Strategic Planning

Strategic Priorities


Since our founding in 1881 by the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the University of the Incarnate Word, a private co-educational Catholic university based in San Antonio, Texas, has grown in size, influence, reputation, financial resources, international impact, and complexity.

School of Distinction

Presently, the University of the Incarnate Word is a far-reaching, innovative, and thriving Catholic institution of higher education with the longest legacy of any institution in the United States founded by women religious. The university’s distinctiveness arises from the quality and diversity of its students and faculty, a sustained commitment to its founding mission, and a 135-year record of advancing human dignity and inspiring social change across professions, cultures, and borders.

San Antonio and South Texas

The University of the Incarnate Word has grown to be the largest Catholic university in Texas and the fourth largest private university in the state. The university offers over 90 undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations, and over 20 graduate and doctoral programs, delivered in traditional classroom environments, online format, and blended classes. Since 2007, the University of the Incarnate Word has added doctoral and professional degrees in education, pharmacy, optometry, nursing practice, physical therapy, and business administration. In 2017, the university added a School of Osteopathic Medicine with an inaugural class of 162 students. The university actively promotes the education, service, health and wellness of San Antonio and South Texas communities through service learning and internships by students enrolled in the university’s traditional academic programs and its five Health Profession Schools.

Global Impact

The University of the Incarnate Word influences students and communities across the globe through its multi-national and multi-cultural affiliations including:

  •  A long-standing academic commitment in Mexico that includes two universities, namely, Universidad Incarnate Word, Bajío Campus in Irapuato, Guanajuato, and Centro Universitario Incarnate Word in Mexico City, offering dual academic degrees and programs, as well as leadership formation in accordance with Gospel values.

  •  Study abroad opportunities with more than 140 universities in over 40 countries.

  •  Global Study Center in Strasbourg, France.

  •  Affiliated systems of elementary and secondary schools in the United States and Mexico.

  •  The School of Professional Studies, which offers domestic and international classroom and online education as a premier institution for the military and international communities.

Across the university’s global and academic spectrum, employees and students live out a deep commitment to academic excellence and a firm conviction that the university and its affiliates inspire students to live according to Gospel values, which are concretely expressed in Catholic social teaching’s concern for the most vulnerable and the promotion of dignity for all.

Vision for a New Century

Moving forward, the University of the Incarnate Word seeks to be an exemplary Catholic university that delivers robust undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in various areas of study, to diverse and multicultural communities in more than one country, as it integrates and serves these varied traditions, cultures, and identities.

Further, the University of the Incarnate Word seeks to distinguish itself as a premier institution of higher education that promotes transformational education across its curricula for all generations of students. It provides support so that every student, regardless of circumstance, may graduate with minimal debt. Ultimately, the University of the Incarnate Word will empower its students to become agents of multi- generational change: facilitating genuine progress; creating a just world; working to eliminate health disparities; and creating better economic opportunities for themselves, their families and communities.

Funding the Mission

Meeting such commitments demands that the University of the Incarnate Word secure abundant resources and attract students, faculty, partners, and donors who understand and support the university’s mission.

In order to achieve these lofty goals and thrive, the University of the Incarnate Word must re-emphasize its mission, especially as expressed in its founding story. In doing this, the university will show prospective students, faculty, partners, alumni, donors, and their respective families the meaningful role of that legacy in their lives and careers and in the well-being of their families and communities.

Ultimately, the following truth must be stated again and again: not only has the University of the Incarnate Word’s mission inspired and transformed lives for well over a century, it also has the transformative power to improve our present and propel us into a better future.

University Strategic Priorities

Mindful of its tradition and mission, strengths and challenges, and especially of its future opportunities, the University of the Incarnate Word will focus on these eight Strategic Priorities in the coming decade.

Dated: January 14, 2019

Strategic plan implementation map showing priorities and processes in flow chart form.