The College of St. Catherine, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the largest Catholic college for women in the United States. The college educates women within the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching.
The college was founded in 1905, by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with the leadership of Mother Seraphine Ireland. It was named in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandria, a fourth century Egyptian lay philosopher who was martyred for her faith.
The location of the college is on the northern edge of Highland Village. The first building, Derham Hall was opened in January 1905, offering classes to high school boarding students and lower-division college students.
In the academic year of 1911-1912, Upper Division college courses were added to its programs of study. The college earned full accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1917.
In fall 1937, the college received recognition from the Phi Beta Kappa Council and became the third college in Minnesota and the first Catholic institution in the U.S. to be recognized by the council.
The world's pre-eminent Catholic college plays a significant role in the neighborhood and currently enrolls 4,800 students annually. As a multifaceted institution, the college integrates bachelors degrees in the liberal arts and professional fields for women, in a full-time day system and weekend college system.
In addition, the college also offers professional certificates and continuing education opportunities. In all its programs, St. Catherine prepares graduates to demonstrate ethical leadership grounded in social responsibility.
The O'Shaughnessy Theater on the St. Paul campus is the only performing arts center in the Twin Cities focused on female performers.
The college’s Minneapolis campus was founded in 1987, by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet as St. Mary's School of Nursing, later named St. Mary's Junior College.