From the foundation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) in 1833 in Germany, sisters have felt the call to be missioned into the world, providing innovative response to basic and urgent needs, and educating with a world vision. Since the first SSND came to the United States in 1847, the sisters have educated generations of men and women and ministered in many capacities. Through the years, the sisters served local churches in parishes and schools. They have also served in hospitals, as therapists, lawyers, facilitators, retreat and spiritual directors, and in loving service to others through prayer and presence. Sisters continue to work in a variety of ministries.

Sisters, with associates and lay colleagues, work to fulfill the SSND mission by supporting and directing services through ministries, organizations and institutions. SSND has a special relationship to these ministries as well as a role and responsibility in the governance of sponsored and co-sponsored ministries. With the guidance and support of the Ministry Commission and Ministry Office, following the vision and ministry ideals, the ministries founded and supported by the Central Pacific (CP) Province will continue to serve urgent needs, leaving the SSND legacy to be carried on.


Sponsored Ministries

SSND Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between the congregation and the organization in which the SSND charism and educational vision are defining characteristics of the organization. SSND hold reserved powers in these organizations, either as members of the corporation in a two-tier board structure of governance, through by-laws of the corporation, or through a legally binding document.

Co-sponsored Ministries

Co-sponsorship is the mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between the SSND and one or more other congregations or organizations and a given organization or institution, in which the co-sponsoring congregations’ charisms and educational visions are defining characteristics. SSND, along with the other co-sponsoring congregations or organizations, hold reserved powers in these organizations or institutions either as “members of the corporation” in a two-tier board structure of governance, or through the bylaws of the corporation, or through a legally binding document.

Affiliated Ministries

Affiliation describes a relationship between the congregation and the ministry where staff and administration demonstrate fidelity to the SSND charism and educational vision and choose commitment to that charism and vision for the future. SSND value these relationships and provide a supportive and service role through the Ministry Commission and Ministry Office. While there is no formal governance relationship with SSND, a written agreement specifies the roles and responsibilities which enable the relationship and the ministry to flourish. These relationships include schools, education centers or ministries that are or were once staffed by SSND.

Special Ministry Relationships

Since their foundation in 1833, SSND have initiated and participated in many ministries. The following special ministry relationships also demonstrate the charism and educational values of SSND.

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Ministry Commission and Ministry Office

The Ministry Commission and Ministry Office, were established in 2019, to help sponsored, co-sponsored and affiliated ministries carry the charism of SSND into the future. They provide each ministry formation in the charism of SSND, serve as an avenue to discuss needs and concerns and facilitate networking among ministries. As sisters transition to new roles, more lay people are taking leadership positions to carry on the charism and heritage of SSND.

The Ministry Commission and Ministry Office support and guide ministries to be instilled with the global vision of SSND to create a global community where human dignity is respected, the environment is treasured, spirituality is nourished and justice is accomplished.


In a spirit of creative fidelity to the gifts of the Spirit that found expression in Blessed Theresa’s life, the Ministry Commission and Ministry Office are impelled to make the SSND charism available to the future, to nourish and sustain SSND charism in these ministries and to find new and unsuspecting ways to share this gift.

“We are educators in all that we are and do. We continually choose ways of living and serving that call to growth. Responding to varying needs, we engage in a diversity of ministries, specific services through which we work for the enablement of persons.” 
– You Are Sent,
C 23

Ministry Ideals

Those who minister in the spirit of Blessed Theresa seek to:

  • Embody Gospel values and actualize the social teachings of the Church.
  • Minister with the conviction that education enables individuals to reach the fullness of their potential as individuals created in God’s image and assists them to direct their gifts toward transforming the world.
  • Exclude no one from their concern, especially preferring youth, women and those who are impoverished and made vulnerable by society.
  • Promote unity that is evidenced through inclusivity, internationality, interculturality and community.
  • Respond to the crises of this age, embracing the interconnectedness of all life.
  • Effect systemic change in order to establish God’s beloved community.

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SSND holds open the possibility for new sponsored, co-sponsored or affiliated ministries as well as new forms of relating in ministry as they move into the future.

Please use the form below to learn more about SSND ministries, the Ministry Commission, the Ministry Office or how to become a sponsored, co-sponsored or affiliated ministry.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

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Additional resources:

School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100


© 2022 School Sisters of Notre Dame