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Values

The Search for Truth

Learning: Anchored in our Dominican heritage…

  • The search for truth is one of our five Sinsinawa Dominican values.  Truth—Veritas—is the principal motto of the Dominicans, and we are the heirs of the intellectual and spiritual search for truth.
  • The search for truth integrates all ways of knowing and reflects intellect, spirit, imagination, and heart. A Dominican education cultivates the skills necessary for “seeing and appreciating this unity of meaning.” 
  • In the Dominican tradition, we are faithful to a life of study and search for truth through study, reflection and action. 
  • We recognize with humility that we can never possess or fully express truth, and thus, with Thomas Aquinas, we are all “happy to beg a little bit of illumination from everyone we meet on the road.”

Beliefs: What does this really mean to us… 

  • As a Dominican college, we believe that the liberal arts offer us the most compelling means through which to engage in the search for truth.
  • Authentic search for truth is guided by questions. We pose meaningful questions to frame our inquiry; we welcome questions as opportunities to challenge our perspectives and those beliefs that keep us from truth; and we hold provisional answers to questions as a means to inform our action.
  • The search for truth is an inherently communal endeavor; our search is broadened and deepened through meaningful relationships with others. As we engage with others, we have a responsibility to dialogue in a spirit of love, hospitality, and civility.

Action: What are we called to do…

  • Because searching for truth is an active process, we will practice such critical skills as listening, encouraging, challenging, imagining and reflecting as we discern among many truths.
  • We will have the courage to speak our truth and share the fruits of our study and contemplation for the benefit of the wider community.
  • We will create spaces in which the following COR questions can be pursued and enacted:
    • Who am I and who could I become?
    • What are the needs and opportunities of the world?
    • What is my role in building a just and compassionate society?

(We acknowledge and are grateful for the contributions of the “Meeting the Charism Again/For the First Time” project, from which this is taken.)

Compassion

Learning: Anchored in our Dominican heritage…

  • The story of Dominic is one of compassion – as a young college student he sold his books to feed those who were starving.
  • Dominican Catherine of Siena understood that human beings are made for compassion – with “ears to attend to others’ needs…hands to serve and help”. (D144)
  • The founder of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, practiced a ministry of compassion – he translated the Gospels into the languages of America’s indigenous peoples.
  • The Edgewood College motto proclaims the centrality of compassion – cor ad cor loquitur (heart speaks to heart): is a picture of compassion’s deep and motivating awareness of the suffering of others.
  • The worldwide Dominican Family rejoices in the Scriptures’ promise of compassion – “Our God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:9)

Beliefs: What does this really mean to us…

  • We believe the suffering of others cries out for our compassionate response.
  • Each of us is created with inherent dignity and infinite value, equally worthy of care, respect and compassion.
  • Some people need to be served by compassion first: those who are most vulnerable or who benefit least from existing social conditions.

Actions: What we are called to do…

  • To educate ourselves about the needs and suffering of our brothers and sisters near and far.
  • To cultivate our moral imaginations through study, contemplation and service with and on behalf of those most in need.
  • To advocate for ethical leadership, the alleviation of suffering, and lives of compassionate service.
  • To embody the compassion of God by welcoming the stranger, accompanying the discriminated, supporting the weak. 

Justice

Learning: Anchored in our Dominican heritage…

  • St. Dominican de Guzman founded the order of preachers to preach the Gospel and to nurture relations among people of every rank and class, based upon recognition of their basic needs and human dignity.
  • Throughout history, Dominicans such as Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Bartolomé de las Casas and Martin de Porres have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of justice; the permanent presence of the Dominicans for Justice and Peace at the United Nations is consistent with this tradition of the Order.
  • Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, an Italian immigrant, founder of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, was a voice for the voiceless in the new American wilderness.
  • The mission of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa invites us to partner with them in the “building of a holy and just Church and society.”  (Sinsinawa Mission Statement)

Beliefs: What does this really mean to us…

  • As a Dominican college, our core mission values impel us to study the needs of our times and promote changes that ensure justice for all people and the well-being of all creation. 
  • To promote justice, the social systems and institutions of our community should pursue the common good: that which benefits everyone-especially the invisible and powerless among us.  
  • As an institution of learning, we recognize education for all is the foundation for living a full human life.

