Mission Statement Discernment

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We eagerly invite YOU to help us articulate and refine our university’s next mission statement this spring 2021. USF’s current mission statement was drafted twenty years ago by a small, select group; in contrast, this draft is being written with broad community participation. This is an opportunity for you to help define and bring up-to-date our community’s shared identity and values, and, consequently, how the university defines our priorities and responses to, and in, the world.

Last fall, members of the University of San Francisco’s Mission Council organized over 20 separate discernment sessions to gather diverse community members’ perspectives on the joys and tensions within our current mission statement. During these sessions, we heard that the mission statement evokes joy because it frames education as a humanizing activity, and affirms why you choose to study or work at USF. We also heard tensions and concerns about language that is gendered, outdated, or needing to be more defined.

Based on your sharing, we drafted this first revision of the mission statement:

Since 1855, the University of San Francisco has dedicated itself to offering a daring and dynamic liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. We empower and enable our faculty, librarians, staff, students, alumni, and community partners to be persons for and with others, to care for our common home, including the Ohlone land on which our campus resides, and to work toward the common good by critically, thoughtfully, and innovatively responding to global and local events and inequalities in order to create a more humane and just world.

We seek to live USF’s Mission by caring for and fostering a diverse, ever-expanding community in which all are welcome no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, citizenship, or socioeconomic background; by educating hearts and minds to cultivate the full, integral development of each person and all persons; by honoring learning as a lifelong humanizing and liberating social activity rather than a competitive exercise; by advancing excellence as the standard for teaching, scholarship, creative expression, and service; and by responsibly engaging with, and contributing to, the vibrant cultural, intellectual, and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please help our community reflect on this revised statement by signing up for a group discernment session this spring. 

This is an historic moment for all of us at USF. Together, we can craft a mission statement that showcases our distinctive approach to education and declares how each person in our community is cared for, welcomed, and called to change the world no matter where they are.

Learn more about how USF's mission statement has evolved throughout our history »

Learn more about Ignatian and Jesuit terms

Be a part of the process!

Thank You!


Evelyn I. Rodriguez

Associate Professor, Sociology


Chris Brooks

Professor, Computer Science and Engineering


Monica Doblado

Program Manager, Honors College