Mission & Vision

Vision of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi for Cardinal Stritch University


Rooted in the values of Catholic Christianity and inspired by the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi and the heritage of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, Cardinal Stritch University is an academic community called to transform individuals to "approve the better things" as they discover their purpose in life.

The University encourages academic excellence, along with intellectual, spiritual, and social growth among its entire community – faculty, staff, and students of all ages, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds.

Commentary

Cardinal Stritch University grounds its liberal arts program and its core activities of teaching, learning, scholarship and service in the Catholic faith which affirms the goodness of all creation and views human persons as created in the image of God and endowed with individual dignity. The University's intellectual tradition seeks to integrate faith and reason, faith having its source in the mission of Jesus, who was sent so that all "might have life and have it more abundantly," and reason, drawing on theological, philosophical, ethical, and scientific principles.

In relationship with the Catholic Church through the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, the University focuses on what Pope John Paul II calls "a full search for truth" (Ex Corde Ecclesiae) in all its forms. In a dialogue between faith and reason, the University seeks to expose its students to transcendental truths, the Catholic and Franciscan intellectual traditions, and the principles of Catholic social teaching in an academic community that values freedom of inquiry and civil, critical discussion.

As a Catholic University in the Franciscan tradition, Cardinal Stritch affirms a vision of God that emphasizes goodness and love. Flowing from its belief in the Incarnation – God made present in human history in the person of Jesus Christ – the University recognizes that learning must be in the context of our present experience of humanity and of the world. As a Franciscan learning community, it attempts to engage students and faculty by way of the HEART (governing interpersonal and inter‐relational activities), and the HEAD (dealing with facts, science, and reason). Hence, the University seeks to create an environment in which its faculty, staff, and students "strive to join charity and knowledge so that the human person might be both knowledgeable and loving," in the words of St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan scholar.

The University values diversity and welcomes individuals of all faiths and spiritual traditions, encouraging involvement of its personnel in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, i.e., honest and respectful exchange of faith understandings. The specific Franciscan values, derived from the Gospels and given prominence at Stritch, are those of creating a caring community, showing compassion, reverencing all of creation, and making peace.

In line with Catholic social teaching, the University stresses concern for the poor or marginalized, and stands ready to remediate unjust systems where possible. It also places special emphasis on the values of hospitality, courtesy, kindness, and friendship, supporting multicultural diversity among faculty, students, and staff, and a welcoming attitude toward persons with disabilities, and disadvantaged and disenfranchised persons. Finally, the University offers programs on these values for its personnel, recognizing that, only when their acceptance has been achieved campus‐wide, can Stritch be a Catholic University in the Franciscan tradition.