Living Saint Augustine’s Lessons

As an Augustinian University, Villanova takes great prides in its efforts to live out the values of Saint Augustine. As a bishop from Africa, Augustine’s life transitioned from one based on material satisfactions to one devoted to opportunity and faith in God. As one of two Augustinian institutions of higher education in the nation, Villanova strives to maintain a positive appearance as both an Augustinian and Catholic university.

No matter what religion you practice, Saint Augustine’s values are applicable to every student, employee, and family member of our great university. While we read his work in the classroom, or discuss his ideas at our masses, the legacy of Saint Augustine does not solely exist on paper. The discussions taking place inside and outside of class allow for the ideas of Augustine to be seen anywhere on campus. In honor of Saint Augustine’s birthday on Sunday, November 13, we’ll explore the lessons of the man that not only shaped our university, but continues to influence us today.

The-confessions.jpgThe world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

While Villanova University has an incredible campus and community, students can study abroad during the Spring, Fall, or even Summer! Spend the summer exploring countries like Ireland, France, or Greece. See your Italian textbook come to life as you practice the language while interning with the Vatican. Join students from other universities to explore countries in Asia, South America, Australia and Europe or spend a week volunteering in nations like Nicaragua. At Villanova, studying abroad is seen as the opportunity to explore, build confidence, and grow not only as a student but also as an individual.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.

Villanova is a Catholic university, but the faith students have is not solely religious. Students of all different religion in cultures have faith in one another. They have faith in the families that support them miles away from home. They believe in the sense of community that encourages them to work hard and have fun. They believe that our men’s basketball team can win it all (and they did!) And while students truly believe in the community of the Nova Nation, each individual is encouraged to work hard and pave their own path. Students are hardworking and determined to succeed, and our university only admires those who are ready and responsible to take on new opportunities as often and as successfully as they can.

Love, and do what you like.

At Villanova University, students LOVE to be involved. Whether you play sports, join a sorority or fraternity, give tours to prospective students, perform on stage, or work toward a specific career, students have endless opportunities to be involved at Villanova. Students thrive inside and outside of the classroom, making friends that can last a lifetime. Our activities fair every Fall allows for students, new and old, to make time outside of the library just as, if not more, valuable. Joining a club or organization on campus helps students realize what it truly means to be a part of the Villanova community.

In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty.

Students and faculty at Villanova University are determined to make our university the best that it can be.  We do not do it for the press releases, the Bookstore apparel, or the extremely generous donations. We support our university because we believe it, along with our Augustinian identity, molds students, employees, and loved ones into better people, both intellectually and socially. As a student at Villanova, I am proud to tell people where I go to school, but I never expect to be congratulated on my GPA or my school’s new construction project. I’m proud to be a Villanova simply because I believe it has shaped me into a stronger individual with values like leadership, community, and determination.

Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.

As a prestigious university, Villanova encourages students to challenge themselves academically. No matter what your major, classes like our Augustine Cultural Seminar, Philosophy, Ethics, and Theology teaches students to ask the difficult questions. Who am I? What can I know? What do Christians believe? How should I live? While these questions seem intense, students at Villanova develop the skills retolle lege.jpgquired to tackle obstacles like these. Students have endless potential to succeed, and Villanova’s unique core curriculum builds this potential. In doing so, students become more adaptable to changing situations, more skilled in a variety of areas, and more prepared for life outside of the classroom. Our Augustinian values advise students to take advantage of our opportunities, to “tolle legge,” or “pick it up and read,” opening the eyes of students to interesting new topics and discussions that are introduced in the classroom but lead to real-world conversations.

The soul, which is spirit, can not dwell in dust; it is carried along to dwell in the blood.

As mentioned before, the Nova Nation is unique from every other university. Our Augustinian foundation, our core curriculum, our campus activities, and our opportunities abroad are only pieces of the puzzle that create the overwhelming sense of community at Villanova. Villanova thrives on its ability to make connections on and off campus, with family members, alumni, and prospective students as well! The spirit of the Nova Nation runs through the blood of each and every one of us, and it is with this running that motivates each student and employee to continue thriving. When you become something greater than yourself, you realize how special and contributive you can be as an individual. At Villanova, every student makes a difference. Unlike larger universities, students are motivated to be themselves, and use their unique skills and talents to spread the word and make a real difference at Villanova.

As an Augustinian university, Villanova wants students to develop their talents, seize every opportunity given, and ultimately use academics and activities to become better people. Villanova University encourages adults, students, and prospective students to do what you love, study hard, and ultimately live the life you’ve always wanted. Like Augustine, faith, regardless of religion, drives us to live well and we hope that with the guidance of Saint Augustine and Villanova University, you all will too.

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