College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University

College of Saint Benedict and
Saint John's University
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Benedictine)
Provost Richard Ice
Academic staff
300 full-time; 52 part-time
Undergraduates 3640
Location Minnesota, United States
Campus Rural
Athletics NCAA Division IIIMIAC
Affiliations Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities
College of Saint Benedict
Motto Sic Luceat Lux Vestra
Motto in English
So let your light shine
Type Women's college
Established 1913
Endowment $55.9 million[2]
President Mary Dana Hinton
Undergraduates 1924[3]
Address 37 S College Ave
Saint Joseph, MN 5637
, St. Joseph, Minnesota
Colors          Red and White[4]
Nickname Blazers
Affiliations WCC
Saint John's University
Latin: Universitas Sancti Joannis Baptistae
Motto Induamur Arma Lucis
Motto in English
Put on the Armor of Light
Type Men's college
Established 1857
Endowment $168.9 million[2]
President Michael Hemesath
Undergraduates 1716[3]
Address PO Box 5000
Collegeville, MN 56321
, Collegeville, Minnesota
Colors          Cardinal and Blue[5]
Nickname Johnnies

The College of Saint Benedict (CSB), a women's college, and Saint John's University (SJU), a men's college, are private liberal arts colleges respectively located in St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minnesota, US. Under CSB/SJU's coordinate relationship, students at the two colleges have a shared curriculum, and access to the resources of both campuses. [6]

CSB/SJU is home to the Saint John's Bible.


Tennis courts, 1918

Saint John's University

Saint John's University was founded by the monks of Saint John's Abbey. In addition to its undergraduate offerings, SJU also includes Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary[7] (SOT), a graduate school that confers Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees and also prepares seminarians for the priesthood.

Minnesota Public Radio began on January 22, 1967, when KSJR signed on from the campus of Saint John's University. The station's Director of Broadcasting was SJU alum William H. Kling.

SJU has produced its own coarse-grained bread, Johnnie Bread, since 1856, and used the proceeds to fund projects such as the Abbey Church.[8]

College of Saint Benedict

The College of St. Benedict is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution. The College opened in 1913, with six students enrolled, and grew out of St. Benedict's Academy, which was founded by Saint Benedict’s Monastery in 1889. The Benedictine community incorporated CSB in 1961.[9]

Institutional Partnership

CSB and SJU are two separate institutions that share a single academic program. Men and women attend classes together on both campuses. About 4,000 students are enrolled in CSB/SJU combined. They attend coed classes taught by a joint faculty of approximately 350 professors, mostly full-time, permanent appointees.


Academic Distinctions

CSB/SJU have produced two Rhodes Scholars;[10] six Truman Scholars;[11] and at least two Goldwater Scholars.[12] In 2015, the College of Saint Benedict was designated one of the top bachelor's institutions for producing Fulbright Scholars (15 in the past three years).[13] CSB/SJU has also been recently recognized as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers.[14]

Academic Profile

85% of CSB/SJU professors are full-time, the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1, and the average class size is 19.[15][16]

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society. CSB/SJU's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Theta of Minnesota, was established in 2009.[17]

Study Abroad

CSB/SJU has achieved national recognition for its strength in study abroad and international education opportunities. The Institute of International Education ranks CSB/SJU among the top baccalaureate institutions in the nation for the number of students who study abroad.[18] According to Open Doors 2014, CSB/SJU ranked third among undergraduate institutions for participation in semester-long study abroad programs. There are currently 19 semester-long study abroad sites available on six different continents.


CSB/SJU currently enroll approximately 250 students from 50 countries and offer 200 undergraduate courses that have a global focus. In 2012, CSB/SJU received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.[14][19]


College of Saint Benedict; Main Building (right), Sacred Heart Chapel (left) and Main Convent (center).

