Welcome to Mount Mercy University

Mount Mercy University Mission and Goals

Mount Mercy is a Catholic University providing student-focused baccalaureate and graduate education in the spirit of the Sisters of  Mercy.

As a Catholic university founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Mount Mercy welcomes women and men of all beliefs to join our community in the pursuit of baccalaureate and graduate education and service to those in need.

Mount Mercy promotes reflective judgment, strategic communication, the common good, and purposeful living through a core curriculum, liberal arts and professional majors, and student development programs.

We strive for excellence in accomplishing our mission through our four interdependent goals:

Using Reflective Judgment

The abilities to think clearly and carefully, argue coherently, and evaluate competing truth claims critically are fundamental to a college education. Reflective judgment requires a knowledge of basic fact, examination and evaluation of assumptions, adequate justification for drawing a conclusion, and understanding implications of drawing that conclusion. With these skills, individuals can solve problems creatively and integrate knowledge across disciplines.

  1. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of content, assumptions, terminology, and methodology of a broad range of academic disciplines needed for informed and meaningful participation in society, including literature, fine arts, history, mathematics, science, philosophy, religious studies, and social sciences.
  2. Students will demonstrate a depth of understanding in their major field that successfully prepares them for graduate study or a career following graduation.
  3. Students will evaluate their points of view by analyzing multiple perspectives.
  4. Students will integrate knowledge across the disciplines.
  5. Students will apply creative, logical, and scholarly processes in the pursuit of truth to form reasoned judgments and explain the implications of drawing those conclusions.

Engaging in Strategic Communication

Strategic communication requires selecting from a range of options in order to accomplish a chosen goal in an ethical manner. These options include construction and interpretation of messages in the written, oral, and aesthetic forms using appropriate technology.

  1. Students will generate, collect, organize, and present ideas and information in written, oral, and visual modes for chosen purposes and audiences.
  2. Students will meet appropriate standards of quality when they communicate.
  3. Students will demonstrate respect and responsibility in communication with others.

Serving the Common Good

The common good is at the heart of Catholic social teaching. Because persons are social by nature, every individual’s good relates necessarily to the common good, the sum of social conditions that allows all people to reach their human potential more fully. It includes respect for and ethical interaction with every person and the natural environment and, in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, service for the well-being of all humanity and action in the cause of justice in the world.

  1. Students will recognize the challenges and opportunities of living in a changing, complex, global society and demonstrate inclusivity and sensitivity to the diverse human conditions.
  2. Students will explain the significance of personal and social responsibility and be prepared to take action in modes of service, civic participation, advocacy, and system change.
  3. Students will articulate an ethical framework based on a respect for all human beings and the natural environment.
  4. Students will examine the core values of social justice, particularly the Mercy commitment to advocate for persons who are vulnerable and marginalized.

Promoting Purposeful Living

A liberal education enables persons to achieve a greater degree of freedom upon which to act purposefully. Since development of purpose entails planning for life based on a set of priorities, Mount Mercy University provides opportunities for spiritual growth, intellectual engagement, vocational clarity, social development, physical well-being, emotional maturity, and responsible community leadership.

  1. Students will discern and clarify their vocational choices.
  2. Students will recognize the services and support available to assist them and others in determining which commitments will guide their lives.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ways in which their abilities and knowledge enable them to be responsible leaders or participants.
  4. Students will acknowledge the importance of a healthy and balanced life including social, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
  5. Students will recognize the importance of life-long learning.
  6. Students will analyze the evolving nature of relationships in their lives, professions, and communities.

Statement of Values

As members of the Mount Mercy University community, grounded in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy and our Catholic identity, we are committed to:

Lifelong Learning and Education of the Whole Person

We believe that education is a lifelong experience where learning empowers the whole person, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Pursuit of Truth and Dignity

We foster free inquiry in a compassionate culture where our dedication to faith, truth, and mercy supports the dignity of each person within the human community.

Commitment to Students

We acknowledge and affirm that our students’ needs are central to decisions that affect community life.


We advocate for equality by actively creating just and healthy relationships in our learning community and in our global society.


We celebrate with humility all gifts and talents bestowed by God and faithfully share these blessings with the wider community.


We accomplish our work in the spirit of Catherine McAuley’s graciousness and inclusion that welcomes all people and perspectives.


We instill a sense of responsibility and caring that calls us to serve the common good.


Mount Mercy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604; phone: 800-621-7440), the Council on Social Work Education (1725 Duke Street, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314-3457), the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3061), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001). The Department of Nursing is fully approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing (400 S.W. 8th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309).

Mount Mercy University is approved by the Iowa Department of Education (Grimes State Office Bldg., 400 E 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0146) to offer programs leading to teacher certification in both elementary and secondary education and endorsements in several areas including early childhood education, Strategist I K-8 and 5-12, and Strategist II K-12.

History of Mount Mercy University

The Sisters of Mercy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, founded Mount Mercy as a two-year college for women in 1928. Its mission is based on the heritage of its founders, a religious community of women who came to Cedar Rapids in 1875. Catherine McAuley started the order in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831. One of her concerns was the education of women and the service of human needs as they exist.

In 1957 Mount Mercy began a four-year program, awarded the first bachelor’s degrees in 1959, and was accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools as a baccalaureate institution in 1960. Since then, Mount Mercy has become coeducational, has established new academic programs, including new graduate programs in 2008, and has tripled its enrollment, drawing its board members, faculty, staff, and students from all faiths and backgrounds. Through their ongoing sponsorship, the Sisters of Mercy, through the Conference of Mercy Higher Education, continue to support Mount Mercy in carrying out Catherine McAuley’s original vision of service.

Mount Mercy University has close ties with the Cedar Rapids community, placing interns and graduates in profit and non-profit institutions and using the city’s cultural, religious, political, and economic resources to enhance the institution’s programs.