Pastoral Care of Students Policy

“It shall be the further purpose of the University, publicly identified as a Catholic and a Franciscan institution, to promote the moral, spiritual, and religious values of its students. The University will be guided by the example and teaching of St. Francis of Assisi.” (Franciscan University Bylaws Article II.1.b)

Franciscan University’s bylaws recognize the president as the “spiritual leader” of the University. (Franciscan University Bylaws Article VI.4) As such, the president and his designees have the responsibility for the pastoral and spiritual activities at Franciscan University. This enables the University to fulfill the sacred trust placed in it by its alumni, parents, students, and benefactors to protect and foster a healthy spiritual environment in which University students can grow.

The persons designated by the president to serve as spiritual leaders include the vice president of Pastoral Care and Evangelization, the University chaplain and assistant chaplain(s); the Franciscan friars, TOR; residence hall chaplains and pastoral assistants; the vice president of Student Life; and other members of the Student Life, Pastoral Care, and Evangelization staffs.

Pastoral and spiritual activities include, but are not limited to, all sacramental ministry, pastoral and spiritual direction and guidance, the household system, retreats, and presentations on pastoral, moral, and spiritual topics.

Any non-University person or group who conducts, promotes, or advertises a pastoral or spiritual activity on campus must request permission in writing, and receive explicit written approval in advance, from the University chaplain, vice president of Pastoral Care and Evangelization or the vice president of Student Life.

As it strives to encourage the moral and spiritual development of its students, the University recognizes the following guidelines:

  • As a Franciscan institution of higher learning, the University is specifically committed to promoting Franciscan spiritual values. Therefore, Franciscan theologians, philosophers and spiritual writers are to be given special prominence in the University’s pastoral and spiritual activities.
  • The University recognizes that the moral and spiritual development of its students must take place in an atmosphere of authentic freedom and love. Any pastoral or spiritual guidance or direction that is deceptive, coercive, or manipulative is a violation of the dignity of the human person and is therefore strictly prohibited.
  • Because many students are discerning vocations during their college years, the University supports this process by offering pastoral guidance and events such as Vocations Awareness Days. The University strives to create an environment in which all vocational callings, lay and consecrated, can be discerned prayerfully, freely, and peacefully. To this end, the University does not allow recruiting by any diocese, religious order, lay apostolate, or individual outside of designated vocational events.