Saint Joseph’s University is a Catholic and Jesuit university which instills in each member of its academic community: a love of learning and of the highest intellectual and professional achievement; moral discernment reflecting Christian values; and a transforming commitment to social justice. Saint Joseph’s is a private Independent and Comprehensive university.
The defining element of Saint Joseph’s intellectual tradition experienced by all of its undergraduate students is its strong and integrative core curriculum in the liberal arts that informs their study of particular disciplines. While remaining true to that humane and formative tradition, Saint Joseph’s now embraces the challenge of excellence in graduate education in both the arts and sciences and in business. Our understanding of the centuries-old Jesuit educational vision of "concern for the individual student" (cura personalis) establishes effective and rigorous teaching and learning as a primary value. Since teaching and learning in the modern academic context require research at both the undergraduate and graduate level, the University cultivates, in students and faculty, generative scholarship that embodies free and open inquiry, and provokes imaginative thinking, aesthetic appreciation, and precise communication. As a necessary complement to intellectual achievement, we seek to illuminate the affective and ethical dimension in learning within the various disciplines at every level. Cura personalis also calls for the fullest development of the individual student’s potential both inside and outside the classroom.
The Catholic character of Saint Joseph’s University springs from its historical relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, and from its current embodiment of the great traditions of Catholic life and culture. For this University, Christ and the Church are sources of truth, guides and inspirations for life. Catholic values are normative, including: full respect for the freedom of conscience of each person, freedom in research and teaching according to one’s discipline, and the continuous pursuit of truth, human rights, and the common good. We foster a lived awareness of the challenging and mutually enriching interaction between Christian faith and diverse contemporary culture; we seek to engage the full participation of the entire community in the University’s intellectual, cultural, and spiritual life.
The University’s Ignatian identity derives from its founding by the Society of Jesus in 1851 and from the subsequent shaping of the University’s development by the evolving world view of the Society. In ways consistent with its nature as a university, Saint Joseph’s espouses the educational priorities of the Society of Jesus which include: searching for God in all things, pursuit of the greater good, the service of faith together with the promotion of justice, and effective compassion for the poor and those in need.
For the University’s defining institutional ideals to matter at the regional, the national, or the international level, they need to be realized and expressed within an inclusive environment marked by trust and enriched by a diversity of ideas, cultures, and religious commitments. The contemporary Ignatian vision of educating "men and women for others" assumes a Saint Joseph’s University community—students, staff, and faculty—that exists as a vital cultural plurality, aware of and committed to its central identity, while yet open and welcoming to all.