Benedictine College: Wikis


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Benedictine College
Established 1971 by the merger of Mount St. Scholastica College (founded 1923) and St. Benedict's College (founded 1858)
Type Private, Undergraduate
President Stephen D. Minnis
Location Atchison, KS, USA
Campus Rural
Colors Black and Red
Mascot Ravens

Benedictine College is a small co-educational university in Atchison, Kansas, founded on July 1, 1971 by the merger of St. Benedict's College (established in 1858) for men and Mount St. Scholastica College (established in 1923) for women. It is a Roman Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, and residential college located on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River about forty-five minutes northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. Benedictine is one of a number of U.S. Benedictine colleges, and is sponsored by St. Benedict's Abbey and Mount St. Scholastica Monastery. The abbey has a current population of some thirty-five monks, while the monastery numbers around 153 sisters . The school has been named one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. It has also been named a Leader in Educational Excellence by Colleges of Distinction as well as one of the top 20 Catholic colleges in the nation by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.



The predecessors for the modern university were Mount St. Scholastica College, an all-women's campus named for Benedict of Nursia's twin sister Scholastica, and St. Benedict's College, an all-men's campus named for Benedict of Nursia, founder of modern western monasticism. In 1970, Fr. Alcuin Hemmen, OSB, president of St. Benedict's College, announced that St. Benedict's would become a co-educational college, causing Sr. Mary Noel Walter, OSB, president of Mount St. Scholastica College to organize discussion of a merger of the two colleges.[1] It was agreed upon, and the universities merged on July 1, 1971 to form the current Benedictine College. The college is also known as "The Co-Educational College of Mount St. Scholastica and St. Benedict's Colleges". The public usage of this name has disappeared since the college closed the South Campus, the former Mount St. Scholastica College, in 1989.

Four Pillars

The college has tried to build its core values around four "pillars" -- Catholic, Benedictine, Liberal Arts, Residential—which exemplify the Benedictine experience.


Undergraduate programs include Art, Accounting, Astronomy, Athletic Training, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Classics (Minor Only), Computer Science, Criminology, Dance (Minor Only), Economics, Economics & Political Science (Minor Only), Elementary Education, Engineering Physics, English Literature,Environmental Studies (Minor Only), Foreign languages, French, History,International Business, International Studies, Journalism and Mass Communications,Latin (Minor Only), Liberal Studies, Mathematics,Music Education, Natural Science, Nursing, Philosophy, Physical Education, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Secondary Education, Social Science, Sociology, Spanish,Special Education,Speech Communication, Theatre Arts, Theatre Arts Management, Theology and Youth Ministry. Masters degree programs include Master of Arts in School Leadership, Executive Master of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration.

The college staff to student ratio is 15:1.


The college offers programs in the performing arts, in majors such as Art, Music, Music Education, and Theatre Arts. The college features two performance spaces: the Mabee Theatre seats approximately 130 and the O'Malley-McAllister Auditorium seats around 545 people. The Abbey Church is also utilized for organ recitals, orchestra, and choral performances.

The college's music department traces its roots to Mount St. Scholastica Academy, now the modern Maur Hill - Mount Academy, when in 1863 the Benedictine sisters were said to have first purchased a house and then a piano.


The mascot "Raven" is associated with St. Benedict, as legend has it a raven would bring the sixth-century saint food during his time as a hermit in the mountains near Subiaco, Italy. The legend also has the raven saving St. Benedict from eating poisoned bread.

The Ravens compete in fifteen varsity intercollegiate sports (NAIA and Heart of America Athletic Conference), with men’s teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer, and track and field. Women’s athletics, "The Lady Ravens", include teams in basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, track, and volleyball. Benedictine’s cheerleading and spirit squads have been recognized nationally.

Faith life

Mass is offered to students four times daily in several places, including St. Benedict's Abbey in its Abbey Church, St. Benedict's Church (a parish connected to one of the campus dorms, Ferrell Hall), and St. Martin's Chapel (located within the basement of another dorm, St. Martin's Memorial Hall). The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), a collegiate leadership apostolate, was founded at Benedictine College by Curtis Martin. Other active religious groups on campus include Communion and Liberation, Ravens Respect Life, Pax Christi, and the Hunger Coalition.

In 2006, the college started to promote and associate itself with Life Teen. It hired one of its co-founders.[2]

The college is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, though it is not officially affiliated with the Archdiocese.


  1. Sr. Mary Noel Walter, OSB, Ph.D. (Acting, July 1, 1971 to February 12, 1972)
  2. Fr. Gerard Senecal, OSB, Ph.D. (February 12, 1972 to May 29, 1987)
  3. Sr. Katherine Delaney, OSB, Ph.D. (Acting, May 29, 1987 to 1988)
  4. Thomas O. James, Ph.D. (1988 to 1995)
  5. Daniel J. Carey, Ph.D. (1995 to 2003)
  6. Stephen D. Minnis, J.D. (2004 to present)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ Sounds & Silence: The Magic of Music from Price Villa. 1863-2000. Copyright 2003, Mount St. Scholastica.
  2. ^ Benedictine names VP of College Relations, Benedictine College. Retrieved July 26, 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 39°34′26″N 95°06′53″W / 39.57394°N 95.11465°W / 39.57394; -95.11465

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