Faith and Service

Faith, Our Foundation and Our Future

"The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." That's the way the New Testament describes faith. Its essence is relationship—relationship with Divine Mystery lived out in relationship with others. Faith can be thought of as a light which illuminates all our searching for ultimate meaning and purpose. This was the way our founder, Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, understood faith. And this was the faith she hoped students would come to explore at the University of San Diego. Her dream is very much alive today as students continue to grow, explore, question and develop their faith.

The St. Francis statue in the Garden of the Sea at the University of San Diego

An Engaged, Contemporary Catholic University

At the University of San Diego, all our studies and work are a reflection of faith.  As a Catholic university, we welcome and celebrate people from all backgrounds, religious or otherwise.  The word "catholic," after all, means "universal."  In this spirit, you will be invited, supported and challenged during your time on campus to reflect on what your response will be to your deepest beliefs and highest aspirations.

Learn more about what it means for USD to be a Catholic university.

How will faith impact your experience as a student?

Because we are a Catholic university, USD offers a place like no other to ask the big questions.

Your professors will know, inspire and challenge you to see the world with new eyes.  Your peers will study, work and grow alongside you as you consider who you are, what you believe and who you are called to become. Countless staff will be available to listen and guide you, offering the care and support you need to thrive in every dimension of who you are. In class, in the residence halls, on retreat, while doing service, as a part of student clubs—in each aspect of campus life—you’ll be surrounded by people passionate about exploring purpose, meaning and fulfillment. The University of San Diego is a place to seek answers to life's greatest, most important questions.

Begin quote "An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world." – Pope Francis

Faith in Action

As a contemporary Catholic university, USD is both in touch with a rich tradition and concerned about the urgent needs of today's world. To engage with the world in a whole-hearted and productive way, requires an education that reaches below the surface to examine the heart of things. Whether in the classroom or out in the community, you will develop an awareness of the needs of others, the challenges facing our world, and our interconnectedness.

This spirit of service may take you into our local neighborhood, to downtown San Diego, across the border or to far-flung corners of the world.

Learn more about service and social justice opportunities at USD.

Students pouring paint while on a Tijuana service trip

Opportunities to grow and serve

  • Cook and share dinner for homeless women at Rachel's Night Shelter downtown
  • Spend the weekend working alongside our neighbors in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Participate in a transformative immersion trip to San Diego, East Los Angeles, Dominican Republic, South Africa or Honduras
Begin quote The university embraces the Catholic moral and social tradition by its commitment to serve with compassion, to foster peace and to work for justice. – USD's Core Values

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Worship Together

Liturgy is at the heart of our faith community. We come together in prayer each Sunday and at major university celebrations, receiving strength from the presence of God in the Word, Sacrament and community. During these dynamic celebrations the campus community is renewed and refreshed to put our faith into action.

Learn more about worship at USD.

Keep Exploring

Browse areas of the university that put an emphasis on exploring faith.