I do not consider myself to be a religious or spiritual person, so the concept of a “religious institution” is something I am completely unfamiliar with. I was curious to read mission statements from universities that are considered Christian to see how they might be similar to each other.
I looked up the mission statements for Boston College and Liberty University. Both are, obviously, private institutions on the east coast. For Boston College, I found the statement “the University regards the contribution of different religious traditions and value systems as essential to the fullness of its intellectual life and to the continuous development of its distinctive intellectual heritage” to be especially profound. It suggests an openness to discovery and a willingness to accept other value systems. Not only a willingness, but a desire to learn about them. The word “essential” emphasizes that to be a true scholar, one must listen and hear all viewpoints.
I think this is important for a Catholic institution to stress. I was raised Catholic, so I saw the entire spectrum of Catholicism. I know some people (Catholic and otherwise) can be very closed to listening to others, but to know a scholarly institution is out that has it in their mission to consider others is inspiring to say the least.
For Liberty University, there definitely was some overlap with Boston College. One big difference, though, was the attention toward Christianity. I felt like Boston College actually was more general to academic missions. Further, in the few points where religion was pushed, it seemed like religion in general, not necessarily Christianity. Liberty University, on the other hand, is very clear that they are a Christian university set to uphold Christ’s messages and views.
Both schools clearly point out that knowledge and truth can be found through spiritual exploration. And education is important to both. Boston College, however, seems more impartial to what religious/spiritual truth one seeks.