Faith & Spirituality

A strong value system is the heartbeat of Saint Leo.

As a Catholic liberal arts university rooted in centuries-old Benedictine values, our community is open and warm-hearted. We nurture relationship-building, respect and joy—regardless of your spiritual background.

We thrive in bringing together students, faculty and staff from all paths of life. We connect Saint Leo students to churches of various denominations in surrounding communities, and even help arrange transportation for Sunday worship. We host a Passover Seder, where Jewish students share the blessings of freedom. We invite all to enjoy our Christmas pageant, complete with caroling and a manger. We provide space for our Muslim students to practice the five daily prayers, and keep the doors to our intimate St. Jude's Chapel open for quiet contemplation whenever you need.

Learn more about our history and Catholic roots.

A Living-Learning-Serving Community

Our humility and integrity extend beyond our chapel and classroom walls, and into our daily life. Service is the core of Saint Leo—kickball with the Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish fundraisers, an educational partnership with migrant workers in area farms, alternative spring breaks to Haiti, Costa Rica, Alaska and a horse farm in upstate New York.

And no matter what major you choose, all Saint Leo students take three electives in religion and philosophy. We've got tons of options. Spend one semester exploring the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Next, open yourself to Eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, or get hands-on in a youth ministry class. You may even find yourself investigating "the mystery of existence" via The Matrix and Bladerunner in Philosophy 101. Popcorn optional.

University Ministry & Peer Ministry

If you're looking to express and live your Catholic faith, start with University Ministry, located in deChantal Hall. At Saint Leo, nothing is forced, nothing is required. But once you see the Ministry's full schedule of eucharistic adoration, Sunday and weekday mass, confession, taize, speakers, workshops, retreats and community service opportunities, you might find it hard to resist.

University Ministry provides students with opportunities through:

  • Voices of Christ: Student choir and band
  • Drama Ministry: Share and develop drama skills in faith-based plays and skits
  • E-Ministry: Use technology and media to enhance Sunday worship and other University Ministry events
  • Imago Dei: Pro-life group
  • Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA): A scripture- and community-based process of learning more about the Catholic faith and practice

The mind-body-spirit connection continues with our unique Student Minister Program. Peer ministers are students just like you, selected and trained to serve as spiritual partners. Peer ministers work hand-in-hand with resident assistants to support and guide students on issues from homesickness to emotional health. We've got your back, and know you've got ours.

Saint Leo Abbey

Saint Leo University was founded by monks in 1889, and the Abbey is still active today. Yes, that's the church next to the library (it's magnificent, isn't it?). Yes, you can talk spirituality and social justice with the Sisters and the Brothers. Yes, you can sip lemonade with the nuns, feed the monastery's cats, and get your Ford fixed at the monks' professional mechanic shop (no joke).

But this isn't high school where mass is mandatory—Catholicism is a gift we share, not an ideology we impose. This is college, where students discover their spiritual path on their terms—whether in the community of friends, walking the shores of the lake or enjoying any number of spots on campus that invite quiet reflection.