History of Carroll College

At the beginning of the 20th century, Bishop John Patrick Carroll, second Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, had a dream to build a Catholic college in western Montana. In 1909, that dream became reality when William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, helped lay the cornerstone of St. Charles Hall.

In September 1910, Mount Saint Charles College opened its doors for classes, and the first college student graduated in 1916. In 1932, the school’s name was changed to Carroll College in honor of its founder. Since then, Carroll has progressively expanded its programs, facilities, and reputation for academic excellence. Carroll remains committed to a value-oriented education, one that prepares students for careers while providing for the intellectual, spiritual, imaginative, moral, personal and social development of each individual.


Carroll College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accreditation body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the Secretary of the Department of Education. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is located at: 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100, Redmond, Washington 98052-3981.

The Civil Engineering and Engineering Science programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Carroll’s Teacher Education Program is approved for licensure purposes by the State of Montana Board of Public Education.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Carroll College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The program is also approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing.

The Business Department has a specialized accreditation through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Students who would like to obtain or review documentation of Carroll’s accreditation may contact the Office for Institutional Effectiveness or the appropriate academic department.

Carroll’s Vision

Carroll College will enhance its nationally recognized status for excellence by preparing students for vocation and enlightenment in an increasingly GLOBAL and DIGITAL age with dynamic and distinguishing academic and co-curricular programs. As a diocesan Catholic college inspired by FAITH, Carroll will further integrate liberal arts, professional studies and service to others. Carroll will nurture leaders to live fully in the present and prepare for the future while engaged in their LOCAL community.

Enduring Commitments

To realize its Vision, Carroll College must rise to the occasion of these four Enduring Commitments:

  1. Strengthen academic and co-curricular programs
  2. Enhance campus life for students, faculty, staff, and the extended community
  3. Increase enrollment
  4. Improve financial vitality and sustainability

Carroll College Mission Statement

Founded in 1909 by Bishop John Carroll, Carroll College is a Catholic, diocesan, liberal arts college in the ecumenical tradition of the Second Vatican Council. It advances its mission by fulfilling the following objectives.

Instilling an enduring wonder for knowledge that will prepare students for leadership and their chosen vocations

As a liberal arts school, Carroll College acknowledges the practical role of preparing its students for a career, but it also affirms the traditional role of providing for the expansion of the intellectual, imaginative, and social awareness of its students. It is dedicated to providing for its students the means for their full realization of a dual goal of vocation and enlightenment. Thus, while providing substantial professional and pre-professional programs, the College encourages and expects all students to participate in a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

Offering an integrative and value-centered education rooted in freedom of inquiry

As an academic community, Carroll College affirms its commitment to the principle of freedom of inquiry in the process of investigating, understanding, critically reflecting upon, and finally judging reality and truth in all fields of human knowledge. As value-oriented, Carroll College is committed to and deeply involved in the further dimension of free deliberation and decision-making regarding values and personal commitment. Each student at Carroll, through personal and institutional means, is exposed to value systems with which one can readily identify, including secular values such as the worth of work and the use of the intellect, humanistic values centering on the uniqueness and dignity of the person, and religious and moral values concerned with one’s relationship to God, self, and others.

Engaging faithfully the intellectual tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church

As a Catholic college, Carroll is obligated to treat judgments concerning ultimate reality and decisions concerning ultimate value at both an academic and a pastoral level. This obligation involves the College’s relationship to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, defined as “the perennial, authentic, and infallible teaching office committed to the Apostles by Christ and now possessed and exercised by their legitimate successors, the college of bishops in union with the pope.” Carroll College is committed to present faithfully within its curriculum the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. At the same time, it acknowledges the special role of the theologian, who—although not a part of the authoritative teaching body of the Church—makes available to the Magisterium his or her scientific competence, while acting as a mediator between religion and culture by carrying on an academic dialogue with philosophy, science, the liberal arts, the believing community, and secular society.

Serving all with humility, especially our neighbors who are poor and marginalized

As a college founded by and related to the Diocese of Helena, Carroll has a special obligation to provide for the spiritual needs of the college community. At the same time, the resources of the College’s Theology Department and campus ministry organization are available for the special religious needs of the diocesan community as a whole. Moreover, Carroll College rededicates its spiritual, academic, and social resources to the service of the citizens of Montana, its home, and to the worldwide human family through continuing efforts to guarantee to individuals, to groups, and especially to the marginalized the right to life, to personal and social dignity, and to equality of opportunity in all aspects of human activity.