The CSB/SJU music department[20] is expansive considering the size of the school; over half of the students at CSB/SJU participate in some kind of music ensemble. The department of music has many ensembles including four choirs, an orchestra, a wind ensemble, a jazz ensemble, and several small chamber ensembles. Many of these ensembles tour extensively both domestically and abroad. The department also presents an opera every year and recently performed a Stephen Paulus oratorio about the Holocaust entitled "To Be Certain of the Dawn", jointly with choirs and orchestra from Saint Cloud State University in Europe in May 2008. There are also several student run groups, including the a cappella group Johnnie Blend.


Breuer's Saint John's Abbey Church

The campuses are located on 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of forests, prairies, and lakes. Since CSB and SJU are located about three and a half miles apart, a regular inter-campus bus service[21] known as "The Link" connects the campuses.

Marcel Breuer, renowned Brutalist architect, designed several buildings on the Saint John’s campus in the 1960s, including the Saint John's Abbey Church and bell banner; Alcuin Library; Peter Engel Science Center; the Ecumenical Institute, and Saints Thomas, Bernard, Boniface, and Patrick Residence Halls.[22]

Several College of Saint Benedict/Saint Benedict's Monastery and Saint John's University buildings are listed in a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.[23][24]

Saint John's Abbey Arboretum

The SJU campus is surrounded by Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum,[25] more than 2,500 acres of oak savanna, forest, prairie, wetlands, and lakes. These abbey lands were designated as a natural arboretum in 1997. The Arboretum is crisscrossed with groomed Nordic skiing and hiking trails, including the popular "chapel walk" along Lake Sagatagan to Stella Maris Chapel.[26]

Residential Life

CSB/SJU encourages the four-year residential experience, which goes beyond actual residential facilitiesto include student activities and opportunities, campus policies, dining, recreation and fitness, and academic collaboration.[27]

SJU Residence Halls (Men's Housing). First-year and sophomore halls consist of two-person dorm rooms. First-year dorms include Saint Thomas Aquinas Hall (Tommy Hall) and Saint Mary Hall. Many sophomores, and some juniors, live in four residence halls: St. Bernard (Bernie), St. Boniface (Bonnie), St. Patrick (Pat), and St. Benet as well as the first floor of Tommy. There are also on-campus apartment options for juniors and seniors, including Placid House, Maur House, Saint Vincent Court, Metten Court, and Flynntown Apartments.[28]

CSB Residence Halls (Women's Housing). First-year residence halls include Corona, Aurora, and Regina. Sophomores live in three residence halls: Lottie, Brian, and Margretta. Juniors and seniors can live in either the West Apartments (Dominica, Gable, Girgen, Schumacher, Smith, Sohler, and Westkaemper) or the East Apartments (Luetmer, McDonald, Wirth, and Zierden), or in the College Avenue Apartments, which consists of two buildings and houses 33 students in one-person or two-person units with private bedrooms.[29] Opened for housing in the fall of 2012, Centennial Commons is the newest addition to CSB's residential facilities.[30] Students can also choose to live in "living communities" such as the Health and Wellness Community, as well as in other campus houses, such as the Rainbow House or the Anne House.[31]


As a result of their strong Benedictine tradition and belief in stewardship, CSB/SJU place a high value on sustainability.[32] CSB/SJU was listed in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition" as an institution that "demonstrates notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation." The campuses each have their own sustainability office to foster a strong culture of sustainability among the students and the broader community. The institutions signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, which formalized their goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. Dramatic steps have been taken by CSB/SJU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the most recent report, Saint John's reported a 56 percent reduction in emissions since 2008 levels.[33] Both institutions also complete STARS reports on sustainability and are signatories of the Catholic Climate Covenant. CSB/SJU seeks to educate and engage the campus community through hosting events, speakers, energy challenges, and other activities.

