St Ignatius Church seen through a sculpture on Lone Mountain.

Our Jesuit Roots

USF is a Jesuit university. This means that we exist to do only one thing: equip and inspire you to explore, engage, and improve the world.

Jesuit Catholic 101

How do you pronounce Jesuit?

There are three ways to say Jesuit: je-zü-ət, je-zhü-ət, and je-zyü-ət.

What are Jesuit values?

Respect everyone. Serve others. Nurture the whole person (mind, body, spirit). Build a more humane and just world. Jesuit priests are scholars and public servants. They turn learning into action. They've been improving the world for more than 400 years. 

Meet Some Jesuits

John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. headshot

John Fitzgibbons, S.J.

The chancellor of USF makes our mission his mission.

What is USF's Jesuit Mission?

To serve others. To walk with the excluded. To make the world more just and humane. To be a leaven in society. To care for our common home."

John Fitzgibbons, S.J.

The chancellor of USF makes our mission his mission.

What does it mean to be
Jesuit educated?

It means to be equipped and inspired to change the world for the better, in ways large and small.

Jesuit Community at USF

Jesuit Catholic on Campus

Is the student body mostly Catholic?

No. Catholics make up less than half of our undergraduate student body. The rest of the students identify as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant — or they aren’t affiliated with a religious group.

Am I required to attend Catholic church services?

No. Mass is available but not required. And while we invite you to explore Ignatian spirituality, we also offer programs in which people from all faiths or no religious affiliations can come together.

Learn about University Ministry

Is there a theology requirement?

Yes. But you are not required to study Catholicism. In our theology and religious studies requirement — an essential part of our core curriculum — you learn about various religions, explore how religions and spirituality and people intersect, and discover how religion can serve social justice and work for the good of the entire human family and the environment that sustains it.