DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > School of Public Service > About > Our Mission

Our Mission

​​We educate women and men to be effective public service leaders in the global community guided by the values of St. Vincent de Paul.

In the tradition of St. Vincent de Paul, our first responsibility is to our students and graduates and all who benefit from or are served by them—their clients, coworkers and citizens in our urban and international society.

  • ​​The Vincentian Character of DePaul University
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Public Service and St. Vincent
  • Program Benefits

​​The Vincentian Character of DePaul University

​​The Vincentian Character of DePaul University

DePaul, a Catholic, Vincentian, and urban university, takes its name from St. Vincent DePaul. The religious community founded by St. Vincent, commonly known as “Vincentians,” established the university and endowed it with a distinctive spirit; to foster in higher education a deep respect for the God-given dignity of all persons, especially the materially, culturally, and spiritually deprived, and to instill in educated persons a dedication to the service of others. The women and men of DePaul have retained this spirit as a highly valued heritage and a vital influence in every succeeding generation of the university’s development.​

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), for whom the university is named, lived in seventeenth century France. He was a compassionate and deeply spiritual priest who dedicated his life to serving the poor. He founded the Congregation of the Mission, commonly known as the Vincentians. This is the Roman Catholic religious community that established and continues to sponsor DePaul University. Vincent brought together and inspired groups of like-minded women and men to join him in addressing the needs of the poor and the reasons for their poverty and marginalization.

Vincent was also a man of wisdom who believed in the power of education to transform the world for the better. He believed in the sacredness of life, and the God-given dignity and inestimable value of each human person.  He is aptly known as the “Apostle of Charity.”​

Public Service and St. Vincent

Public Service and St. Vincent

We respect the dignity and recognize the merit of each person as we work in partnership to build a multiracial, multicultural and international community among us. Our first priority is that each student acquires the knowledge, skills and values required to manage organizations in the public sector.

We promote effective management of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, associations and other institutions serving the public interest. Our efforts incorporate the analysis and development of sound public policies and practices that further social equity in the delivery of affordable, quality services to all, but especially to those in need.

We dedicate ourselves to excellence in our teaching, which is informed by scholarly research and enlightened social concern. We will accomplish our mission when we believe what we teach and practice what we believe.​

Program Benefits

Program Benefits

Some students call our degrees the MBA with a conscience or the MBA for the nonprofit and government sectors. In addition to getting a broad-based education that prepares students for professional success, our students benefit from the specialized design of our course offerings and  global focus.

Perspective: By learning each other’s “businesses” — students pursuing careers in nonprofit and government take core classes together to ensure our graduates understand management strategies from many different points of view. Our diverse perspective allows student to be  highly effective in their work , as well as highly aware of domestic and international issues. Most of our students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad — our programs offer courses in Belgium,  India, Ireland, and Brazil in addition to domestic learning opportunities — greatly enhancing their appreciation of  approaches and issues on a domestic and international scale.

Personal preferences: At the same time, students have a wealth of choice in their programs — we offer six different graduate degrees and a selection of nearly 60 elective classes, this flexibility gives our graduates deep and strong credentials in their specific areas of interest. Students can take classes full-time or part-time, continuously or intermittently, in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Even our classes abroad are designed to be available to working adults: most classes are held in the summer; all last for one, intensive week.

Practical knowledge and experience: Students can develop specialized qualifications through a thesis or practicum research, either of which can be based on an organizational or public policy issue. We also offer students hundreds of opportunities for meaningful experience in the field, not just as interns and volunteers but also through two DePaul-sponsored organizations: The Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning, which was founded to integrate the service concept into the university's curricula, and The Chaddick Institute, which advances the principles of effective infrastructure, land use, zoning, and transportation.

Passionate teachers and mentors: Our faculty care about teaching and about each student’s progress, inside the classroom and outside in the real world. The school’s alumni — leading practitioners from Chicago's civic, social, cultural, and governmental agencies — provide unmatched internship and volunteer opportunities to our students.  You can read more about our faculty here.​