Vision/Values/Mission/Philosophy/Purpose Statement of Objectives


The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Inc. (PIMS) is a non-profit, tax-exempt, post-secondary institution that, since 1939, provides a funeral service education to an international student population. While the motto of the Pittsburgh Institute since its inception, “Scientia, Sollrtia, Servitium,” translated to “Knowledge, Skills, and Service,” is embodied in the school’s mission, vision, and values. These guiding principles also reflect the limitless potential for the future at PIMS. With both campus-based and, as of 2001, distance education classes, Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science offers flexible and adaptable learning environments, that evolve with the changing market demands and technologies used in education, while maintaining the focus of preparing students for a successful and professional career in funeral service.


Embracing such ideals as diversity, integrity, and kindness, Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) provides a robust, yet ethical learning environment in which all stakeholders are considered and students are inspired to practice service excellence. By valuing such virtues and emphasizing service, the family of faculty and administrative professionals at PIMS are empowered to provide an educational experience that epitomizes the need to respect the specific wishes of every bereaved family served, while honoring the decedents entrusted to their care. Whether it is on campus or online, the vision of the Pittsburgh Institute of is to always provide an educational experience that helps to shape the future of the global death care community, while addressing the pragmatic business needs of individual funeral homes to continue compassionately serving their publics at large.


The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science through its campus-based and distance education programs:

  • promotes and delivers a pathway for student achievement and professional success in funeral service through academic rigor (knowledge) and practical advancement (skills), while embracing technological innovation; and
  • promotes, fosters and conducts continuing education programs for licensed and practicing professionals to assist them in maintaining and updating their professional skills and licensing requirements.


The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) offers and extensive program designed to prepare students for the many challenges they will encounter as funeral service professionals. The diversified curriculum continually evolves to address the changing needs and expectations associated with contemporary funeral services.

PIMS continues to provide thorough training in the mortuary arts and sciences. This training includes a theoretical understanding as well as personalized practical instruction by licensed funeral directors and embalmers. The school not only utilizes the facilities in its own building but also works in cooperation with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office to enhance the student’s exposure to a wide rand of applies experiences.

The curriculum is also changing to reflect the current and future trends in the funeral profession. There is an appreciation of the complexities confronting today’s funeral practitioner in such diverse areas as business management and accounting, psychology and counseling, marketing and public relations, and others. A professional speaker series designed to keep the student abreast of the different facets influencing the funeral service profession is presented throughout the program.

The faculty members exhibit a wide range of interests and come from very different backgrounds both within the funeral profession and within their own areas of expertise. This allows for an individualized learning experience whereby the student becomes acquainted with the skills required of the funeral professional. The students are encouraged to actively participate in this experience and are supported in this effort by the faculty and the administration.

The Institute strives to provide relevant information on all topics surrounding the death care industry; thereby, allowing both students and licensees to make informed choices within their chosen profession. In addition to this, an attempt is made to instill a sense of social consciousness which stresses the growing responsibilities and obligations of the funeral service professional. Ultimately, the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science aspires to provide its gradates with the resources and the confidence to represent funeral service as a professional caregiver providing a valuable contribution to the community.


The administration of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science is constantly aware of its obligations as a school and of its responsibilities to its students, to the funeral service profession and to the public.

The school motto, “Scientia, Sollertia, Servitium,” expresses these objectives in part. Translated from Latin, the motto means “Knowledge, Skills and Service.”

The major objectives of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Inc. are:

  • To offer a post-secondary level curriculum and educational program that will enlarge the background and knowledge of funeral service which are essential in meeting the student’s needs for licensure and successful funeral service practice.
  • To foster and promote ideas in every phase of funeral service, enabling the student to develop proficiency and skills necessary for the professions, while at the same time sensitize the student to ecological and environmental concerns that apply.
  • To engender a sense of social consciousness and awareness within each student that serving as a practicing funeral director entails obligations and responsibilities that are met most effectively through highly ethical professional practices, community service and good citizenship.
  • To foster the true image of the funeral director as a member of the caregiving professions engaged in community health and welfare service.
  • To instill a desire for continuing education, intellectual and spiritual growth throughout the years of professional life.
  • To encourage cooperation with all individuals and groups concerned with the advancement of the standards of education and research for funeral service among faculty and students, alike.