Saint John's Abbey Energy Farm. The Saint John's Abbey is well known for having one of the largest solar fields in the state.[34] The original 3.9 acre facility was built in 2009, and its tracking panels provide the university with about 4% of its annual energy needs and up to 20% of its real-time needs in peak conditions. In 2014, the Solar Farm was expanded to include 616 additional fixed panels.[35][36] These new panels will allow the Solar Farm to produce more than 600 kilowatts of electricity—enough energy to power up to 30% of the SJU campus in peak conditions, and 6% of its energy annually. This project is especially exciting because it creates an unparalleled research opportunity for students and others to compare the performance differences between the two types of panels.[37]

Fine Arts Programming

Fine Arts Programming is a department of CSB/SJU that presents professional performances and art exhibitions from a range of national and international artists, and also supports and enhances the academic mission of CSB/SJU through its programming, resources, and personnel. Events take place in either the Benedicta Arts Center, a performing and visual arts center located on the CSB campus, or the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater or Alice R. Rogers Gallery and Target Gallery in the Art Center at SJU.

The Benedicta Arts Center is home to Escher Auditorium, Gorecki Family Theater, Colman Black Box Theater, Darnall Amphitheater, Helgeson Dance Studio, Gorecki Gallery & Gallery Lounge, the BAC Box Office, and classroom and rehearsal spaces, faculty and staff offices, and other music, theater, and art related spaces.


The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University both consistently rank among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country. In 2015, ''U.S. News & World Report'' ranked St. John’s University as tied for the 79th best liberal arts college in the United States,[38] and College of St. Benedict as tied for the 90th best liberal arts college in the United States.[39]

CSB and SJU are two of the nation’s best colleges for students seeking great academics, outstanding career preparation, and generous financial aid, according to The Princeton Review's book, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In – 2015 Edition.[40]

CSB/SJU were rated very highly in MONEY's list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges for 2016 (SJU was #3, while CSB was #11) and Best Colleges overall (SJU was #25, while CSB was #47). In the Best Colleges list, CSB and SJU were the only two institutions in Minnesota ranked in the top 50.[41][42] They also rated well in MONEY's 2015 lists.[43]

Student Life

Student Government

The Saint John's Senate (SJS) is SJU's elected student government, and the Saint Ben's Senate (SBS) is CSB's elected student government. The Senates, while individually governing in the interest of their own student body, work closely together with students, faculty, staff, and university administrators to enhance all aspects of student life.

Student-Run Media

All student media is run independent of the CSB/SJU administration.

Current Presidents

Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., is the fifteenth president of the College of Saint Benedict.[48] She became president of the college on July 1, 2014.[49] Dr. Hinton graduated from Williams College, received her master's degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and earned her doctorate in religion and religious education at Fordham University.[50]

Michael Hemesath, Ph.D., former Carleton College economics professor, is the thirteenth president of Saint John's University[51] and the first lay president in the history of the institution. Dr. Hemesath graduated from Saint John's in 1981, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.[52]

Benedictine Values

SJU's Great Hall

In the sixth century, St. Benedict, founder of the Benedictine monastic order, wrote the Rule of Saint Benedict. CSB/SJU encourages their students and alumni to lead their lives with the values outlined by St. Benedict in mind.[53]

The Saint John's Bible

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at SJU is home to The Saint John's Bible and a collection of religious sculpture, paintings, prints, and artifacts.[54]


CSB/SJU are members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).[55]

Blazer Athletics (CSB)

Sports offered are: basketball; cross country; golf; hockey; rugby; soccer; softball; swim and dive; tennis; track and field; and volleyball.

Currently a renovation and expansion of Haehn Campus Center and Murray Hall is underway. The new center includes a fitness center that includes racquetball courts, climbing wall, and an exercise science lab. Future phases include a new field house, hockey arena, and a natatorium.[56] The renovation is being led by JLG Architects and Hastings+Chivetta.[57]

Johnnies Athletics (SJU)

Sports offered are: baseball; basketball; cross country; football; golf; hockey; rugby; soccer; swim and dive; tennis; track and field; and wrestling.

Club Sports

Club sports at CSB/SJU have a "no cut policy." At CSB, club sports include crew, dance team, figure skating, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. At SJU, club sports include crew, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, and water polo.[76]

Notable alumni SJU

Notable alumnae CSB

Notable CSB/SJU Faculty & Staff

See also


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Coordinates: 45°34′52″N 94°23′24″W / 45.581°N 94.390°W / 45.581; -94.390

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