SETON EDUCATION PARTNERS expands opportunities for parents in underserved communities to choose an academically excellent, character rich, and—for those who seek it—vibrantly Catholic education for their children. As a national non-profit, Seton partners with (arch)dioceses and others across the country to implement innovative and sustainable new models that bridge the best of Catholic education's rich tradition with new possibilities. Seton was born of the belief that a tremendous opportunity exists to revitalize urban Catholic schools in America and strengthen the education they provide. The challenges are significant, to be sure, but with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, much can and should be done, not only to preserve this national treasure but also to build on its foundation for the benefit of thousands of children in America’s most underserved neighborhoods.
What Guides Us
Seton is motivated by the following conclusions:
- Catholic schools in America’s inner cities provide an invaluable service to our nation’s most vulnerable children;
- The history, scale, and competitive force of urban Catholic schools are far too important—for underserved families and for our free society—to let slip away; and
- A tremendous opportunity exists with both technology and public charter schooling to develop new, “break the mold” approaches to achieving the goals of urban Catholic education, making it a competitive, viable, and thriving option for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Ultimately, Seton hopes to preserve and expand Catholic schooling’s rich tradition of discipline, character formation, and high academic achievement for all students, regardless of background.
Since our founding, four principles have guided all Seton activities:
- Results: All initiatives have a strong emphasis on student achievement, as well as on character development, with results that are far superior to most urban public schools.
- Sustainability: All initiatives must be on a steady course to financial sustainability via public funds, tuition, church contributions, and/or philanthropy.
- Catholicity: All initiatives must have as a core mission demonstrating and teaching the Catholic faith.
- Service to the Poor: All initiatives must be primarily focused on serving children who qualify for the federal free- and reduced-lunch program, a standard measure for students living in poverty.
Our Core Values
These six core values define and guide our organization:
- Catholic: We seek God in all things, are faithful to and celebrate the teachings of the Catholic Church, and strive to bring others closer to Jesus and His Church in everything we do.
- High Expectations: Because we believe in the inherent dignity and potential of every child, we have high expectations that all children can achieve academic and moral excellence regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
- Integrity: We seek to grow in good character, align our beliefs with our actions, and show unquestioned integrity in all we do. When making any critical decision, the most important question we will ask is, “What is the right thing to do for children, their families, and our Church?”
- Continuous Improvement: In our work as an organization and as individuals, we have a relentless drive for excellence. We regularly seek to find ways to be more effective and efficient, and are determined to be better today than yesterday.
- Results Matter: Intentions are important, but we will measure our success by the results we achieve. We will place a strong emphasis on results that can be objectively measured for children, their families, and our Church.
- Personal Responsibility: We balance our ethic of personal responsibility with the knowledge that we are not alone in our work; our Lord God is ultimately in charge, and it is only through His grace that we can succeed. We are not saviors, but work to create opportunities for the children and families we serve to fulfill their God-given potential.