Develop your whole self at a college that goes beyond academics

A college education can provide an opportunity to pursue more than academics. For students who want a college experience that enriches other aspects of their lives – spiritual, personal and commitment to social justice – they will find these needs fulfilled at a mission-driven institution dedicated to educating the whole self.

Wholeness is the quality of being or feeling complete. It goes beyond simple self-care and guides students in taking control of their well-being and nurturing the needs of their whole self.

In this article we’ll detail some of the opportunities that exist in college to help you embrace who you are, where you are, and to help you build and realize your purpose and mission.

Why is this development of the whole person so important?

In order to create a community of leaders, one must embody the power of being whole. While on the journey of developing as a person, it is important to remember that having proper systems in place is essential for overall growth.

Mount Mary University (MMU) demonstrates its commitment to educating the whole self by partnering with students to meet their needs and nurture their personal growth.

In an article on the importance of developing and preparing the whole person for the workplace, author Joe Singson discusses the idea of improving personal and emotional skills alongside more traditional professional skills.

“Adopting a whole person approach to development means recognizing that true professional development is indeed personal, and that in order for an employee to truly lead and improve others, they must develop as a whole person,” Singson explains.

MMU is proud of the rich legacy that has been created to promote social justice, creativity and a curriculum that focuses on professional skills alongside the development of the whole person.

Discover the W.H.O.L.E. truth about education

Mount Mary is focused on helping you find your place personally and professionally, providing places and experiences for students to grow and develop into the person they desire to be. Whether that is being a community leader, a better friend or fulfilling your calling to pursue higher education, Mount Mary is filled with opportunities to help you embrace who you are, where you are.

In fact, here is an excerpt from the mission statement:

“Mount Mary’s mission is to encourage leadership, integrity and a deep sense of social justice arising from a sensitivity to moral values and Christian principles.”

In order to create a community of leaders, one must embody the power of being whole. While on the journey of developing as a person, it is important to remember that having proper systems in place is essential for overall growth.

Consider these resources for students to cultivate their W.H.O.L.E. self at MMU.


W: Wellness at the Counseling and Wellness Center

Connecting with a counselor teaches one to manage and deal with emotional conflict and personal problems. The Institute of Medicine was featured on the American Counseling Association website discussing the effectiveness of school counseling. The Institute concluded that “mental and psychological services were essential for many students to achieve academically and recommended that such services be considered mainstream and not optional.”

At MMU, counseling is designed to create a lifestyle that supports wellness. It helps you to establish routines that give you balance and help you reach your highest potential. Mount Mary’s Counseling and Wellness Center offers wellness offerings and free individual and group counseling to all community members – undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.

The Counseling and Wellness Center also assists with referrals and resources to local mental health or medical providers. 

Counseling is an important resource for maintaining wellness at any stage in life. This is especially crucial for students who are establishing routines that support balance, mental clarity and their ability or each their highest potential.


H: Healthy community environment at Trinity Woods

An example of MMU’s community spirit in action is Trinity Woods, Mount Mary’s on-campus apartment living for families, which provides an educational and supportive housing option for single mothers who are students. It includes not only housing for single mothers and an early childhood education center, but also intergenerational community of senior citizens and retired members of Mount Mary’s founding order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Single mothers are supported through everyday interactions with seniors and fellow students of MMU. Seniors are able to volunteer and read to the children in the community lounges at Trinity Woods. This allows students to experience community and compassion the MMU way.

MMU is committed to limiting the financial challenges of students with the Madonna Fund. The Madonna fund is split into two separate funds: one to address immediate needs and one for long term sustainability. MMU understands the challenges of students with children and through the heart and mission of Mount Mary creates options to minimize their frustrations.


O: Open conversations about social justice

All undergraduate students enroll in “Leadership for Social Justice,” a course that focuses on principles and issues, both global and local, related to women and social justice. This class introduces students to critical thinking in a college environment that helps address the mission and values of MMU.

In addition, service learning opportunities provide students to engage in community service with academic coursework. They inspire students to not only volunteer in the community, but to explore other social issues and create solutions.

One notable opportunity for those with a passion for social justice is the Caroline Scholars Program, a four-year scholarship program for first-year, full-time undergraduate students. This highly selective program provides challenging academic work, leadership development, service learning opportunities and financial assistance that covers full tuition, room and board. Students complete 300 hours of academic service learning each year and experience the real-life social justice issues discussed in the classroom.

These experiences have lasting effects for students and their communities. Here is one example of an MMU alumna and local activist that speaks to the power of getting involved with social issues.


L: Leveraging the power of faith

Christian principles and traditions lie at the foundation of Mount Mary. It is important to the university that there is a space to help students explore and grow through faith on campus, as allows you to become centered and grounded while pursuing your education.

The active Campus Ministry at MMU hosts a variety of activities that are open to students of all faiths, from retreat opportunities to weekly rosaries and a regular Bible study.

The Place of Peace interfaith center is a quiet, reflective space on campus for reflection and stillness for anyone who would like to engage in a reading, praying or artwork. This space, a former chapel, was redesigned in 2020 to make it more inclusive for all faith traditions.

Next door to the Place of Peace is a prayer space for MMU’s Muslim students, a private setting to allow students to pray throughout the day. This new Muslim Prayer Room is a significant addition to the campus prayer spaces already, including Our Lady Chapel, the Place of Peace, the outdoor labyrinth, peace pole and reflection pool.


E: Engaging in an empowering community

As you make the decision to enrich your mind and soul, it will become clear the path to take to becoming a better you. By aligning yourself with the right community and leveraging resources, you are empowering your whole self. This will boost your confidence, clarify your purpose and deepen your ability to empower others.

As the saying goes, “empowered people empower people.” Being a part of the MMU mission helps you develop as a person professionally and personally, and build community.

A college experience can enrich your mind, soul and spirit. If you’re ready to learn how to grow academically and personally to make a difference in your life and the lives of others, take the next step and learn more about the impact that a Mount Mary education can make.