Statue overlooking community

Principles of Community Living

The Catholic and Marianist vision of education makes the University of Dayton community unique. It shapes the "warmth of welcome"1 we first experience when we arrive on campus and the family spirit we treasure long after graduation. It calls us to academic rigor integrated with faith and life. It challenges each of us to take up the hard work necessary to build the intellectual, spiritual, religious, moral, physical, and social dimensions of our educational community.2
1. Rule of Life of the Society of Mary, (Dayton, OH: Marianist Press, 1984), article 8.

2. “A Vision of Excellence,” University of Dayton. September 2005. Available at

Community Is More Than A Word. It's Our Shared Vision

Living in community is essential to the full development and education of the whole person. The Marianist tradition values community living as the practical way in which Christians learn to live the Gospel, striving to love God, neighbor and self in daily life. All people, regardless of religious belief or faith tradition, learn essential life lessons such as self-awareness, communication, cooperation, mutual respect, courage, forgiveness, patience and trust from living in community with others.   

The climate of acceptance that Marianists call family spirit presumes an attention to the quality of relationships among the people in the community. At the level of daily interaction, all members of the community treat each other with respect and speak with simplicity and openness. Over the long term, these daily habits acknowledge the value and dignity of every member of the community, and create the ground in which genuine friendships can flourish.1 

However, building community requires more than friendliness and is certainly about more than following rules. Genuine community requires maturity, commitment, selfsacrifice and hard work.   

Such a vision of community and friendship runs the risk of being romanticized. It must therefore be recalled that friendliness and hospitality are genuine expressions of a process that necessarily includes conflict, division, and all manner of human suffering and failing. Yet, those grounded in the Marianist vision of education recognize that only precisely out of this mix of joy and sorrow can genuine communities be formed.2

Through learning in community at UD, you are more able to become a person of greatcharacter and integrity. You are better prepared to assume responsible membership incommunities throughout your lifetime and to make a positive difference in the world.

1. Characteristics of Marianist Universities: A Resource Paper (Chaminade University of Honolulu, St. Mary’s University, University of Dayton, 1999), 36.

2. Ibid, 38.

You Are Valuable. We Recognize The Value of Your Presence.

This Marianist vision of community living is based on the conviction that every person has innate dignity because all people are made in the image and likeness of God.     

All women and men are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God’s image; they have the same nature and origin and, being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny; there is here a basic equality between all and it must be accorded ever greater recognition.1

This awareness calls us not only to respect ourselves and others, but to love ourselves and all people because of the human dignity each of us receives from God. Respect and love for self include making personal, social and academic decisions that preserve and improve one’s own dignity and well-being.

Loving others includes the particular challenge to love and to respect those who are different from us. The presence of a wide range of perspectives, opinions, beliefs — and the diverse people who represent them — enhance the depth of our community and your ability to integrate the academic, religious, cultural and social elements of your life. The University Statement on Dignity states clearly:     

A primary assertion of both our religious and civil traditions is the inviolable dignity of each person. Recognition of and respect for the person are central to our life as a Christian and educational community and are what allow us to pursue our common mission while being many diverse persons.2

1. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World in Vatican II, the Basic Sixteen Documents, Austin Flannery, OP. (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing Company, 1996), 29.

2. “University Statement on Dignity,” University of Dayton. Available at

How do you contribute to the Common Good?

The Catholic emphasis on the common good emerges from the conviction about human dignity. The common good is “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”1

Emphasis on the common good shapes values very differently from secular culture, which typically gives the freedom of the individual greater importance than the needs of others. A concern for the common good leads us to make choices as individuals, groups or organizations in light of how these choices affect other people and the community as a whole. Our decisions and actions affect people in our classrooms, residence halls, houses, neighborhood, campus, city, country and ultimately the world community. 

Furthermore, we are called to work actively to create and promote the common good at the University of Dayton and beyond. This may involve challenging behavior that is harmful to others or working to change unjust social structures that inhibit people from reaching their fulfillment.

1. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World in Vatican II, the Basic Sixteen Documents, Austin Flannery, OP. (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing Company, 1996), 26

Seven Habits Can Change Your Life. And Our Community.

Good choices made repeatedly over time develop into habits, which have a positive lifelong influence. The seven habits are essential for living the Catholic and Marianist vision of community. Individuals, groups and organizations are called to develop these habits. 

How do we challenge? We challenge one another.

Each habit is supported by specific behavior examples and a reflective question that challenges you to examine your behavior and to hold one another accountable to these standards of living in community.  Through C2C, we are reminded and challenged to develop habits that "strengthen the educational community at UD and prepare us to live as mature members of society."