Living the Mission

Catholic Education in the Mercy and Jesuit Traditions in the City of Detroit

Mission is integral to the life of University of Detroit Mercy. Mission informs the scholarship and teaching of faculty, promotes justice and service to the community, and infuses the intellectual, spiritual, social, and ethical experiences of our students in excellent student-centered education.

Research and Scholarship

Academic research papers and journal.

Research and Scholarship that explore salient social questions, examine social issues through the lens of Jesuit and Mercy traditions, and highlight diversity, equity, inclusion and justice are just some ways that faculty integrate the mission into their academic work.


Instructor teaching a class

Teaching that is student-centered and mission-inspired invites students into an intellectual life that is reflective and directed toward action. Faculty, staff and administrators are committed to delivering an education attentive to students as whole persons--that is, as intellectual, physical, social and spiritual beings.

Service and Community Engagement

Three people in a clinic office

Service and Community Engagement are foundational Mercy and Jesuit commitments expressed in the many community-engaged learning opportunities offered through Service Learning courses, clinics, co-ops and immersion experiences. Faculty, staff and administrators also serve the City of Detroit in various roles as active community members, leaders and experts sharing their time and expertise.

A collection of symbols from a dozen world religions.

Faith & Spiritual Practice

University of Detroit Mercy draws from the rich spiritual tradition of the Catholic Church, particularly as practiced by the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. The two founding religious orders, deeply rooted in the Catholic faith, believe the presence of God dwells in all things and honors the diverse ways in which other faith traditions express their experience of God and transcendence.

As such, opportunities abound for learning about the richness of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Ignatian Spirituality, and the spirituality of the Sisters of Mercy in a manner that is enriched by the ecumenical and interreligious community that is Detroit Mercy.

Faithful to the invitation of the Catholic Church since Vatican II for unity and fellowship among all peoples of all faiths, the call of the Jesuits to dialogue with religions and cultures, and the lived experience of ecumenism inherited from Catherine McAuley, the University creates space for each to express their religious, spiritual and humanistic commitments while honoring that of others.

Mission Leadership Awards

With the Mission Leadership Awards, Detroit Mercy annually honors employees and students who live and work from the University's mission.

The Agere ex Missione Award (“To do the Mission”) is presented annually to two individuals employed at the University, a faculty member and either a staff or administrator, who exemplify the mission of University of Detroit Mercy. This award is presented at the President’s Convocation.

The Vivere ex Missione Award (“To live out the Mission”) is an annual award presented to graduating students who best exemplify the mission of University of Detroit Mercy. One student is selected from each of the following programs: McNichols undergraduate, McNichols graduate, the School of Law (Riverfront), and the School of Dentistry (Corktown), for a total of four awards. The awards are presented at the awardee’s respective Commencement Ceremony.

To view past awardees or nominate a student, faculty, staff or administrator, visit Mission Leadership Awards page.