Catholic Identity

As a Catholic institution, the University of San Diego believes that faith and reason are compatible in education, and that true knowledge can only be cultivated in an environment that fosters intellectual freedom, personal development and cultural equity.

The university embraces the inter-faith theme of the Second Vatican Council, which encouraged Catholic colleges and universities to "unite in a mutual sharing of effort," and welcomes students, faculty and staff of every faith tradition. 

Caring for God’s creation is a core element of our mission and values. Through sustainability initiatives, peace-building efforts, and entrepreneurial ventures, we are heeding the call of Pope Francis to take action against the environmental challenges that threaten our planet.

In this religiously diverse environment, we share our differing beliefs, both intellectually and spiritually, to the benefit of all, believing that a person's faith intensifies and deepens when enriched by understanding other religious traditions. This solidarity with others and their faith commitments grounds our university community in the Catholic mission of education.

Begin quote USD's Catholic identity is declared through a campus-wide commitment to serve others, develop an active faith community and fashion a more just and humane world.

USD's Catholic identity is declared through a campus-wide commitment to serving others, developing an active faith community and fashioning a more just and humane world.

The division of Mission and Ministry coordinates the university-wide effort to sustain and enhance the distinctive mission of USD as a Catholic university. It serves as a resource for all those interested in acquiring a fuller appreciation of the richness and relevance of our history, mission and core values.

University Ministry provides daily Masses in Founders Chapel, sponsors spiritual study groups, retreats, service outreach programs and sacramental preparation.

The Center for Christian Spirituality, based on Christian spirituality rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, provides opportunities through workshops, lectures, retreats, courses and partnerships for the greater San Diego faith community to participate. These opportunities seek to support all who desire to shape their lives in a manner consonant with their deepest values and meaning through the exploration of matters pertaining to spiritual development.

Additionally, the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture articulates the message of the Catholic intellectual tradition through thought-provoking lectures, programs and cultural events.

The Department of Theology and Religious Studies advances the teaching and study of religion while paying particular attention to fostering the understanding of Catholic traditions.

Through the efforts of the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice and Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, USD affirms its commitment to addressing issues of ethics and social justice that divide our global community.

The benefit of this Catholic identity is first to the students, but ultimately to society at large. USD students are trained to look closely at the world around them and carve out a role that brings meaning not only to themselves, but to others as well.

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Catholic Tradition
As the foundation of the university, USD's Catholic identity shapes the service and education opportunities that encourage the holistic growth of our students.