About the Saint Benedict Institute
The Saint Benedict Institute was founded by Catholic scholars at Hope College to engage the academy from an explicitly Catholic perspective and offer spiritual and intellectual formation to Catholic students. Through a variety of initiatives and with the cooperation of Hope College’s Campus Ministries, the Hope Catholics student group, and the Diocese of Grand Rapids, the Saint Benedict Institute provides an integral Catholic witness and seeks to strengthen Catholic identity amongst the Catholic students as well as encourage all Christians in their faith on the Hope College campus.
Rooted in the Reformed tradition, Hope College is committed to a robust ecumenism. This ecumenism begins with a deep love for Jesus Christ and seeks to articulate differences in the context of a friendship ordered toward truth. For this reason, it is important that the growing Catholic student population at Hope be formed in the Catholic tradition and therefore able to contribute a distinctively Catholic Christian witness to Hope’s diverse Christian community. By cultivating spiritually and intellectually well-formed Catholic students, the Saint Benedict Institute for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization seeks to foster a deeper understanding of Christian truth and an increased affection amongst all Christians at Hope College. Moreover, by strengthening Catholic identity among the Catholic students, the Institute assists Hope College in advancing its unique mission of being a vibrant Christian school, defined both by its Reformed heritage and its ecumenical commitment.
The Saint Benedict Institute is currently a ministry of the St. Francis de Sales Parish. Hope College and St. Francis have what Hope's Campus Ministries calls a “covenant partnership.” This means that the College has given the local Church special access to campus resources in order to facilitate serving Catholic students in a distinctively Catholic way. The Saint Benedict Institute provides academic and spiritual programs to the Hope College community as an extension of the Church's mission.