Strong Legacy. Stronger Future.

Mount Mercy University was built during difficult times by strong women who met challenges and carried their mission of Mercy forward. Today, our university community chooses to meet the challenges of our difficult times with the same resolve and determination that our founders showed.

Mount Mercy is a Catholic university that provides student-focused education in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy and welcomes people of all beliefs to join our community in pursuit of baccalaureate and graduate education and compassionate service to those in need. We strive for excellence in accomplishing our mission through four interdependent goals: using reflective judgment, engaging in strategic communication, serving the common good, and promoting purposeful living.

Lifelong learning and education of the whole person

We believe that education is a lifelong experience where learning empowers the whole person—intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Pursuit of truth and dignity

We foster free inquiry in a compassionate culture where our dedication to faith, truth, and Mercy supports the dignity of each person within the human community.

Commitment to students

We acknowledge and affirm that our students' needs are central to decisions that affect community life.


We advocate for equality by actively creating just and healthy relationships in our learning community and our global society.


We celebrate with humility all gifts and talents bestowed by God and faithfully share these blessings with the wider community.


We accomplish our work in the spirit of Catherine McAuley's graciousness and inclusion that welcomes all people and perspectives.


We instill a sense of responsibility and caring that calls us to serve the common good.

A Strategic Plan for 2023-2028

Commitment #1

We Will Empower Through Education

  • Provide values-based liberal arts education aligned with workforce needs
  • Be the top private nursing and health university in Iowa
  • Meet the education goals of students at every stage of their career

Commitment #2

We Will Provide a Life-Changing Student Experience

  • Invest in student passions
  • Ensure that all feel welcomed and valued
  • Maximize our facilities and technological capabilities

Commitment #3

We Will Make Mount Mercy the Heart of the Community

  • Strengthen our community through partnerships
  • Live out our Catholic Mercy mission and values
  • Become the trusted resource for solutions

Commitment #4

We Will Ensure Mount Mercy is Stronger Tomorrow than it is Today

  • Establish financial wellness and sustainability
  • Be a forward-thinking employer of choice
  • Cultivate a greater philanthropic culture

We Will Empower Through Education

Provide values-based liberal arts education aligned with workforce needs

The core of Mount Mercy’s mission is to educate. Mount Mercy will provide a distinctive educational experience, intentionally designed with 1) a liberal arts education that encompasses Catholic Mercy values and 2) the development of the abilities that modern employers require. To provide for this, we will ensure the integration of Catholic Mercy values into all disciplines, while also increasing experiential learning and other high-impact practices. We will analyze and revise our core curriculum. We will ensure that our students see success as they move into their careers.  

Be the top private nursing and health university in Iowa

Aligned with our mission, Mount Mercy has always responded to the needs of the time. There is no greater need in our community at this time than of value-educated health professionals. Mount Mercy will increase the number of nurses we graduate in our traditional BSN programRN-BSN programMSN program, and DNP program. We will work with community health partners to provide our students practical education and employment in the workforce. As workplace needs change, our curriculum will adapt so our nursing students always will be prepared to be outstanding nurses on day one. We will increase enrollment in our programs that address health—physical, mental, and societal. We will also strengthen those programs’ connections with employers in the community. In addition, we will work to pair other disciplines—such as data science—with our health care programs to meet the changing demands health employers face.

Meet the education goals of students at every stage of their career

As evidenced by our business and education programs, Mount Mercy has grown and will continue to offer a range of graduate and undergraduate degrees across multiple modalities. We will emphasize the growth and strength of our graduate and adult programs. Mount Mercy will help students map a distinctive path to graduation through innovative academic programming, dynamic experiential learning, and an immersive culture of service. We will develop a leadership curriculum and leadership initiatives across all student populations. Mount Mercy will work to ensure our students are able to realize their individual potential and excel in their chosen careers. Mount Mercy will become nimble at all levels in developing and approving academic changes. Specifically in our business majors and programs, we will respond quickly to changing needs in order to maintain and build upon our reputation in the community.

We Will Provide a Life-Changing Student Experience

Invest in student passions

The majority of undergraduate students who attend Mount Mercy earn their degree while continuing a passion. We want students to fall in love with Mount Mercy through exposure to well-resourced and supported co-curricular programming that fuels their passions. We will ensure our students engage in leadership, service, and travel opportunities by providing meaningful funding and support for those crucial experiences. Our performing arts and athletic programs will be supported and strengthened. We also will create meaningful opportunities through our other co-curricular activities.

