Definition of "vision" :

The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur.

The school's vision is to develop students into gentlemen of high integrity and robust character.

Definition of "mission" :

An important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation.

The school's mission is to develop students into gentlemen of high integrity and robust character.

What then is the difference between in 'mission' and 'vision'?

  • A school (or really any institution) typically does not have visions. It will, however, and again quite typically, have a mission. That's why what you're writing will typically be called a "mission statement". While the answer suggests a "vision statement" is a thing as well, it's complete news to me. – RegDwigнt Oct 4 '13 at 12:46
  • My institution had this vision and I remember clearly, it goes by the leader saying 'The School Vision' and we recite this, "The <School Name> Gentleman is a bilingual scholar, of high integrity and robust character, who is passionate about life, learning, and service to others. – CreativeWriting Oct 4 '13 at 12:54
  • I went through this exercise with a couple of businesses. The vision is typically very lofty, and may be somewhat removed from the day-to-day business. The vision informs the mission statement, which is more about the business, with something of a military feel. (Neither the mission nor the vision have a measurable component.) The mission statement informs the goals, which are often day-to-day and usually measurable. – rajah9 Oct 4 '13 at 12:58
  • @CreativeWriting well then you have just answered your own question. If it's called vision at your school, then that's what it's called, and that's what you call it. Am I missing something? – RegDwigнt Oct 4 '13 at 13:39
  • The "mission" is the purpose or objective. A "vision" is an anticipation of an outcome. You could have a mission of X and a vision of failing at it and redirecting your efforts elsewhere. The vision could also be tangential to the mission. A school could have a mission of providing a top notch education and a vision of graduates making great contributions. – fixer1234 May 18 '17 at 5:41

A Vision outlines WHERE you want to be.

A Mission statement talks about HOW you will get to where you want to be.

Here's a link

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[A] vision statement expresses an organization's optimal goal and reason for existence, while a mission statement provides an overview of the group's plans to realize that vision by identifying the service areas, target audience, and values and goals of the organization. (Foundation Center)

For example, you might wish to create a future world characterized by wisdom, toleration and academic freedom (vision), and therefore you might establish a boy’s school which provides an excellent education and inculcates values such as toleration and academic freedom (mission).

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The key word, I feel, is "goal." That's what separates a vision from a mission.

For example, think of the old-fashioned and stereotypical mission, with white Christian missionaries who travel to deepest, darkest Africa to save the benighted savages. The missionaries' vision (or goal) is to convert an entire tribe from animism to Christianity.

Their mission, on the other hand, might be to learn the tribe's language and then communicate the Christian message to the tribe's members in their own heart language. Providing them with a Bible in their heart language might also become a method of strengthening or reinforcing the spoken Christian message. rnjai's answer in this regard is good: Vision is the goal; mission is how to achieve the goal.

By the way, a more common approach to religion-based missions today is to seek entry into a tribe's culture primarily by 1) coming to understand and respect the tribe's culture and values; and 2) "earning the right" to be heard by, for example, helping an illiterate tribe achieve literacy, or setting up a clinic where sick tribal members can be treated at no- or low cost. Only after "earning the right to be heard," do the missionaries then present the Christian message. In other words, demonstration of the love of God comes first; proclamation of the love of God comes second. Obviously, both missions are inseparable.

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