Jan 18, 2019  
2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mission, Vision, History, and Facilities

Statement of Mission

A Mind for Excellence:
Saint Francis University offers higher education in an environment guided by Catholic values and teachings, and inspired by the example of our patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. The oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States, Saint Francis University is an inclusive learning community that welcomes all people.

A Spirit for Peace and Justice: University programs and activities foster such Franciscan values as a humble and generous attitude toward learning, respect for diversity and the uniqueness of individual persons, understanding of ethical issues, and reverence for all life. With a spirit of simplicity and joy, we provide opportunities for the University community to think critically and analytically, communicate effectively, and integrate theory and practice.

A Heart for Service: Saint Francis University offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts tradition, graduate and professional programs of study that emphasize personal and professional ethics, and continuing education opportunities for personal and career enhancement. We seek to inspire in all members of the University community a love of lifelong learning and a commitment to share their gifts and skills generously with others in a rapidly changing world.


The Office of Mission Integration


Saint Francis University is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, dedicated to providing its students with both a liberal arts education and career-oriented studies. As a Catholic university founded and animated by the Third Order Regular Franciscans, one of its distinctive goals is to enable Franciscan values and the Catholic tradition to shape intellectual inquiry and decision-making, both on a personal and institutional level.


In addition, Saint Francis University aims to be an academic institution where religion in general and Catholicism in particular are vitally present and operative across campus. This occurs when theological perspectives, ethical concerns, and faith seeking understanding intersect with every subject area and academic discipline. Such integration fosters the education of the whole person, through academic and career-oriented learning as well social, psychological, physical, moral, and spiritual/religious growth.

To achieve these goals, the Office of Mission Integration works with diverse groups, offices, departments, and divisions across campus to implement several objectives outlined in Ex corde Ecclesiae (“From the Heart of the Church”), which is an Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope John Paul II in 1990 describing the “identity and mission” of Catholic colleges and universities. These objectives are:

  • to increase consideration of theological perspectives, ethical concerns, and Catholic teaching in curricular and co-curricular activities;
  • to foster the integration of knowledge across subject areas and academic disciplines; and
  • to promote conversations across campus between faith and reason in order to bear witness to the harmonious unity of all truth
  • to be of service to the people of God and the human family in their quest for transcendental goals which give meaning to life (Ex corde Ecclesiae, 1990, #12-20).

In various ways the Mission Integration Office offers programming for faculty and staff members in Franciscan history, spirituality, and values as well as the Catholic intellectual tradition. The office also collaborates with numerous departments across campus, including the Department of Campus Ministry Office, to foster the engagement of faith and reason, the integration of ethical concerns, and the faith formation of its students and staff through curricular and co-curricular activities. It also oversees the Institute for Contemporary Franciscan Life, which offers online courses about the Franciscan tradition and spirituality.


Saint Francis University is a Catholic university of choice for undergraduate and graduate students, nationally recognized for its Franciscan mission and goals, its academic excellence and its vibrant student life co curriculum. The University places particular emphasis on developing individuals who will lead or serve with character and values in their chosen professions and communities.

Core Values and Guiding Principles

Goals of Franciscan Higher Education

  • A humble and generous attitude toward learning
  • Reverence for all life and for the goodness of all humanity
  • A global vision
  • Service to the poor and needy
  • Respect for the uniqueness of individual persons
  • A community of faith and prayer
  • The spirit of simplicity and joy
  • Franciscan presence

Educational Philosophy

Saint Francis University is committed to transmitting the knowledge, culture, and values of the past, not as historical curiosities, but as vital factors in facing the realities of life in the 21st century. The University confronts students with the full force of developments taking place in all aspects of modern life, challenging them to draw on the experiences of their predecessors while helping them to chart a realistic course for the future — their own and that of society.

The Place

Our Beginnings …

The seeds of what has become Saint Francis University were planted by six Franciscan friars from Ireland who founded a boys’ academy in the mountain hamlet of Loretto, Pennsylvania, in 1847. Saint Francis University was soon given the power to grant degrees by the Common wealth of Pennsylvania and was one of the first Catholic co-ed colleges in the nation.

