SJC Mission Project

Summary of Comments

 During March/April 2023, St. Joseph’s College embarked on an engagement process gathering feedback to help inform a new mission statement. The following is a summary of the process and summary of feedback that was received.

Engagement Process

An engagement plan was developed and implemented by the administrative staff of SJC. Two in-person facilitated table top sessions were offered for stakeholders to attend. In addition to the two in-person sessions, an on-line engagement form was developed that mirrored the questions from the in-person session. The on-line engagement form was available for 2 weeks on the SJC website. A detailed stakeholder list was developed and used to invite people to both the in-person and/or online engagement sessions.

The in-person engagement session began with a land acknowledgement, prayer and review of the agenda for the table top. The session was facilitated by a member of the SJC Board of Governors. Stakeholders in attendance were provided an agenda for the table top, an opportunity to discuss each question together, share their experiences, ideas, suggestions and provide written feedback on what a new SJC mission statement should be. After the table top, stakeholders were provided with a timeline of what to expect from the engagement process.

Questions #1 and #2 asked stakeholders to consider what a mission statement is and what goals/values it should contain. Questions #3 to #5 contained mission statement options for stakeholders to consider. They were asked to make suggestions, changes,  and combine ideas. Question #6 was an open ended opportunity for stakeholders to provide any additional information they thought was important for SJC to consider for its new mission statement and Question #7 was an opportunity for SJC to gather data to better understand how stakeholders were represented in the process.

The following is a summary of feedback sorted into three themes for each question. Approximately 14 people provided written feedback.

Feedback summary:

  1. A mission statement should include one or two strong, well-written sentences that talk about why an organization exists, the value it brings to its stakeholders, its core beliefs, and what sets it apart from other organizations. Given this, what do you want to see in the new SJC mission statement?
    Response Themes:
    • Catholic faith needs to be the centre of the statement with clear reference.
    • Recognize that SJC is a community of faith for learning, living and parish life.
    • SJC is a flourishing faithful Catholic community with history and purpose.

  2. A good mission statement also describes an organization’s goals. What goals and/or values should the new SJC mission statement have?
    Response Themes:
    • It should contain Catholic values, build Catholic community.
    • Goal is to provide a Catholic education that explores our faith, supports students and worshipping community and unites us in our Catholic mission of truth and reason.
    • Demonstrate a rich Catholic heritage that provides excellent education in the Catholic tradition, support forward thinking, spirit of inquiry, diversity, commitment to the common good with intellectual openness.

  3. Option #1: St. Joseph's College is a flourishing Catholic institution of higher education dedicated to preparing individuals to transform humanity.
    Response Themes: 
    • Flourishing is perhaps not the right fit – suggest “thriving”.
    • Combine first part of #1 and the last part of #2 and replace “institution” with “college” or “community”.
    • Broaden “transform humanity” to something that is closely associated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  4. Option #2: St. Joseph’s College is a flourishing community that is building itself through discovering, integrating, and disseminating truth, as revealed by God, and discerned by reason.
    Response Themes:
    • I like this one, of the three I like this one best, this is the best statement – do not change.
    • Use more active words than "SJC is".... SJC celebrates/engages/dedicates/etc.
    • This statement is missing “Catholic” and may be too “high” and intimidating for students to embrace.

  5. Option #3: The SJC community is committed to supporting students to become flourishing, wise and ethical persons grounded in Catholic values & spirituality.
    Response Themes:
    • We should say we “support students”, include the word intellect, omit “flourishing”, not sure about the word “wise”, statement comes across vague and soft.
    • Not a particularly strong statement, more active language needed however the most Catholic option.
    • Does not include staff, faculty, worshipping community but do appreciate the “grounding in Catholic values and spirituality”.

  6. What are your thoughts about SJC in general? Please offer any suggestions or new opportunities as to how SJC can move forward with its mission.
    Response Themes:
    • SJC is a great gift to the Archdiocese of Edmonton and to the University of Alberta. It provides a space where faith can be explored within a Catholic community, and also engaged with reason in the midst of a major research university.
    • SJC is a critical entity on campus for Catholic students and for those needing God when the time is right.
    • SJC just gets better and better. The last few years have been extremely difficult, yet the flourishing of SJC is obvious everywhere. There is openness, welcoming, unity, and a bright future ahead.

  7. What is your connection to St. Joseph's College?