In 1535 Angela Merici began a new endeavor. A woman in her sixties, she founded a group of women, some older, some younger, called the Company of St. Ursula. Their mission was to spread the Gospel message into the homes and hearts of their neighborhoods. These Ursulines, as they came to call themselves, spread around the world over the centuries teaching, counseling, and meeting the needs of the many. Today, each school of Ursuline educators strives to meet the ever-changing needs of its students including those arising from student diversity and special learning needs.
Today, Ursuline schools continue to benefit over 40,000 students annually. The core values of Ursuline education, articulated by Ursuline administrators and co-workers, form the basis of Ursuline education. These core values are:
St. Angela’s heritage
- Academic excellence
- Social justice
- Openness to change
In 1990, in an effort to enhance Ursuline education across the continent, to continue the tradition of the Ursuline charism or education, and to ensure the ongoing service of Ursuline schools to their communities, an ad hoc committee was formed by the leadership teams of the Ursuline Congregations. Thus, Ursuline Education Network (UEN) was established.
Since its beginnings, UEN has served the expressed needs of Ursuline schools. Annually, the director works with members of a host school to plan and implement either an Administrators’ Dialogue or an Education Conference. These programs are invaluable to the participants for sharing ideas, for experiencing the “big picture” in Ursuline education, and for their continuing the Ursuline heritage of excellence in education.