An extensive building program was begun after World War II and continued through the 1950’s and 60’s. Today the campus includes nine residence halls, a student center, classroom and administrative buildings, athletics center, dining hall, library and chapel — all aesthetically located on the 600-acre campus. In 1976, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art was opened in the former gymnasium, Doyle Hall, and now offers extensive artistic opportunities for students and area residents. The nearby Mount Assisi Gardens, Lake Saint Francis, and Immergrün Golf Course further enhance the setting of Saint Francis University, making it an exceptional environment for living and learning.

Today, Saint Francis University is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of both laypeople and Franciscans. The President, chief executive officer of the University, receives input from faculty, administrators, and students in order to provide members of the University community with opportunities to participate in the University’s development.


Administration and Instruction

SCOTUS HALL. As the primary administrative office building on campus, Scotus Hall contains the executive suite for the President of the University and the Assistant to the President, and offices for the Provost, Vice President for Finance, and Registrar. The Business Office, Telecommunications Offices, the Graduate School of Industrial Relations, and the Office of Career Services are also located in Scotus. Completed in 1967 as part of a complex including Padua and Sullivan Halls, Scotus also contains classrooms, faculty offices, print shop, a modern language laboratory, a television studio, the computer center, two computer labs, statistical laboratories for the Business Administration Department and a faculty lounge.

PADUA HALL. The Admissions Office, Residence Life Office, Office of Student Development, and the Financial Aid Office are located on the second floor of Padua Hall. There are also two large lecture halls and an electronic classroom and distance learning lab on the lower level.

RAYMOND HALL. The dormitory where the legendary Red Flash basketball All-American of the ‘50’s Maurice Stokes once lived, has been renovated and now houses the Office of Continuing Education, Department of Occupational Therapy, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Education Department, University Police Department, Office of Human Resources, Advancement and Alumni offices, and the President’s Conference Room.

SULLIVAN SCIENCE HALL. The Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Physician Assistant and Biology departments are located in this four-story building. These departments will transition to the new Science Center for fall 2013.

The Chemistry Department, located on the top floor, has a chemical principles laboratory, analytical laboratory with an air-conditioned balance room, physical-instrumentation analysis laboratory, organic chemical laboratory, research laboratories multimedia computer lab, and student study room. Classrooms, faculty offices, and the Physician Assistant examining room are also on this floor.

Located on the second floor, the Biology Department has six laboratories, two classrooms, and seven faculty offices. The laboratories include the general biology laboratory; the anatomy, advanced biology, and ecology; and the marine biology laboratories. The ground level greenhouse provides the department with ideal conditions for botanical research.

Physics and microbiology laboratories are located on the first floor along with classrooms, faculty offices, and the DiSepio Computer Laboratory. The first floor also contains Physician Assistant offices and an Electronic Classroom. The lower level contains the experimental animal room for the Biology Department, chemical storage area with fireproof vaults, television laboratory, and Physician Assistant Department cadaver room.

SCHWAB HALL. Erected in 1931 with financial assistance from former steel baron Charles M. Schwab, this building houses the Marketing and Communications Office, International Education Office, Upward Bound, the Psychology Lab, the Department of Nursing, and classroom space.

LIBRARY AND LEARNING COMMONS. The Library and Learning Commons is a dynamic community resource, providing access to information, offering instruction, and serving a proactive leadership role in support of the mission of Saint Francis University. Facilities include: electronic classrooms, instruction lab, group study and seminar rooms, video viewing areas, and the Margaret M. Tobin Center for Archives and Special Collections, the home of the University archives and records center.

The Library and Learning Commons provides access to its collections and online resources through the Library webpage at http://library.francis.edu. Access to materials not housed in the library can be obtained through interlibrary loan. All members of the University community may borrow materials and obtain other services from the library by presenting a valid Saint Francis University identification card. The library is open year-round, with the exception of official University holidays. A complete posting of current library policies, regular hours, services, and other general information can be found by visiting the Library webpage.

Also located within the library facility is IT Services including the Laptop Help Desk, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the Writing Center, and the Tutoring Center.

