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Catholic Identity

Clarke University is a Catholic liberal arts university founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) in Dubuque, Iowa.

Rooted in the core values of the BVMs, the university is:

  • A community of freedom, seeking God
    • To be free is to be totally open to God’s love. As we realize this, we are able to make loving choices – to take a stand toward God. We become who we are called to be at the deepest core of our being.


  • A community of education, seeking wisdom
    • Through education, we recognize our gifts and develop our potential, and draw these out in others. We recognize our interdependence and become whole and integrated.


  • A community of charity, seeking communion
    • To live a life of love is to have the power and courage to respond to all peoples and events with compassion that seeks the well-being of the other and the common good.


  • A community of justice, seeking social justice
    • Justice helps us recognize the dignity, equality and rights of all persons. It calls us to be faithful to the demands of a relationship. It is to be concerned about the oppressed, the marginalized and the person without access to resources.