Saint Leo University, Florida, anyone have info?


granddaughter is visiting this school and has applied, the website is rather vague, and calls it Florida’s oldest Catholic college, founded by Benedictines, and promises “values based education” but nothing on the website says “Catholic identity.” I would welcome feedback from Floridians or anyone else with knowledge of this school. thanks. not that my granddaughter (or her mother) will pay any attention to what I have to say, but I would like to know more.


I live here, but don’t know much about that school. Ave Maria University is supposed to be outstanding, as well…wish I could be of more help. Maybe also mention Ave Maria–it is avidly mentioned on Relevant Radio quite a bit, as well.


I don’t know if this is important or not, but St. Leo’s is accrediated and Ave Maria is not yet accrediated. I know for me that would be important since it shows the school meets certain standards.


oh, I did not know that. Yes that is something to be concerned with, indeed.


throughout our history, Saint Leo has provided a solid liberal arts education grounded and based on the 1,500-year-old tradition of Benedictine values. By reaching out to students both near and far, Saint Leo lives up to its mission to be “a leading Catholic teaching university of international consequence for the twenty-first century.'
Seems they emphasis the benedictine values.


I live about a half hour away and know a lot about it- that’s partly why I chose not to go there. :wink: St. Leo is a great education; don’t get me wrong. You will be hard pressed to find fault with the academic programs offered there, especially in regards to education and computer sciences. Theology, however, is a bit lacking. The school itself tends toward the liberal side (this coming from an “out and proud” liberal :smiley: ) When I considered the cost of attending based on the Catholic label, I couldn’t justify spending the money when I would get the same thing at a public university. Friends and colleagues that have gone there (including several religious) have enjoyed it a lot, but in spite of rather than because of the theology involved. As a side note I would avoid Ave Maria like the plague until they get their accredidation sorted. Otherwise the degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.


I also read the blurb about Benedictine values, but the faculty list does not show any Benedictines, nor is the president a religious or priest. there seems to be an abbey connected with it, but the tie in with the school is vague, and there is nothing on the website re student life that indicates any specific “Catholic” elements.

there is no theology dept. or degree, only a religion major, with very basice courses, and 4 profs, all identified as Drs., no religious order initials or indication any are ordained. since there are no theology profs per se I assume it is useless to ask if they have signed a mandatum

GD visited and likes it but since she is not really communicating about it to me, I don’t know what she likes, although I suspect she will have a chance to play her sports there and get sports scholarships.


I attended Saint Leo, and wouldn’t necessarily consider it liberal. It’s a great institution with, as stated on the website, a strong basis in the Bendictine values and the Catholic faith. The wonderful aspect of the school is that all are welcome, so regardless of your background you gain exposure to people from different cultural, socioeconomic, religious, spiritual, etc backgrounds…which is a great preparation for students for the “real world” and the work force. All of this is done while emphasizing the Catholic values of the school on a daily basis. All students, faculty and staff are expected to abide by those values statements, and I believe all try to do so to the best of their abilities. One doesn’t have to be Catholic to appreciate the values and be touched by them daily (I, myself, am not Catholic - and consider myself to be quite liberal), and I know that many of my Catholic friends at the school found themselves connecting much more with their religion and were stronger in their faith upon graduation.


thanks this is what I was looking for.


One more note for you since you mentioned your granddaughter was a student-athlete. I was a student-athlete at Saint Leo, and it’s a great place to be a student-athlete…the leadership in the department is great, and the coaches actually care. I graduated 7 1/2 years ago…and have watched the growth and dedication to athletics with great pride. My own experience was one I wouldn’t trade for anything…encourage your granddaughter to continue with sports in college, being a collegiate student-athlete is an experience she will never forget.


Annie, I know nothing about St. Leo’s, but a really excellent Benedictine college is Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC.


GD is not interested in a good Catholic college, I think she is attracted by the weather and the sports, but if she is making a bad choice I want to at least warn her parents, who are not really equipped to help her in this particular area


My husband and I are both SLU students. It would not be a bad choice should she choose to attend.

There is a lot of information on the history of the University to be found via the internet. Do some research for yourself; I do not think you will be disappointed. :slight_smile:


I did a search and have read a ton of stuff, but as I said, except for a couple of blurbs on the Benedictines there, nothing came up specifically on student life vis a vis Catholic values, and the course catalog, very sparing on religion (no theology) courses, which is the basis of my inquiry. Is the college Catholic in name only, or Catholic in practice and attitude of the administration, faculty and students. I really appreciate you students and alum who responded, that helps better than anything. DD and GD did visit the campus but they were not looking from my perspective (Catholic values) but from theirs (academics and sports).


Is there a problem with that? (bolded part)
Is your GD looking to study theology?

I have a child that will be entering college (God willing) in 1.5 years. We have looked at “Catholic” colleges but they hold no interest for him either because they do not have the sport he wants to play or academically they do not offer the major(s) he wants. While I would love him to attend a Catholic College I now know more than likely he will not.


as I said several times, my foster daughter and granddaughter do not share my concerns, but DD has indicated they are willing to spend more for a Catholic college, all things being equal, as they have done for 12 years of her Catholic schooling thus far. That being the case, I would like to be in a position to assure them that the money will be well spent, rather than fearing an expensive college, Catholic in name only, will actually be a threat to her faith (such as it is at her age). Since theology courses, and mandatum for theology profs, is one benchmark for orthodoxy in other areas (only one, but an important one) that is something I would look at. had they not both asked for my input I would not have asked the question in the first place. as it stands I am mildly surprised that a Catholic university (not college) does not offer either a theology or philosophy major, and only a few standard religion courses, and no courses billed as “theology”.


I was confused by your posts then. I was not aware of this history.


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