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Catholic Identity & Heritage

DeSales University provides a spiritual context for learning, rooted in the Christian Humanism of St. Francis de Sales.

St. Francis de Sales felt that all people, in all walks of life, are called by God to and have the ability to live a devout life. He believed that love of God leads naturally to love for all persons, and his life was a model of servant leadership and gentleness. A prolific writer, St. Francis is the official patron for authors and journalists, and also for the deaf.

We believe that as a Catholic university, DeSales has a critical role in our rapidly changing world. We balance the pursuit of knowledge with a search for meaning, and we seek to ensure that knowledge and technological advancements are used for the good of individuals and human society.

We pursue this mission through the lens of Christian Humanism, the legacy of our patron saint. At the heart of St. Francis’ spirituality was his vision that man [is] the perfection of the universe, the mind the perfection of man, love the perfection of the mind, and charity the perfection of love.

Our History
Since opening for classes in September of 1965, DeSales has grown from “the college in the cornfields” into one of the top-ranked Universities in the Northeast.
Salesian Spirituality at DeSales - Stained Glass
Salesian Spirituality
The spirituality of St. Francis grew from his interest in people, and his affirmation of human life and culture.
Campus Ministry
The gentle spirit and practical teachings of St. Francis pervade every activity of Campus Ministry at DeSales.
bronze statue
Christian Humanism
Christian Humanism—as contrasted with scientific, technological, or ethical humanism—recognizes that all that we are is dependent on our relationship to God.

What does it mean to be a Catholic, Salesian University?

DeSales University provides a transformative environment for learning and growing in light of the Gospel grounded in tradition of Catholic higher education and the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales.
In addition, 15 themes from Ex Corde Ecclesiae, an apostolic constitution that highlights important values, including Catholic identity, hiring faculty for mission, and dialogue with culture, canon law, and the papacies of Popes Benedict XVI and Francis provide somewhat of a roadmap for DeSales University to arrive at strong Catholic identity. 

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The DeSales DUC at dusk

Campus & Community

The Salesian Center offers a dynamic mix of programs and activities that promote the interaction of faith and culture on our campus, and in the community.

Explore the Salesian Center
St. Francis de Sales

Let us be what we are and be that well, in order to bring honor to the Master Craftsman whose handiwork we are.

— St. Francis de Sales


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