History

Saint Joseph's College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men and women of all faiths, located on 430 acres on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, on what was once a large estate owned by the Verrill family of Portland.

Saint Joseph's was founded by the Portland Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in 1912 and chartered by the Maine Legislature in 1915. It is the Catholic college of Maine. It has a religious Board of Trustees and a lay and religious Board of Overseers. Saint Joseph's grants degrees in fulfillment of the educational ideals of the Sisters of Mercy, founded by Mary Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.

From the time of the foundation of the Portland Regional Community in the Diocese of Portland in 1883, the Sisters of Mercy worked toward the establishment of a college. From 1912 to 1956, the college was located on the grounds of the Motherhouse in the Deering district of Portland. In 1949, the name of the College was changed from Saint Joseph's to The College of Our Lady of Mercy, but with the change of site to Standish in 1956, the original name of Saint Joseph's was resumed.

In 1970, Saint Joseph's became a coeducational institution. The College began offering distance education programs in 1976. Now, Saint Joseph’s College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program.