The Core Values of Vincentian Education
A thorough examination of the documentation relative to education in the lives and writings of Vincent de Paul and his collaborator Louise de Marillac revealed the following values as central to their common mission of evangelization and to the education process.
- Holistic: Vincentian education seeks to respond to the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and affective needs of students-- educating the heart as well as the head.
- Integrated: Vincentian education blends the humanistic and the professional, the abstract and the practical.
- Creative: Vincentian education is ever seeking new or renewed ways to meet changing needs among the student population while maintaining a clear 'sense of the possible.'
- Flexible: Vincentian education is willing to make the effort to adapt to the needs of the non-traditional student.
- Excellent: Vincentian education places quality at the center of its educational activities. It seeks this excellence in (1) Teaching: The instructor must not only be competent but must also be efficient, dedicated and reveal 'all those virtues required of the students;' and (2) Methodology: The method employed must be active, challenging, competency-based, and enable the student not only to learn but to enjoy doing so.
- Person Oriented: The Vincentian educational institution must be one in which all: administration, faculty, staff, and most importantly, students are respected and valued.
- Collaborative: Vincentian education seeks to collaborate rather than merely compete with other educational institutions.
- Focused: Vincentian education is ever-viewed as central to the Vincentian mission of service to the Poor. As such it strives to integrate this vision into the educational process and to keep the primacy of it alive among all those who share in this common mission.
Education was central to the Vincentian mission of evangelization of and service to the Poor and as such had values unique to it. Indeed, education was the most far reaching form of service since it enabled the poor to break the cycle of poverty, find meaningful employment, and thus enhance their self-respect and confidence. Moreover, by providing quality education to all, the Vincentian institution also was able to transmit this vision of service to others who would later carry it on in their own lives.