SOUTHERN ALLEGHENIES MUSEUM OF ART. The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art and its Extension facilities exist to provide dynamic cultural programming with an American perspective of the visual arts to the diverse people who inhabit the Southern Alleghenies mountain region. The intent of the museum is to develop an understanding and appreciation of American art from a broad and historical perspective as well as from a contemporary state and regional one.

Since its inception in 1976, this challenge continues to be pursued by maximizing the efforts of the professional staff, expanding the permanent collection, increasing the scope of the exhibition calendars and the activities, and broadening the supportive base from the region which the museum serves.

DOROTHY DAY CENTER: SOCIAL OUTREACH AND VOLUNTEER SERVICE. The Dorothy Day center is the social outreach division of Saint Francis University and the Campus Ministry department. The Center’s mission is diverse and multifaceted. Part of our mission is to educate the University students in issues of social concern and justice and to involve them in volunteer service through various programs on campus and in the local communities.

We have social intergenerational programs geared towards children, such as literacy programs with our R.E.A.D.S., Math Counts, and S.M.A.R.T. (St. Michael’s Arithmetic, Reading, Tutoring). We also have programs geared towards the elderly such as our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner (a catered meal for local senior citizens) and Adopt-A-Grandparent program visiting the elderly at John Paul II manor.

Our social outreach programs assist low income families in the area by providing items such as food from our St. Anthony’s Cupboard (food pantry) fresh produce from our Good Shepherd Garden Project, clothing and blankets from our St. Clare’s Thimble (clothing pantry), furniture assistance, emergency financial rent, utility, and heating fuel assistance, and free income tax assistance through our V.I.T.A. (volunteer income tax assistance) program. We also have an organic garden.

In these times of reduced budgets and lessening government funding, volunteerism is becoming increasingly important to assist the poor and the needy. Saint Francis University tries to instill in its students a humble Franciscan attitude towards service. The D.D.C. is but one major expression of Saint Francis University students’ education and preparation for entrance into the world.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER. This building houses the Small Business Development Center, one of 18 centers in Pennsylvania, and the Center for Global Competitiveness. The Center provides free and confidential business counseling to current and prospective entrepreneurs. Services include assistance in the areas of accounting, financial analysis, business planning, and marketing. The Center also houses the University's Renewable Energy Center which provides information and assistance on wind energy and other sources of alternative energy.

DISEPIO INSTITUTE FOR RURAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS. The DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness offers a series of health promotion and rehabilitation services to the University and the surrounding community, particularly those who are underserved living in rural areas. The curricular and research dimensions of the Institute enable the academic departments to enhance their programs of study including, where applicable, clinical education. Recreational and co-curricular programming sponsored through the Institute allows the University community to engage in health and wellness activities and programs designed to promote optimal, holistic health of body, mind, and spirit. The service dimension of the Institute provides improved access to preventive services and specialty rehabilitation care to reduce the burden of chronic illness in the rural communities of Pennsylvania.

The DiSepio Institute services include:

