December 12, 2017

The Dominican Difference

Students walk with Dominicans.
Students walk with Dominicans.

What does it mean to be a Dominican college? And what’s with all the guys in white robes?

PC is the only college in the country administered by Dominican friars (a

k a the guys in white). Some 50 Dominican friars and sisters call campus home, and many of them teach here. But how does that set PC apart from other Catholic colleges? And why should you care? Here is a (really) abbreviated rundown of what makes our approach to education unique.

Truth: The Providence College motto is Veritas, Latin for “truth,” the pursuit of which is central to a Dominican education.

Preaching: The Dominican Order — known as the Order of Preachers — was founded by St. Dominic de Guzman, who believed in the importance of preaching God’s mercy and grace for the salvation of souls. So it’s no surprise that the Dominicans give one heck of a homily (hence our popular “last-chance Mass” on Sunday nights). They’re also as good at teaching as they are at preaching.

Teaching: Dominicans assert that faith and reason are compatible, complementary, and point to a single truth. What we teach in the Ruane Center for the Humanities or the Ryan Center for Business Studies or the new Science Complex is intertwined — and it’s not divorced from what we do in Dominic Chapel. A Providence College education focuses on the whole person — mind, body, and soul.

Dialogue: In our search for the truth, we intentionally seek out many points of view. These differences enrich our intellectual debates. We recognize that when we come to the table together and share diverse — and, at times, divergent — perspectives, we often arrive at a greater truth than we would’ve found on our own.