Ensure that all feel welcomed and valued

Our Catholic Mercy identity provides us the framework to ensure every student feels that they belong to the Mount Mercy community. Our community is richer and our education more robust when all have the opportunity to freely engage. We will ensure that all populations of faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to understand and practice diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We will make certain a broad spectrum of viewpoints is given consideration and that thought, discussion, and reason are welcomed. In the Catholic Mercy tradition, we will provide for the spiritual life of our students. We will cultivate an environment that promotes wellness, mental health, accessibility, and a sense of belonging for our students. Regardless of whether a student lives in a residence hall on campus or attends classes on a screen in another city, we will ensure all feel a connection to Mount Mercy.

Maximize our facilities and technological capabilities

To provide our students with the type of experience expected from a university of our caliber, we must ensure our infrastructure meets our needs. We will fully and efficiently use our current resources so we can properly plan for the necessary additions. We will update our classrooms and living spaces. We will improve and increase facilities for performing arts and athletics. We will ensure our technology and support continue to adapt to meet our needs across all modalities.

We Will Make Mount Mercy the Heart of the Community

Strengthen our community through partnerships

When Mount Mercy enters into partnerships, it does more than just strengthen the university. It strengthens the community. We will continue to look for ways that our work can benefit the community. We will engage business leaders to develop mutually advantageous partnerships and endeavors. We will work with K-12 schools to increase the percentage of their students who go on to college. We will actively team with community and political leaders to improve the neighborhoods around our campus. We will pursue collaborative opportunities with other colleges that enable our mission to move forward.

Live out our Catholic Mercy mission and values

Our distinctive Catholic Mercy identity is the foundation upon which this university is built. We will bring our mission and values to action through spiritual and sacramental life, explorations on faith and meaning, and service to the community. We have been given remarkable gifts, and we will share those gifts through work with Catholic K-12 education, local parishes, and the broader Catholic community. We will also demonstrate why the ethical formation of our students is so valuable—to each of them and to our community.

Become the trusted resource for solutions

To support Cedar Rapids' continued growth, Mount Mercy must meet the needs of employers and residents. We will provide ethically-grounded graduates who improve the businesses and organizations for whom they work. We will convene discussions and meetings that allow for critical issues to be debated and deliberated. We will more fully utilize our relationships with alumni so we continue to provide value to them even after they graduate. We will make our campus available to host events that bring richness to the community.

We Will Ensure Mount Mercy is Stronger Tomorrow than it is Today

Establish financial wellness and sustainability

Courageous women established Mount Mercy to meet the needs of the community. To continue this ambitious work, Mount Mercy will ensure the long-term fiscal health of the institution through prudent financial management and aligning resources to build on strengths. We will implement long-term sustainability strategies by growing funding sources and predictable, alternative streams of revenue. We will increase enrollment at all levels, beginning with identifying, articulating, and marketing our value proposition. Mount Mercy will develop and maximize the use of a fully-developed branding campaign that best promotes the university. We will generate revenue through the use of our facilities. We will develop and execute a plan to better utilize summer as a revenue-generating opportunity. We will also investigate opportunities for partnerships that could result in shared costs and usage of facilities.

Be a forward-thinking employer of choice

The success of Mount Mercy is dependent upon our faculty and staff. In order to provide our students with the best possible education and experience, we must ensure that Mount Mercy attracts and retains the best and brightest employees. To do this, we will create a sense of pride in working at Mount Mercy. We will develop better support for employee growth and will accept new models for employment and modality. We will develop a broad compensation strategy to create better balance between work and compensation. Mount Mercy will work to increase the number of diverse candidates for faculty and upper-level administrative positions.

Cultivate a greater philanthropic culture

Mount Mercy’s success is also dependent upon the generosity of alumni and those in the community who value the mission of the university. Mount Mercy will create and execute a comprehensive campus master plan that considers and prioritizes academic, recreational, and residential needs. We will build more robust philanthropic relationships with alumni and friends of the university. We will initiate a successful capital campaign that provides the means necessary for the established capital, programmatic, and endowment goals.