Embracing the Mission: Catholic and Non-Catholic Faculty and Staff Perceptions of Institutional Mission and School Sense of Community

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Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D.
Patrick Janulis, B.A.


This study compared the perceptions of the mission identity and mission-driven campus activities of faculty (n = 305) and staff (n = 584) at a large urban Catholic university. Moreover, it compared employees who were self-identifi ed as Catholic (n = 375), Christian (n = 204), other faiths (n = 161), or no religious preference (n = 159). Multivariate analysis (controlling for social desirability responding) indicated a main effect for religious preference. Roman Catholic employees, more than employees from the other three categories, believed that the institution’s mission-driven activities, refl ecting the characteristics of the patron saint of the university and offering faith-formation opportunities, are important programs and initiatives. Implications suggest that Catholic universities may be settings for Catholic and non-Catholic faculty and staff, enabling support of the institution’s mission, varied programs, and identity.

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Author Biographies

Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., DePaul University

Joseph Ferrari is Professor of Psychology and Vincent DePaul Distinguished Professor, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

Patrick Janulis, B.A., DePaul University

Patrick Janulis is a graduate student and research assistant at DePaul University, Chicago, IL.