Why Franciscan? | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Why Franciscan?

    We believe Franciscan University is a truly exceptional place. Some rather important people—parents of students, bishops, and other leaders—agree. We’ll let them tell you why Franciscan may be right for you.

    Excellent education, strong Catholic atmosphere

    Tony and Mary Franzonello of Endwell, New York have sent nine of their children to Franciscan after they first fell in love with the University. They say, "Franciscan University is unlike any other school we know. The education they provide is excellent; academics are never second there. But, there is also so much more to the education the kids receive than just what they learn in the classroom. The peer pressure at Franciscan is just the opposite of the peer pressure on most campuses. It’s pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Catholic….The whole environment in which they live encourages them to grow in their faith. They come away from the school not just knowing their faith, but loving it."

    Central to the renewal of the Church

    Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, former archbishop of Denver and major penitentiary emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary, delivered the commencement address in spring of 2008. He proclaimed, "I am absolutely convinced, both in my experiences as archbishop of Denver and my experience as the president of the Pontifical Council of the Laity, that this university has been central to the reform and the renewal of the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council.”

    Living out the call to faithful citizenship

    Dr. Wanda Franz, president of the National Right-to-Life Committee praised, "The students, faculty, and staff of Franciscan University of Steubenville have distinguished themselves in living out the call to faithful citizenship. Your educational efforts in support of the pro-life cause inspire all who strive to defend the most powerless in our society, all who labor to build a culture of life."

    Leader in Catholic higher education

    Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, professor, and much loved spiritual writer, teacher, and psychologist, tells us, "For many years…Franciscan University has led the way in providing an authentically Catholic education. The students live and breathe their Catholicism, and they are one of the happiest student bodies I have seen in my life. The academic programs are also excellent. I know because a number of our brothers and sisters who are continuing their education had their initial college training at Franciscan."

    Trusted to water seeds of faith

    Brian and Maureen Cruess of Porterville, California, wanted their eldest, Sean, to attend Franciscan, but they had serious concerns about the affordability of a Franciscan education. But, “we felt confident that if God wanted Sean at Franciscan, the money would come." And come it did. Since then, all six of their children have attended Franciscan. 

    “Between University scholarships, grants, our contributions, and their summer jobs, none of them has had to take out a loan for their undergraduate education. But best of all, each one has grown closer to God." 

    They had been concerned about the negative impact college experiences can have on the practice of the faith. “We knew how frequently children stop practicing their faith during their college years, and we trusted Franciscan to water the seeds of faith we had planted. And it has never let us down.”

    They report of their second child, “Christine, who had struggled with some aspects of Catholicism, says Franciscan helped her choose the Catholic faith for herself, not just because we had brought her up Catholic. And Sean tells us the Church is now the foundation of his life."

    They end, “We are grateful to God for the blessing Franciscan University has been to our whole family.”

    Students take ownership of their faith

    Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ, has come to our campus numerous times over the last 30 years. He testifies, “The Christian spirit among the students is wondrous. The evident enthusiasm for their faith, which is manifested by the extraordinary numbers who attend daily Mass, Sunday Mass, and eucharistic adoration is a sign of the great Catholicism among them.”









Academically Excellent Passionately Catholic

1235 University Boulevard

Steubenville, Ohio 43952

(740) 283-3771


Franciscan University of Steubenville is no ordinary university, and a Franciscan education is no ordinary education. Rather, it's an education as rigorous and demanding as it is faithful--an education that challenges you intellectually, forms you professionally, and feeds you spiritually.


You can help Franciscan lead the way in providing a faithfully Catholic education!