Franciscan Higher Education

Living the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi

  • Saint Francis

    Our Franciscan Approach to Higher Education

    The fullest and most far-reaching expression of how the institution has articulated the vision of Franciscan values which was lived by its founding brothers came in the fall of 1991. After some time of reflection the President, Fr. Christian Oravec, proposed a series of "Goals of Franciscan Higher Education at Saint Francis College," which "Saint Francis College...strives to incorporate...into the life and work of the community." These goals were in turn immediately and fully embraced by the administration and faculty and would eventually become the basis for the revised program of general education inaugurated at Saint Francis College in 1993 and implemented with the entering freshman class of 1994.

    Goals of Franciscan Higher Education

    A Humble and Generous Attitude toward Learning

    Aware that all talents of mind and heart are gifts of God, the source of all good, and realizing that knowledge is not a personal possession intended solely for self-advancement, as members of the Saint Francis community we strive to share our abilities and skills generously with others. We seek not the power and prestige of knowledge nor the desire to control or dominate but to serve. We strive for excellence without arrogance, willingly sharing our knowledge and wisdom, and humbly learning from one another. As a community of learners seeking the truth together, we encourage the free and open exchange of ideas and responsible action.

    Reverence for All Life and for the Goodness of All Humanity

    As children of God, we are brothers and sisters to each other, to all humanity, and to all God's creatures. Thus we strive to show reverence for all human life and for life in all its forms, to treat all people with dignity and respect, and to work together for the common good. In a spirit of charity, we care for and support each other, helping to bind the wounds of those who suffer and bearing one another's burdens. We also care for the earth which is our home and work to protect and preserve it for future generations.

    Respect for the Uniqueness of Individual Persons

    In imitation of Francis of Assisi, who was open to human personality in all its variety and who saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous, we recognize that each individual person is a unique combination of God-given abilities.  We know that each person expresses the goodness of God in a particular way. Every member of the University community thus deserves to be treated respectfully and each should treat others with respect. Students especially should be accorded as much personal attention as possible. With education of the whole person as our goal, we endeavor to foster the intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual growth of Saint Francis students and to prepare them not just for productive careers but for fruitful lives.

    A Global Vision

    As citizens of the earth and as brothers and sisters in the global community, we embrace all classes of people and respect all cultures, all races, and all religions. We strive to resolve conflict non-violently and to work for justice within our community, our society, and our world. We work to build up God's people everywhere, to bring reconciliation, and to act as instruments of peace in the communities we serve.

    Service to the Poor and the Needy

    In the spirit of Saint Francis, the poverello, we strive to be compassionate to all and especially to the poor and disenfranchised. Recognizing our own dependence on God and on others, and trusting in His providence, we engage in active service to the poor and to those with special needs such as the elderly and youth, the ill and the imprisoned. With gratitude to those who share their means to help us accomplish our Franciscan mission, we seek also to exercise a wise and careful stewardship of the institution's resources. We commit ourselves to honesty and integrity in our work, accept personal responsibility for our actions, and exercise high ethical standards in our personal and professional lives.

    A Community of Faith and Prayer

    The Saint Francis community, while respecting the religious beliefs and traditions of others, seeks to listen to the Word of God and to observe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The University strives to promote the spiritual growth and development of its member and invites all to gather in prayer and worship and, when possible, to participate in the Eucharist and in the sacramental life of the Church. The University is devoted to the Catholic Church and its leaders and strives to serve the educational and spiritual needs of the Church's clergy, religious, and laity.

    A Spirit of Simplicity and Joy

    Imitating Francis, who called himself the herald of the Great King and the troubadour of God, the Saint Francis community celebrates life in simplicity and joy. With good humor and common sense, we share our stories and teach by good example. We also extend courtesy and hospitality to all guests and to all who wish to join this community.

    Franciscan Presence

    The University gratefully acknowledges the vision, sacrifice, and zeal of our Franciscan founders and of the friars who have served the campus community loyally over the years. We strive to emulate the Franciscan values evident in their ministry. Franciscan presence also encompasses all men and women of good will who have been associated with the University and whose lives and work exemplify the ideals of Saint Francis. We encourage and promote these values for future generations, knowing that as long as the spirit of Francis of Assisi continues to animate this community of learners, Saint Francis University will be graced with Franciscan presence.

Schedule a Visit