Since the objective of a Catholic university is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic university, as Catholic, must have the following essential characteristics:
- A Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such.
- A continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research.
- Fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the church.
- An institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life (para. 13).
And as a department within a Jesuit university we seek to respond to the directive given by St. Ignatius of Loyola in The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus.
Since the end of the Society and of its studies is to aid our fellow men and women to the knowledge and love of God and to the salvation of their souls; and since the branch of theology is the means most suitable to this end, in the universities of the Society the principal emphasis ought to be put upon it (Part Four, Chapter Twelve).
The department understands theology in its classical Anselmian expression as "faith seeking understanding."