Franciscan School of Theology and University of San Diego form affiliation that moves FST to new home in Southern California

September 27, 2012 - The University of San Diego (USD) and the Franciscan School of Theology (FST) jointly announced today the broad outlines of a plan to affiliate with each other for the mutual benefit of both institutions in serving the needs of their students, society and the universal Church. The plan calls for FST to relocate from its present location in Berkeley, California, to the grounds of Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California, about 35 miles north of the USD campus. The move will affect entering students at FST beginning in September 2013.

FST students will have access to a broad range of graduate courses at USD, including courses offered in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. These courses will enhance the capabilities of graduate students to serve in stewardship roles in the Church and other mission-oriented institutions. USD students will also have access to FST courses that complement their degree programs at USD. The affiliation will also provide opportunities for the institutions, their respective faculties and students to collaborate with one another in service, research and other scholarly activities.

USD is a leading private Catholic university committed to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and the creation of ethical leaders. FST, the only freestanding Franciscan graduate-level school of theology in the English speaking world, is dedicated to transmitting the rich heritage of Catholic theology flowing from the spiritual, social and ethical teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and developed by Franciscan theologians such as St. Bonaventure, a Doctor of the Church, and Blessed John Duns Scotus.

"The relocation of the Franciscan School of Theology to Old Mission San Luis Rey is a great blessing for the Diocese of San Diego," said Bishop Robert H. Brom, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. "We welcome the Franciscans with open arms. Their spiritual and theological tradition and outreach to the poor will build upon and expand the vibrant faith-life of this local Church and positively contribute to the mission of the University of San Diego. A new evangelizing venture and alliance toward a future full of hope now opens up for all of us."

"Forging a relationship with USD gives FST an opportunity to explore new ways of expressing our faith for the twenty-first century,” said Father John Hardin, OFM, leader of the Franciscan friars in the western U.S. and Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Franciscan School of Theology. "We are excited about bringing together the spiritual, theological and social riches of the Franciscan tradition and USD’s excellence in contemporary sciences, non-profit management, public service, peace work and more."

"This new affiliation between the University of San Diego and the Franciscan School of Theology enhances the distinction and distinctiveness of both institutions. It offers opportunities for special academic and program collaborations that will benefit the faculties, students, and communities of both USD and FST," said Ron Fowler, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of San Diego.

To implement the plan, FST will transition from its current membership in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. The relocation of the school will also require the approvals of its accrediting agencies.

About FST

Franciscan friars have taught theology in California since the Spanish mission period. Originating from an apostolic college first established at Mission Santa Barbara in 1854, FST took on its current name and moved to Berkeley in 1968. Today, the school prepares lay, religious and priestly candidates for ministry and leadership. FST brings 800 years of Franciscan scholarship into dialog with contemporary religious and social concerns, emphasizing a special regard for those at the margins of Church and society, for the poor, and for justice.

About USD

Chartered in 1949, USD enrolls approximately 8,300 undergraduate and graduate full-time equivalent students. USD has a long history of public service and was recently recognized as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. The university’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences, Peace, the Department of Engineering and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.