Mission and Tradition

st. augustine center stairs

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences seeks to promote intellectual curiosity and rigor within the University; to instill the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment and independent thinking; and to strengthen our students’ sense of their moral responsibility for others and for the betterment of society.

We draw inspiration from the dynamic legacy of St. Augustine, the great teacher and scholar, and his restless, passionate pursuit of wisdom and truth. Committed to our Christian intellectual and moral foundations, the College respects the beliefs of all the members of its diverse community. We believe that it is the inalienable right of all individuals to participate in creation, to seek truth and to apply such truth to enrich their personal lives and advance their communities. 

Our unique heritage as the first Augustinian institution of higher education in the United States provides additional inspiration for our educational mission. Villanova College was founded in 1842 by eight Irish friars of the Order of Saint Augustine to make higher education accessible to the sons of Irish working-class immigrants, who suffered discrimination and exclusion from other educational institutions. This history reinforces our commitment to collaborating with people of all traditions as we build the moral foundation and social consciousness necessary to educate responsible leaders for a challenging, ever-changing world.