The Society of Mary, through serious research, consultation, and discussion involving lay and religious educators who work in Marianist educational ministries throughout the world, has developed five educational characteristics it pledges to uphold and promote in its institutions. These five characteristics are:
Educate for formation in faith.
Marianist schools will help students to bear witness with a personal and committed faith that touches the heart. They will help promote a faith-and-culture dialogue and form students in the gospel's values and Christian attitudes. In addition, Marianist schools will pledge to educate in a free and responsible style which elicits a personal response to faith and they will make present the example and influence of Mary as the first disciple.
Provide an integral, quality education.
Marianist schools will promote quality education of the whole person, providing a coherent curricula and a well-formed professional staff and administration equipped with adequate supplies and finances. Marianist schools will develop respect for the dignity of the person who has interior spirit and self-knowledge. In addition, Marianist schools will develop in the students a concern for global and local issues of culture, ecology, and technology and they will foster a diverse faculty, staff, and student body while continuing to offer Mary as a model of integrity in relation to the realities of the world.
Educate in family spirit.
Marianist schools will create a favorable environment for education by helping to cultivate interpersonal relationships characterized by openness, respect, integrity, and dialogue. They will form an educational community characterized by collaborative structures and processes and one which expresses authority as a loving and dedicated service. In addition, Marianist schools will influence others by exhibiting the Marian traits of openness, hospitality, graciousness and faith.
Educate for service, justice, and peace.
Marianist schools will promote a missionary spirit and educate for solidarity as well as justice and peace. They will attend to the poor, promote the dignity and rights of women, encourage the formation of Christian service groups, announce justice and denounce oppression.
Educate for adaptation and change.
Marianist schools will educate to shape the future. They will educate students to accept and respect differences in a pluralistic society by helping them develop critical thinking skills and by teaching them to be open and adaptable to local and global contexts through enculturation and interdisciplinary education. Finally, Marianist schools will embrace Mary's fiat, "Do whatever he tells you", allowing them to be available to responding to the signs of the times in faith.
"For new times, new methods." Father Chaminade
"Education is a privileged means of formation in faith...we aim to sow, cultivate, and strengthen the Christian spirit..." Marianist Rules of Life
"Do whatever He tells you" Our Mother Mary at the wedding in Cana of Galilee
"True education forms the child from inside, out." Father Kieffer, S.M.
"We don't educate for the school, nor merely for the years one is in school, but for life." Father Armentia, S.M.
"Any school and any educator who wishes to be effective has to cultivate family spirit." Father Armentia, S.M.
"One hopes that everyone will enjoy the material and spiritual advantages of the human community...In that tiny cosmos which is the classroom or the school, the students are progressively initiated into a sensitivity for the common good." Father Paul Hoffer, S.M.
"What pleased Father Chaminade in this method of education is the manner which educators have for forming both the spirit and heart of pupils while at the same time, they teach them to read and write." Father Paul J. Hoffer, S.M.