FAQ: Mission, Vision & Values

What is Holden Village? This is a reflection that we have been renewing for nearly sixty years.

What values shape our days? What is the mission that drives us onward? And what vision of the world are we cultivating?

In 2020, the Holden Village Board launched a comprehensive process to examine and renew our mission, vision, and values. We gathered input from board members, Villagers, former staff, and former teaching faculty going back decades. We reviewed every mission statement in this organization’s history, asking hard questions and fostering deep discussions. We made space for the nuance and thoughtfulness necessary for such important work.

The language conveys our commitment to the principles of Justice: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (J:EDI), and reflects the goals and pillars of our strategic plan. These statements express the growth and change of Holden Village as it enters a new era. They illuminate the path forward as we continue to grow and change.

The Holden Village staff and board are deeply committed to living out this mission and vision, and centering the Holden community around practicing these values. We invite you to join in working together to define ourselves as a community of practice, justice, and renewal - one that “cultivates a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

What is a mission statement? A vision statement? A values statement? Why are they important? 

The Mission and Vision statements are vital to the success of a non-profit organization. The Mission Statement articulates the purpose of the organization, the reason for its existence, and the needs it meets. It is about the present, and the path we are on today. It tells those familiar and those new to the organization what Holden Village is about.

The Vision Statement takes a longer view, and describes the future we want to bring about. It describes the hopes and dreams of the organization that can be achieved through the Mission.

A Values statement provides context for the Mission and Vision, and identifies the core operational values that the organization uses to guide and support its work.

What was the general process of developing the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) statements?

In 2019, the Holden Board developed and adopted a Strategic Plan. The Board reviewed the existing Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) statements (created by the Holden Board and Executive Directors in 2006) alongside the new Strategic Plan and decided it was time to revisit and evolve Holden’s MVV. In November 2020, the Holden Board established an MVV task force composed of Board members, staff, and an Executive Director to gather input and develop language for MVV statements that better express Holden today and Holden’s aspirations for the future. The Board held discussions in small groups and as a whole in February, April and June, and adopted the new MVV statements at its June 2021 Board meeting.

Why now?

After nearly 15 years, the Holden Board recognized that updating the Mission, Vision and Values (MVV) would more fully express the dynamic and forward-looking commitments and purpose of Holden Village into the 21st century.

Who was asked for input and how was that input incorporated?

In addition to the Board and the current Executive Directors, current and former staff members as well as former teaching faculty members were invited to study the existing statements and respond with feedback. Input was gathered via surveys, community meetings, phone conversations, and zoom meetings. The MVV task force identified patterns and themes to inform the creation of the updated MVV.

How are Holden’s Lutheran roots expressed in the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV)?

Since its earliest days as a retreat center, Holden Village has reflected the Lutheran background and theological perspectives of its founders. This historical basis and resulting deep spirit continue through the heart and practices of Holden today. Our updated MVV (particularly the Values statement) reflects the many ways in which Lutheran values are practiced through the gift of Holden Village and all who shape it. We believe our new MVV includes all people whether they identify as part of a particular faith or not because the values rooted in our Lutheran beginning, such as grace and openness, are applicable to all people.

What is the impact of the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) statements and how are they lived out in daily life?

The MVV, along with the Strategic Plan, are the guiding documents of Holden Village. All Board work is linked to these two documents, and the Executive Directors and managers are also linking plans, programming, and projects to the MVV and Strategic Plan. As with any guiding document, we trust that the MVV will be “living,” meaning that people will read and reread it, wrestle with it, wonder about it, notice ways in which it is or could be lived out in daily life in and outside of the Village.

What are the implications for programming and the guest experience?

The guest experience starts well before ever arriving at the Village, from the moment people consider a trip to Holden – especially for those who have never been to Holden. The new MVV presents Holden in its current evolving state and serves as a guide for the kinds of conversations, seminars, and workshops that they can expect while they are in the Village. We hope that all Villagers will lean into the MVV while at Holden.