Mr. José Luis Mendoza Pérez. President of the San Antonio University Foundation
In response to the words of His Holiness Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Constitution "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" of 15 August 1990, which reminds the bishops of their responsibility to promote Catholic Universities and being aware of the importance of the presence of Christians in the current academic and cultural world, especially as we face the Third Millennium, the initiative of the San Antonio University Foundation to promote the creation and operation of UCAM in Murcia is launched.
In response to this call of the Church, the first Catholic University was born, promoted, and founded by lay people, approved by the Diocesan Bishop, and canonically erected in accordance with article 3.3. of the Apostolic Constitution of the Holy Father. The Universidad Católica San Antonio (UCAM) aims to institutionally guarantee the presence of Christians with a teaching and evangelising vocation in our current academic, scientific and cultural world. Our desire is to provide a valid instrument which provides a response through Faith to the great problems and questions of contemporary society, deeply rooted in Christianity, thereby contributing to the cultural, social, and human development and progress.
It also aims to collaborate with the Church, holder of the Truth revealed by Jesus Christ, in its evangelising mission through the proclamation of the Glad Tidings, leading humans towards real freedom.
The principles of the Catholic University are governed by fidelity and adherence to the principles of the Gospel and the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, honouring a commitment of fidelity and loyalty to His Holiness the Pope, especially in matters of Faith and Morals. All while maintaining a great understanding with the Bishop of the Diocese where its activity is carried out and in the context of the noble human effort to research, discover the Truth and spread lifestyles and attitudes of service through the transfer of knowledge and wisdom.
As an essential part of its identity, UCAM has acquired an unwavering commitment to quality, both for the educational centre as a whole and for the teachers, administration and services staff and governing bodies in particular, for which UCAM has developed a quality management system applied to teaching, research, and services. This system guarantees both the excellence of professional work and the improvement of human relations between all members of the academic community in order to make more effective and in-depth educational and research work.
In order to effectively meet the demands of our social and business environment, UCAM offers a wide range of first, second and third cycle Official Degrees, paying special attention to its UCAM-specific Degrees and to Professional Specialisation Schools in order to improve the qualifications of university graduates, adapting them to new technologies and to the changes of the society of information and communication. In this respect, we work closely with different local and national professional associations and with the business world.
One of UCAM’s essential characteristics is its teaching methodology, based on personalised teaching in small groups, which allows for an effective teacher/student relationship, continuous evaluation of performance, as well as specific assessment of the work carried out by the student and teamwork. This system encourages class attendance and allows for better academic and personal monitoring, paying special attention to the student through tutorials and special support classes if necessary.
Internships in companies are also an important part of the university and, above all, appropriate preparation for professional life. We help young university students to successfully face their responsibilities in the world of work and society, both from a professional, ethical, and moral point of view.
The promotion and development of both individual and interdisciplinary research is another of UCAM's main objectives. Research is a core aspect of the University's teaching staff. All activities of the University shall be linked and harmonised with the Church’s evangelising mission. For this reason, research must be respectful of the Magisterium and the Creed of the Catholic Church and be directed towards the integration of knowledge, taking care of the relationship between Faith and reason, with special involvement of ethical and moral values and with the invaluable perspective of theology.
We intend to especially promote theological and philosophical research, creating a focus of Christian culture and ideology which helps to answer the enigmas and mysteries of human existence, as well as to discover the transcendent meaning of life from the perspective of Faith.
For this purpose, we give special relevance to the areas of anthropology, theology, social teaching, ethics, philosophy and humanities, which we hope to develop in breadth and depth.
Finally, and as the main reason for the birth of UCAM, we consider evangelisation at the University to be of particular importance. This task is preferentially conducted by the chaplaincy and through the Human and Religious Sciences Department, which promotes pastoral care and the strengthening of the Christian and moral values of all members of the academic community.
As a corollary to this presentation, I sincerely hope that God will grant His generous grace and blessing to all the people who are part of the UCAM academic community, and to all those who support us with their invaluable help and prayers so that the Universidad Católica San Antonio, under the protection of the Virgin Mary, becomes an important focus of faith and culture, offering a true Christian, human and professional training and facilitating the communion with the risen Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.