saint Vincent College’s Catholic, Benedictine heritage is a deep-rooted commitment to faith and service. Campus Ministry and the Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach provide meaningful opportunities for members of the Saint Vincent community to enrich their faith and their perspective of the world through serving others. To learn more about Campus Ministry and the many faith and service opportunities that are available, please visit Campus Ministry or check out Campus Ministry’s facebook page at To learn more about service and outreach programs that are available, please visit the Office of Service Learning and Community Outreach.


The Benedictine Tradition

Saint Vincent College Mission Statement:

Saint Vincent College is an educational community rooted in the tradition of the Catholic faith, the heritage of Benedictine monasticism and the love of values inherent in the liberal approach to life and learning. Its mission is to provide quality undergraduate and graduate education for men and women to enable them to integrate their professional aims with the broader purposes of human life. The programs, activities and encounters that make up student life at Saint Vincent College encourage the intellectual gifts, professional aptitudes and personal aspirations of students to mature harmoniously.

History & Heritagehistory-and-heritage

Saint Vincent Archabbey and College was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, a monk from the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria. With the aid of several American bishops, friends and benefactors in Europe, and a strong community of Benedictine monks at the Saint Vincent monastery, he established the first Benedictine college in the United States. From modest beginnings the college grew rapidly, and on April 18, 1870 the State Legislature of Pennsylvania incorporated the school, empowering it "to grant and confer degrees in the arts and sciences as are granted in other colleges and universities in the United States, and to grant to graduates, or persons on whom such degrees may be conferred, diplomas or certificates as is usual in colleges and universities.''

From its earliest days, Saint Vincent College has strived to embody the ideals and character of the fifteen-hundred-year-old heritage of Benedictine education and scholarship. Based firmly on the ideal of Christian community, this heritage has contributed to both the survival and dissemination of Western culture. For almost 150 years the monks of Saint Vincent have worked to exemplify and to carry on this living tradition. 

In January of 1963, a fire destroyed part of the campus and out of the ashes a new Saint Vincent has emerged. Saint Vincent College became coeducational in 1983 in an effort to strengthen all aspects of the community life and educational services of the College. The decision was based on a belief that the College was in a strong position to offer men and women the opportunity of personal development and solid career preparation in a wholesome environment, grounded in the time-tested Benedictine educational and religious tradition.

Saint Vincent College, along with the rest of the Saint Vincent Community--Archabbey, Seminary and Parish--observed the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1996 with activities and events which recognized the rich history and heritage of Saint Vincent, while focusing attention on planning and preparing for the future.