Founded in 1842, Villanova University is one of two Catholic, Augustinian institutions of higher learning in the United States, sharing this common heritage with Merrimack College. As a university that is both Catholic and Augustinian, Villanova has as its charge to foster an educational environment of belonging guided by the values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas, in the spirit of St. Augustine of Hippo and under the care of the Augustinian Friars. 

A fourth and fifth century bishop from North Africa, St. Augustine is a figure who looms large in the Catholic Church as the Doctor of Grace and as a prolific contributor to the theological and philosophical development of the Christian tradition. Known for such influential works as his Confessions, The City of God, and On the Trinity, among countless sermons and letters, St. Augustine believed that all of humanity was on a restless search for God, which is depicted at the center of both the University’s and Order of St. Augustine’s seal, in which the heart is set on fire, pierced by the arrow of God’s Word.

One of the hallmarks of an Augustinian education is a community of mutual respect, rooted in friendship. In his Confessions, he writes:

There were other joys to be found in their company which still more powerfully captivated my mind—the charms of talking and laughing together and kindly giving way to each other's wishes, reading elegantly written books together, sharing jokes and delighting to honor one another, disagreeing occasionally but without rancor, as a person might disagree with himself, and lending charm and wit by that rare disagreement to our much more frequent accord. We would teach and learn from each other, sadly missing any who were absent and blithely welcoming them when they returned. Such signs of friendship sprang from the hearts of friends who loved and knew their love returned, signs to be read in smiles, words, glances and a thousand gracious gestures. So were sparks kindled and our minds were fused inseparably, out of many becoming one. (IV, 8.13)

It is in such community that the values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas are enacted, and that Villanova seeks to build.  In a world that is increasingly divided, that has forgotten how to dialogue, and that marginalizes the “other,” a Catholic, Augustinian community provides both an invitation and a challenge to “walk together” (Rule of St. Augustine, Ch. 4).

Our Patron

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St. Thomas of Villanova serves as a model for all Villanovans. 

Our Home

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St. Rita's Hall brings all areas of Mission & Ministry together.

Our Mission

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The ideals of St. Augustine guide the University's mission and how we effect change.