Welcoming all persons of good will in a cooperative journey toward truth and virtue

In the ecumenical tradition of the Second Vatican Council, Carroll College is committed to a policy of open participation by members of all religious faiths and all persons of good will in the total academic and spiritual experience of the college community. While standing fast by the teaching of the Catholic Church, and avoiding a false conciliatory approach foreign to the true spirit of ecumenism, Carroll College welcomes in love and respect the full participation of other Christians and non-Christians in an ecumenical dialogue and in a truly humble and charitable joint venture in the common search for the Ultimate Truth and the Ultimate Good which is the final goal of all education.

Officially adopted by the Carroll College Board of Trustees May 26, 1978

New format officially adopted by the Carroll College Board of Trustees November 7, 2014

Core Themes

The Mission Statement, Vision 2018 Vision Statement, and Enduring Commitments have informed the following four Core Themes:

Core Theme One: Embodying Faith

Strategic Plan Goals and Strategies: Faithful 1, 3, 4, and 5

The objectives for this core theme aim to ensure and promote understanding of the Catholic teachings and traditions to create opportunities that engage conversations around faith, providing opportunities for the community to enrich and share their spiritual lives, and to encourage active engagement in service.

Core Theme Two: Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship

Strategic Plan Goals and Strategies: Strengthen Academic and Co-curricular programs 1, 4, and 5; Enhance Campus Life 6

The objectives of this core theme are to demonstrate the achievement of student learning outcomes that foster the dual goal of vocation and enlightenment as stated in the Carroll College mission. The objectives also reflect the college’s desire to support experiential learning opportunities for students; to support faculty who are actively engaged in teaching, scholarship, and learning; and to ensure that programs, where applicable, seek the highest standards of quality through professional accreditation.

Core Theme Three: Vibrant Campus Community

Strategic Plan Goals and Strategies: Strengthen Academic and Co-curricular programs 1; Enhance Campus Life 1 and 3

The objectives of this core theme promote student participation and learning throughout the co-curricular experience by connecting learning in and out of the classroom, helping students develop an appreciation for health and wellness, and encouraging participation in activities that develop skills to achieve career goals. These objectives reflect the latest research on student interest, learning, and retention in higher education.

Core Theme Four: Engaged Locally and Globally

Strategic Plan Goals and Strategies: Local 1-4; Global 2 and 4

The college seeks and promotes global engagement through internationalizing the curriculum, education abroad, faculty exchange programs, international internships, and international community service. The Artaza Center for Excellence in Global Education coordinates international experience efforts, including education abroad programs and the invitation of international students and visitors. Interdisciplinary programs such as Gender Studies and Latin American Studies facilitate student and faculty appreciation of cultural commonalities and differences. The Global Diversity requirement of the Core curriculum provides an opportunity for all students to experience cultures different from their own.

Carroll College defines mission fulfillment more specifically as demonstrating an acceptable performance on outcomes/thresholds for the four vision statements and four enduring commitments.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Carroll College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Carroll College is also committed to compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws applicable to educational institutions. Carroll College will not exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student or an individual enrolled as a student in the terms, conditions, or privileges of Carroll College because of race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, color, age, physical or mental disability, or national or ethnic origin, unless based on reasonable grounds. Carroll College will also not discriminate against a qualified individual with a handicap on the basis of the individual’s handicap in admissions, recruitment, academic programs, research, occupational training, housing, health insurance, counseling, financial aid, physical education, athletics, recreation, transportation, other extracurricular, or other postsecondary education aid, benefits, or services to which section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies.

In addition, Carroll College complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational programs or activities by recipients of federal financial assistance, including Carroll College. This prohibition extends to employment, admission, and the administration of any of its educational programs and activities. Carroll College’s policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in accordance with Title IX. Inquiries concerning Title IX or Carroll’s policies prohibiting discrimination may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator(s) or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Carroll College’s Title IX Coordinator is the Director of Human Resources, Renee McMahon, 214 O’Connell Hall, 406-447-5501,

Carroll College is also an equal opportunity employer, committed to compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Carroll College will not refuse employment to a person, bar a person from employment, or discriminate against a person in compensation or in a term, condition, or privilege of employment because of race, color, or national origin or because of age, physical or mental disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or sex, except when the reasonable demands of the position require an age, physical or mental disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or sex distinction. In the case of religion and creed, such distinctions may be appropriate under state and federal constitutional provisions due to the religious character and Catholic identity of Carroll College and the nature of the particular employment position at issue.

Catalog Disclaimer

This Carroll College catalog is a document of record issued in 2018 for one year. This catalog contains current information regarding admission, degree requirements, academic policies, course offerings, and fees. It is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as a statement for the College’s contractual undertakings. Carroll College reserves the right to modify academic policies, course content, degree requirements, or fees whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable; in any such case, notice thereof will be given as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.