Action: What are we called to do…

  • To become literate about differences among us.
  • To be conscious of the needs of our times. 
  • To embody justice in policies, behaviors, and practices. 
  • To study each issue, listen for underlying concerns and needs, while communally discerning a course of action on behalf of the common good.  
  • To hold the COR question: “what is our role in creating a more Just and Compassionate world?” 

Partnership

Learning: Anchored in our Dominican heritage…

  • Saint Paul defined the nature of partnership: “We, though many are one body, individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them.” (Romans 12: 4-6)
  • Saint Dominic created a new structure for partnership: the Order of Preachers, which in partnership with the Church, strives to proclaim the light and hope of the Gospel to all.
  • From its origin, the international Dominican Order has participated in the resources of universities: partnerships engaging liberal arts and professions in communal study and dialogue to pursue truth and promote justice.
  • Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, founder of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, exemplified the promise of partnership: in pursuit of his mission, he developed vital partnerships across religious, economic, cultural and institutional boundaries.
  • The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa continue to expand the scope and impact of partnership: they commit themselves and their ministries to seeking and fostering right relationships within the human family and with Earth that sustains us.

Beliefs: What does this really mean to us…

  • Partnerships are honest, open, and respectful commitments to a shared purpose.
  • They arise out of the deep human need for companionship and the capacity for cooperation and mutual support.
  • Dynamic partnerships develop and evolve when participating members integrate the rich diversity of their gifts.
  • The student-teacher partnership is at the center of our Mission as a learning community.

Actions: What is this calling us to do…

  • Promote partnerships as essential to our existence as a community and to realizing our Mission.
  • Engage in study, contemplation and dialogue to discern how, where and with whom we will respond to the needs and opportunities of the world.
  • Discern and develop our individual strengths and resources while welcoming and affirming the gifts and perspectives others contribute to our partnerships within and beyond this learning community. 
  • Provide leadership in forming, developing and celebrating partnerships across diverse landscapes of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality.

Community

Learning: Anchored in our Dominican heritage...

  • Community is one of Edgewood’s five Sinsinawa Dominican values and serves as one of four pillars of a Dominican Education.
  • A Sinsinawa Dominican education celebrates a diverse and collaborative community. Students are taught to share their talents and insights, to collaborate with others, to recognize diversity and differences in our world with respect. Students thrive in an atmosphere in which they experience God’s love in others, inspiring them to make a difference beyond campus and classroom – in their families, their community, their places of worship, and the world.
  • Community calls us to…
    Recognize the interdependence of all nature;
    Nurture relationships that enhance the well-being of persons, earth, and all beings;
    Communicate honestly and openly; and
    Value cooperation and collaboration.
  • We “do community” when we focus on relationships and relatedness. For us, relationships are at the heart of ministry and mission, and community is at the core of good teaching and learning.

Beliefs: What does this really mean to us…

  • Communities, like individuals, are diverse and dynamic entities that necessarily evolve. As members come and go, as events from within and outside have an influence, communities adapt to ensure their sustainability. 
  • Real communities are complex. While they can be uplifting and inclusive, validating the importance of all of their members, they also can be messy, challenging, and exclusive. We believe the cycle of study, reflection, and action is the best model we have to honor the complex nature of community and avoid complacency in our responsibility to embrace the inherent tensions and contradictions that will exist.

Action: What is this calling us to do…

  • All of us have responsibility in our community of teaching, learning, and living to cultivate and model the community to which our Sinsinawa Dominican heritage calls us.
  • Every time we gather together or connect with another is an opportunity to enact community.
  • Telling our stories—as reflected in the lived experiences of our students, faculty, and staff—is essential to celebrating our community, to enhancing our community, and gaining insight into how our community is experienced.
  • Just as the Edgewood College community is comprised of several “neighborhoods,” so, too, is our college one neighborhood among many in the Greater Madison area and beyond. We believe that we are not just in the community but also of the community. This belief calls us to authentic engagement with our communities in ways that reflect our interdependence.
  • Despite our best efforts to create and sustain the community we desire, we will fall short. Thus, community requires that we hold each other accountable but also practice compassion and forgiveness.