Our Mission

One of the University’s greatest strengths is its Roman Catholic heritage. For more than 80 years, Rivier has been a place where Judeo-Christian and Catholic values inform what we teach and what we talk about as a community.

As a co-educational institution of higher learning, the University is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students in both the liberal arts and professional courses of study.

Core Mission

Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and Sister Madeleine of Jesus, Rivier University is a Catholic institution of higher education dedicated to transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.

The Rivier Mission

Committed to the faith heritage, intellectual tradition, and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the University educates the whole person in the context of an academic community that cultivates critical thought, sound judgment, and respect for all people. This community supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for social, cultural, moral, and spiritual development. The challenge to the University community is to search for truth through the dialogue between faith and reason.

Rivier creates an environment in which integrated learning is the shared responsibility of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and is pursued in all the curricular and co-curricular programs of the University. To participate in the life of Rivier University is to strive for academic excellence, to take responsibility for ourselves and for others, and to engage in dialogue about basic human issues facing society, especially the plight of the poor and powerless. The University extends to all of its members, and also to the greater community, an invitation to join in intellectual inquiry and dialogue.

Mission-Focused Curriculum

Undergraduate Academic Goals

Through its curriculum, Rivier University seeks to:

Develop Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World through study in
  • The sciences and mathematics
  • Social sciences
  • Humanities
  • History
  • Languages
  • The arts

This study will be focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.

Develop Intellectual and Practical Skills including
  • Inquiry and analysis
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Teamwork and problem solving

These will be practiced extensively across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

Develop Personal and Social Responsibility including
  • Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence
  • Ethical reasoning and action
  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
  • These will be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
  • Engage in Integrative and Applied Learning including
  • The synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies

This will be demonstrated through the application of knowledge skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.

Foster a Sense of the Sacred and of the Dignity of the Human Person, particularly as expressed through the Catholic Tradition, including
  • Recognition of Catholicism’s contribution to the development of the whole person
  • Appreciation of the sacred meaning and purpose of life
  • Inquiry into the essence of authentic human community
  • Respect for the belief systems of others

This will be developed by active engagement with intellectual traditions and living communities.

Graduate Academic Goals

Flowing from the mission of Rivier University, the following goals guide the graduate programs and enable students to:

  • Further develop creative approaches to problem-solving, promote intellectual curiosity, and engender a lifelong commitment to learning
  • Engage in ethical personal and professional conduct, as well as pursue a strong commitment to social justice, in order to serve the disciplines and communities which students will articipate
  • Develop a sense of the sacred and of the dignity of the human person, particularly as expressed through the Catholic tradition
  • Develop the ability to place one’s discipline in a historical, cultural, and global perspective
  • Apply advanced critical and creative reasoning, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and demonstrate advanced communication ability in a variety of modalities
  • Function as skilled professionals in their chosen careers, or consolidate an advanced understanding of their disciplines

Rivier has made a profound difference in my life. I gained an invaluable education and learned about giving back to my community. I now know I can make a real difference in others’ lives through recruiting, volunteering, or donating.

Rivier students are living our mission every day, supporting the great work of local community partners like Nashua PAL. The organization operates a youth center in downtown Nashua, offering a safe haven and after-school program to disadvantaged youth ages 7-18. Rivier students volunteer to mentor the children, assist with homework help, plan programs and events, and lead recreational sports and activities. They act as role models to the children and bring them to spend time on campus, encouraging them to pursue a college education.