  • DiSepio Center for Rehabilitation: The Center for Rehabilitation is staffed by Board Certified Clinical Specialists in sports and orthopedic physical therapy as well as occupational therapists who treat the injuries and conditions of the SFU students, employees, and regional community. The Center offers a state-of-the-art examination and modality area and full treatment gym. It also houses a Hydroworx aquatic therapy pool which features an underwater treadmill, resistance jets, and underwater video analysis system. The Center for Rehabilitation offers a variety of specialized services including hand therapy, serial casting, splinting, Biodex isokinetic testing, concussion assessment, NeuroCom balance assessments, and sports injury prevention and enhancement programs. The staff is committed to providing the best care possible by keeping up to date on current research regarding physical and occupational therapy practice.
  • Human Performance Laboratory: The Human Performance Laboratory supports the research function of the DiSepio Institute. Athletic and functional performance is analyzed and developed in many areas including cardiovascular/metabolic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular/musculoskeletal.
  • DiSepio Fitness Center: The Fitness Center consists of a 3,500 square-foot gym for individual exercise and a 1,000 square-foot group exercise room. The gym includes a stretching and core strengthening area; a cardiovascular area with treadmills, elliptical machines, adaptive motion trainers, and upright and recumbent bikes; a strength training area with a circuit of exercise units for the upper and lower extremities; and a free weight area. All participants are required to complete and submit a membership application prior to utilizing the DiSepio Fitness Center. Group exercise classes offered to students, employees, and the community include yoga, Zumba, kickboxing, and various circuit training classes. Groups of five or more can schedule use of the group exercise room to follow their own exercise program. The Fitness Center organizes the health and wellness educational programming offered in the Institute that includes nutrition management, diabetes management, tobacco use cessation, and more.
  • Spiritual Wellness Center: An outdoor labyrinth meditation garden, an indoor ecumenical sacred space, and programming in the theology of wellness are available to the University and local communities.
  • Ernest J. Scharpf Family Conference Center: Equipped with video and teleconferencing capability and high-tech audiovisual equipment, the main space of the Center is a symposium room for 90 people seated at tables, or up to 200 in theater-style seating. The room is divisible by a curtain wall into two separate rooms. A large pre-conference area outside the symposium room is available for informal gatherings, display tables, or food service. Smaller sessions can be accommodated in the Executive Conference Room that seats 16-20 or the Health and Wellness Seminar Room that seats 40. The Conference Center is available for use by members of the campus community as well as outside communities.
  • Student Health Center: The Student Health Center is staff by a team of health professionals that includes a physician, physician assistant, and a registered nurse. All students are required to submit a completed health form (provided to students upon acceptance to the University) before treatment can be received. Services available to students include evaluation and treatment of acute medical conditions, allergy injections and immunizations, physical exams, travel consultations, blood draws, and urine drug screens. Referral to community resources will be made for students on an as-needed basis. The Health Center is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday evenings until 7:30 p.m. Visits are by appointment. Walk-ins will be accommodated when possible. Any student that becomes ill during the evening or weekend hours may visit the Conemaugh MedWell site in Ebensburg for urgent care. Any student requiring emergency care should call 911 or visit an Emergency Room.
  • Center for Health Promotion, Education and Research: Community-based medical practitioners and institutions work with faculty and students in projects to address health promotion and wellness.

Campus Life

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHAPEL contributes to the spiritual welfare of Saint Francis University students. Dedicated in 1957, the chapel provides the opportunity for the University community to make frequent visits for private meditation and prayer, to participate in daily liturgies, and to participate in ecumenical prayer events.

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY STUDENT CENTER is the social, cultural and recreational center of the campus. The Center offers facilities for a wide variety of activities including films, dances, special events, art exhibits, music and drama.

The lower level of the Kennedy Center contains a bookstore, the mail room, publications offices for the student newspaper, yearbook, student activities and student government, the Frankie’s food court, stage dressing rooms, a convenience store, a large-screen television, and a conference room. The upper level, planned for versatile use, includes the information center, the Office of Student Activities, Student Health Center, a student art gallery in the lobby, and a spacious student lounge. The 600-seat air conditioned auditorium has a fully-equipped stage and motion picture projection booth that doubles as the studio for SFU-TV Channel 27. Parking facilities for special events are located adjacent to the building.

THE MAURICE STOKES ATHLETICS CENTER houses facilities for basketball, volleyball, tennis, weightlifting, running, swimming, racquetball and other intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational athletic activities. Named in honor of the Saint Francis University basketball All-American of the 1950’s, the building has a seating capacity of approximately 3,500. The building also houses the offices of the Athletics Department and the Physical Therapy Department.

ATHLETIC FIELDS/COURTS provide space for outdoor activities, including soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, football and softball.

IMMERGRÜN GOLF COURSE. Immergrün, a nine-hole course patterned after the challenging courses found in Scotland, serves as the home course for the University’s golf teams. Built early in the 1900’s by Charles Schwab, the course was designed to blend with the topography of the land in western Pennsylvania. Located near the campus, the facility features a fully-stocked pro shop, locker rooms, equipment storage areas, and a club house.

