Saint Joseph's College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men and women of all faiths, located on 474 acres on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine.

Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men and women of all faiths and ages. The 474-acre campus, on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, is in view of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range of the White Mountains.

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. Today, it is Maine’s only Catholic college. Saint Joseph’s grants degrees in fulfillment of the educational ideals of the Sisters of Mercy, founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.

From the time the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Portland in 1873, they dreamed of establishing a college in the area—and worked toward it. From 1912 to 1956, the 
College was located on the grounds of the Sisters of Mercy 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 reinstated.

In 1970, Saint Joseph’s became a co-educational institution. The College began 
offering distance education programs in 1976. Today, Saint Joseph’s College provides certificates as well as undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program that operates in collaboration with the College’s Sebago Lake campus.

With more than 100 years as a foundation, Saint Joseph’s College is determined to meet today and tomorrow’s opportunities for service to the local, state, national, and global communities.

Mission Statement

Rooted in and professing fidelity to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Joseph's College, sponsored by the  Sisters of Mercy, is a liberal arts college that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth in students of all ages and all faiths within a value-centered environment.

In fulfillment of this mission, Saint Joseph's College will:

  • foster a strong academic community dedicated to the pursuit of truth through serious study, integration of knowledge, and an ongoing dialogue between faith and reason
  • encourage all students to explore widely the arts and sciences while they also prepare to live ethical and meaningful lives
  • provide a strong foundation for graduate study, professional service, and career advancement
  • offer as an extension of its Mission to multiple areas of the world, both degree and non-degree programs through distance education
  • enhance students' awareness of human dignity and the meaning of life
  • advocate for justice and peace in recognition of each person's responsibility for the welfare of both humankind and the environment

Core Values

The values of the College, rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and in the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, are the foundation for the College's educational mission. Taken to heart, these values exist at our very core; they are made visible in our daily interactions. Through a process of discernment based on dialogue and reflection, we designate the following as the Core Values for our College.


Rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, nevertheless, we respect diverse religious traditions and honor each individual's religious beliefs. Through the curriculum, sacramental opportunities, and co-curricular activities, we invite all members of the College community to develop their faith as an essential dimension of their lives.


As a Catholic liberal arts college, we seek to combine faith with reason in the pursuit of academic excellence. We call all members of the College community to excel as individuals and as professionals within their specific roles.


Concerned for the common good as individuals and as a community, we commit ourselves to honesty in all relations with students, faculty, staff and administration. Through our integrity, we maintain the trust of the surrounding community and of public and governmental agencies.


Informed by the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, we demonstrate our spirit of connectedness with one another through our expressions of hospitality, courtesy, inclusive relationships, shared values, and collaboration. We extend this value of community by reaching out to neighbors and to members of the broader civic and ecclesial communities.


Mindful of the achievements of the past, we value and respect the contribution of each member of the Saint Joseph's College community to the advancement of our mission. We encourage and support each other as colleagues working together for the good of the whole institution.


Inspired by the example of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, we open our hearts to those among us in physical, psychological, or spiritual need. We consciously reach out beyond our college boundaries to serve the needs of others with compassion and mercy.


Recognizing the dignity of all persons, we seek to address instances of injustice both within and outside our College community from a stance of informed advocacy. We hold ourselves accountable to each other and endeavor to practice responsible stewardship of the resources available to us.