Mission & History

Our Mission

The Mission of Independence Mission Schools is to provide a transformative Catholic education that develops students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and that provides children of all faiths across the City of Philadelphia with the opportunity to learn in an academically rigorous environment and to grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.

Our Vision

Our Vision is that IMS students will leave our school community emotionally and spiritually formed by our Catholic example, performing at or above grade level, and enrolled in an academically rigorous high school program ready to achieve their dreams. We strive to become a top-tier academic destination for all children in Philadelphia.

Our Values

  • Faith: We believe in God.
  • Honor: We do the right thing.
  • Initiative: We get things started.
  • Perseverance: We never give up.
  • Community: We work together.

How The DePaul Catholic School is living out the IMS mission:

We are carrying out the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul – empowering students to become lifelong learners, leaders, and servants who build the Kingdom of God.

Our Beliefs


The cornerstone of a Catholic education is a culture of love that values and embraces the unique gifts of every child and that treats all people with dignity.

High Expectations for All

We assume the best of our students; holding them to high expectations for academic achievement, behavior, and personal growth and guiding their development into respectful, confident adults.

Diversity & Inclusion

It is possible to build unity in diversity, for differences neither restrain nor divide us, but allow us to look more deeply at  ourselves and at our world.

God-given Potential

Our students come to us full of promise and we are charged with
helping them achieve their potential, so that they leave IMS having choices in the pursuit of college and career, based on confidence in their own intellectual, emotional, and spiritual

Strength in Community

Community is at the heart of our work. Our existence makes our
communities stronger, the community makes our schools stronger, and we are preparing students to be contributing members of their communities.

Our History

  • Founded in 1901 as St. Francis of Assisi School, its mission was to educate the children of the parish. 
  • In 1986, St. Francis of Assisi School was re-named St. Martin de Porres when St. Francis, St. Madeline Sophie, and St. Vincent de Paul School merged.

  • In 2009, renamed The DePaul Catholic School to reflect its commitment to the philosophies of St. Vincent de Paul and the school’s historical ties to the Vincentians, a religious order of priests and brothers who founded the school and staffed it.

  • In 2013, DePaul Catholic became part of IMS, a nonprofit, independent network of Catholic schools.