Residence Life

Our residence halls provide all of the facilities and services needed for pleasant, comfortable living. Each hall includes a TV lounge, study area and laundry room. All rooms provide basic cable and are wired for phone service and internet access. Housing is guaranteed for four years in either residence halls, special interest housing or independent living areas. Most rooms are double occupancy. In order to receive Saint Francis Institutional Aid students must live in University Housing or commute from the home of parent/ legal guardian. For more information on aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

  • AVE MARIA HALL (1948), named in honor of our Blessed Mother, is a housing unit for both male and female students.
  • AMICI HALL (1955) houses upper class male students. It is named in honor of the Friends of Saint Francis, a group of community leaders who have aided the University in its development program.
  • CHRISTIAN HALL (1998) houses upper class male and female students. It is named in honor of Father Christian Oravec.
  • GILES HALL (1955), named in honor of the first President of Saint Francis, Brother Giles Carroll, T.O.R., houses first-year male students.
  • SAINT LOUIS HALL (1962), is the largest residence hall for male students. It is named in honor of King Louis IX of France, the patron of the Third Orders of Saint Francis.
  • SAINT AGNES HALL (1958), named in honor of Saint Agnes of Assisi, houses first-year female students.
  • SAINT CLARE HALL (1958), named in honor of the founder of the Poor Clares, house first-year female students.
  • SAINT ELIZABETH HALL (1962), housing upper class female students and was named for Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis.
  • SAINT FRANCIS HALL is the former friary and was renovated for students and completed in the summer of 2007. The building houses first-year male students.
  • SAINT JOAN OF ARC HALL (1966), named in honor of the great French saint, houses female students.
Thematic Housing
  • BACH FAMILY HONORS HOUSE (2006) is a 6,000 + square-foot facility that includes a conference room-with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment-for Honors seminar and core courses; a residence for nine Honors students per year; a 24-hour study space for all Honors students; and meeting, lecture and movie space. It is named in honor of its benefactors, the Thomas and Eileen Bach Family from Johnstown.
  • THE LEADERSHIP HOUSE (2008) is a living-learning community with the goal of educating its members about leadership and community engagement. Located adjacent to campus, it houses four students and is a student-center program dedicated to learning and practicing servant-leadership. 
  • The House & Apartment Transition Program (HATP) gives upperclass students the opportunity to experience independent living while being under the umbrella of University Housing. All units consist of one to four bedrooms, full bathrooms, and kitchen/living areas. Three apartments are located in Ave Maria Hall, while the remaining townhouses/houses and apartments are located within walking distance to campus. This program is part of University Housing Operations and therefore all policies and procedures apply.

Campus Shrines

OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO. In 1935, a member of the Franciscan community cleared the long-abandoned stone quarry, from which the founders of Saint Francis University had obtained material for the first buildings, and carved out “The Grotto,” a replica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France.

THE SHRINE OF SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKMAN. The focal point of this shrine is a life-size statue of Saint Joseph, dedicated on October 18, 1958. The shrine rests amid an acre of shrubbery, towering pines, and graceful birches. The instruments of labor surrounding it convey the theme of the dignity of work.

Service Facilities

Dining Services

Torvian is the all-you-care-to-eat dining facility constructed in 1955 and renovated in 2008 and 2013. Torvian is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and accommodates 585 guests. All residents are required to be on a dining plan. Many dining plan options are available visit our website at www.francis.edu/diningservices.

Frankie’s is a retail cafe located in the lower level of the JFK Student Center. Frankie’s offers a wide variety of made to order sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizza. Many convenience items are also available from boxed cereal, cases of soda, and personal hygiene products.

Café Gubbio is a coffee house located in the lower level of St Francis Hall. Café Gubbio offers a wide variety of fresh baked pastries, frozen fruit smoothies and brewed coffees from espresso to caramel lattes. We proudly brew Starbucks Coffee.

Padua Express is located in the lower level of Padua. Padua Express offers a variety of fresh On the Go features, fresh brewed coffees and snack foods.

Catering is available to departments and campus clubs. A simple, easy option for catered services is our No Frills program. The No Frills catering option is available for pick-up only and provides an economical way to feed your guests. A custom menu can be created for each of our guests events, please contact our catering department for details. University policy is that campus funds used for food must go through the University Catering Department.

All dining locations accept cash, declining balance and dining plan bonus dollars. Hours and menu options vary daily by location please visit our web site at www.francis.edu/diningservices for details.

Saint Joseph Center consists of the Office of Physical Plant and Purchasing Department from which all the University buildings are serviced.