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Mission and Values

In an age of complexity, the simplicity of the message of St. Francis of Assisi has more appeal than ever before: Catholic Faith. Humility. Generosity. Reverence. Service. Respect. Prayer. Joy. Love. These guiding principles of the Franciscans are the values we embrace at Saint Francis University.

  • Our Mission 

    A Mind for Excellence

    Saint Francis University offers higher education in an environment guided by Catholic values and teachings, and inspired by the example of our patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. The oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States, Saint Francis University is an inclusive learning community that welcomes all people.

    A Spirit for Peace and Justice

    University programs and activities foster such Franciscan values as a humble and generous attitude toward learning, respect for diversity and the uniqueness of individual persons, understanding of ethical issues, and reverence for all life. With a spirit of simplicity and joy, we provide opportunities for the University community to think critically and analytically, communicate effectively, and integrate theory and practice.

    A Heart for Service

    Saint Francis University offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts tradition, graduate and professional programs of study that emphasize personal and professional ethics, and continuing education opportunities for personal and career enhancement. We seek to inspire in all members of the University community a love of lifelong learning and a commitment to share their gifts and skills generously with others in a rapidly changing world 

  • Goals of Franciscan Higher Education: Aggiornamento 

    Goals of Franciscan Higher EducationSaint Francis University is a vibrant, growing community of learners grounded in the Catholic faith thanks in no small part to the guiding themes espoused in the Goals of Franciscan Higher Education. Since 1991 these goals, drafted by then Saint Francis College President Fr. Christian R. Oravac, T.O.R., have permeated every aspect of University life.

    To honor the 30th anniversary of these goals, and to recognize the transformative journey they have inspired, the Franciscans of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis of Penance unveiled subtle, yet powerful, refinements (aggiornamento) in 2021 to ensure that these goals remain relevant for generations to come.

    Aggiornamento Version of the Goals of Franciscan Higher Education

    • Catholic Character
    • Humble and Generous Attitude Towards Learning
    • Community of Faith and Prayer
    • Respect for the Uniqueness of Individual Persons
    • Service to the Poor and Needy
    • Solidarity and Reconciliation
    • Reverence for All Life and Care for Creation 
    • Spirit of Simplicity and Joy

    Older generations may know the word “aggiornamento” (opening the windows, letting in some fresh air) in the context of the Second Vatican Council which brought spiritual renewal for the Church under Pope John XXIII in the early 1960s. In many ways, “aggiornamento” aptly describes the process the Friars took in honoring, yet refreshing the 30-year-old goals. 

    Explore the deeper meaning behind each goal