Setting the Standard Symposium

Join us for the inaugural Setting the Standard Symposium.

Dear USD community,

On Feb.1, 2018, the University of San Diego will host the inaugural Setting the Standard Symposium, designed to catalyze meaningful dialogue around what it means to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university. The symposium will help us explore a campus wide conversation on how best to proceed on our path to the forefront of Catholic higher education. 

Recognizing that our institutional commitment to welcome all faith traditions comes from the heart of what it means to be a Catholic university, the theme for our first year will be centered around embracing religious diversity. USD remains a place where all are welcomed and encouraged to live from their deepest beliefs, noblest convictions and in the spirit of our shared university values. It is only when we welcome and include all that we realize the full promise of what it truly means to be an engaged, contemporary Catholic university.

James T. Harris
James T. Harris III, DEd

President Harris shaking hands with a parent

Flourishing: Why we need religion in a globalized world

The 2018 Setting the Standard Symposium keynote will be delivered by Dr. Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, and Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. Dr. Volf will explore the major themes in his recent book, “Flourishing: Why we need religion in a globalized world,” and how the world religions’ visions of human flourishing are a necessary moral compass in a globalizing world where cherished beliefs and values are often brought into conflict. 


The 2018 Setting the Standard Symposium includes three main events over two days:

Thursday, Feb. 1:

  • All Faith Service Reflection
    Dr. Volf will offer a reflection on the Christian articulation of promoting human flourishing during our 25th annual All Faith Service, on Feb. 1 at 12:15 p.m. in Shiley Theatre.  
  • Keynote Address
    At 4 p.m. in the KIPJ Theatre, Dr. Volf will give his keynote address in which he will offer a vision of how a contemporary and engaged Catholic university is to be measured by our students’ ability to pursue meaningful lives and forming society to promote full human flourishing for all.

Friday, Feb. 2:

  • "A Life Worth Living"
    The concluding event will be a breakfast for selected students on the morning of Friday, Feb. 2, where Dr. Volf will provide his personal reflections on what makes for a “Life Worth Living.”

For questions about the Setting the Standard Symposium, please contact Mark Peters,, (619) 260-2265, or Erin Bishop,, (619) 260-4785.


Dr. Miroslav Volf
Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology
Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture 

Read Dr. Volf's biography.

Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World book cover

See Dr. Volf's book, "Flourishing."