Chapel of Our Lady of Grace

A University Focused on Serving

September 9, 2021

Briar Cliff University is a community committed to higher education with a liberal arts and Catholic perspective. In the Franciscan tradition of service, caring, and openness to all, Briar Cliff emphasizes quality education for its students, combining a broad intellectual background with career development.

The university promotes lifelong learning, preparing students to be ethical world changers. Students are encouraged to grow in self-awareness and in their relationship to others and to God. Students are invited to grow in faith through ongoing opportunities, supported by Campus Ministry and Jason Salisbury, Campus Minister. Priests from the surrounding parishes rotate celebrating mass with the Briar Cliff community, generously offering their time to ensure the sacraments remain at heart of the community.

“Catholic Franciscan values are the foundation of everything we do and believe here at Briar Cliff University,” shares Sr. Pat Doody, Vice President of Mission and Leadership. “Our goal is that every academic program and activity is centered on Building a Caring Community, Peacemaking, Reverencing Creation, and Connecting with Joyful Service. These are the values that express our Catholic Franciscan mission.”

Founded in 1930 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Briar Cliff continues to be rooted in a mission of education that is now 91 years old. “I am proud to serve the university as one of the Sisters of St. Francis and to foster an ongoing connection between Briar Cliff and the sisters, who continue to love, support, and pray for Briar Cliff,” adds Doody. “Briar Cliff remains as strong today as the day we were founded. I am privileged to promote our mission and walk in faith with the Briar Cliff community.”

Every academic year, the university focuses on one Franciscan value, allowing for every Franciscan value to be highlighted during a four-year education. The 2021-2022 value is Reverencing Creation.

“Every year, I reflect on how our values match Briar Cliff’s and the world’s needs. By reverencing creation, we see all life as sacred and relate to all of creation with a sense of awe. We are honoring the goodness of God’s presence in creation and strive to live in harmony. We encourage conservation and preservation of our natural resources,” reflects Doody. “This value will inspire our teaching, our activities, and our service throughout this year. Our goal is for our community to embody all of our values – positively impacting others, especially the underserved and disadvantaged.”

In alignment with the university mission and values, Briar Cliff also places a great emphasis on service. Over 10,000 of hours are volunteered each year by BCU Chargers in the Siouxland community. Volunteering to serve others helps students expand their knowledge and understanding with a greater sense of how sharing their gifts can improve the lives of others.

All students are required to do 20 hours of service per year during their undergraduate experience. These opportunities are often embedded in the curriculum or within activities across campus. For students who go beyond this requirement, an opportunity to obtain a service honor cord at commencement is offered.

“Service allows us to put our faith in action. This is where we truly see the transformation of not only academic excellence – but also making a difference. Where our students become ethical world changers,” shares Doody.

Briar Cliff University will also once again welcome the Siouxland community to Sunday 7 PM Mass. Visit for updated times and information related to COVID-19.