Duquesne University

Educating the mind, heart, and spirit

From its humble beginnings in 1878 to its prestigious place today among America’s top-rated universities, the Spiritans established Duquesne as a university where students from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn.

By encouraging students, faculty, and staff to see their work as part of a larger effort to serve the common good and explore the various ways in which faith and service lie at the heart of a Duquesne education, the Spiritan mission of the University is realized and enhanced.

The Center for Spiritan Studies

The Center for Spiritan Studies was founded at Duquesne in 2005 as a collaborative venture with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. The Center’s objective is to advance research on Spiritan history and spirituality. Findings are disseminated throughout the Congregation, the University, and the public to keep the Spiritan tradition alive and current.

The Center for Spiritan Studies endeavors to achieve the following goals:

  • Promote Spiritan spirituality in the contemporary world
  • Encourage the enculturation of the Spiritan charism
  • Grow the Spiritan mission in Africa and Latin America
  • Prepare a new generation of Congregational experts in Spiritan history and spirituality
  • Develop publications and other materials to train Spiritans and Spiritan Lay Associates
  • Organize classes and workshops [link to 6.1 Classes and Workshops] to ensure the continuity of the Spiritan ethos in educational institutions founded by Spiritans and operated today in partnership with lay people

The Center’s resources and programs include:

  • Online resources in the Spiritan Collection and library resources at the Ed Supple Room of the Gumberg Library at Duquesne University
  • The journal, Spiritan Horizons, published annually
  • The Spiritan Studies Scholar-in-Residence Program for professors and other academics who wish to research the Spiritan Tradition
  • A year in Spiritan studies for Spiritan formators and others who wish to pursue graduate degrees in theology at Duquesne University
  • A University Core Curriculum course in Spiritan Studies

“Mission should energize the whole institution,” said Chris Promis, CSSp., former Director of the Spiritan Center. “Everybody should see their place in the Spiritan mission…as they feel it and can commit to it and make it active.”
Based on the values of Spiritan founders Claude des Places and Francis Libermann, Duquesne recognizes that the Holy Spirit is active in all of us.


Discernment at Duquesne University – The Gift of the Church


Mission into Action

The Spiritan legacy of education, service, and openness of mind, heart, and spirit is alive at Duquesne. “It is our flagship ministry,” says Jim McCloskey, CSSp, former Vice President of Mission and Identity.

The Spiritan founders believed in the value of human diversity. Duquesne has a tradition of embracing many different races, religions, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic backgrounds in its students, faculty, and staff.

This ministry not only provides a strong foundation of spiritual values that influences an entire community, it energizes individual students.

“The Spiritans are a giant family,” says Patrick Hearnes, a sophomore at Duquesne. “They are down to earth and willing to help, serve, do whatever they can for others.”

“They are very liberal and open-minded. They work on the fringes and are not afraid to get their hands dirty,” says Steven Buettler, a senior at Duquesne.

Sixty percent of students are heavily involved in community service. Campus ministry, the Duquesne University Volunteers, and other organizations bring students into the local and global community. From working in downtown Pittsburgh to trips to Florida, Central America, and Africa, Duquesne students are learning what it means to give their time, minds, and spirit to those in need.


Duquesne Neighborhood Spring Cleanup 2015

Sponsored by Duquesne University Campus Ministry, in collaboration with on campus and community partners.
Spring Cleanup helps to strengthen Duquesne’s long standing relationship with the local community.


Excellence in Education

Duquesne University was recently named one of the top ten Catholic universities in America. The university today comprises ten schools of study that serve more than ten thousand students. It distributes $30 million dollars in financial aid to students each year and prides itself on the excellence and accessibility of a Duquesne education.

At Duquesne, God is at the center of the university’s stated mission:

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a Catholic University, founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritans, and sustained through a partnership of laity and religious. Duquesne serves God by serving students—through commitment to excellence in liberal and professional education, through profound concern for moral and spiritual values, through the maintenance of an ecumenical atmosphere open to diversity, and through service to the Church, the community, the nation, and the world.