Office of Mission and Rector

Rudy Vela, S.M., D.Min.
Vice President for Mission and Rector

Father Rudy Vela teaches a class at St. Mary's UniversityRudy Vela, S.M., D.Min., is a Marianist priest with his doctorate concentration in Cross-Cultural Ministries from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He has been a teacher, lecturer, facilitator and pastor, as well as program director and faculty member at the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio.

Father Vela also holds a Masters in the Science of Administration (MSA) from University of Notre Dame, and a Masters of Divinity from St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. He has done post-graduate studies in Missiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Liturgy at San Anselmo, the Pontifical for Liturgical Studies in Rome, Italy. Father Vela has also been a missionary in Lima, Peru. He is presently serving as Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University, in San Antonio. He now serves as the Director for St. Mary’s University’s Spain Study Abroad Program at La Universidad de Alcala, Colegio de los Trinitarios, Instituto Universitario de Investigacion en Estudios Norteamericanos (IUIEN) were he taught during the spring semesters of 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Appointments at St. Mary’s University include the President’s Peace Commission and Strategic Initiatives in International Education Committee. Father Vela is also a member of the facilitation team for FORMISSION, a program sponsored by the National Religious Formation Conference (RFC).

What is a Marianist Education?

The General Chapter of the Society of Mary held in Rome, 1996 saw the presentation of the document titled Characteristics of Marianist Education, as a result of the research and reflection by the international team on Marianist education set up by the General Administration earlier in the decade. After extensive interviews and information compiled from Marianist educational works in over 20 countries around the world, the international team identified and reaffirmed five elements that characterize the Marianist approach to education:

Educate for formation in faith

Provide an integral quality education

Educate in the family spirit

Educate for service, justice and peace

Educate for adaptation and change

Drawing from this unique model, members of the faculty and staff of all three Marianist universities (Chaminade University, St. Mary’s University and the University of Dayton) developed a resource paper to describe how these characteristics are lived out at the university level.  The following paper was published in 1999 and serves as a crucial document to guide all people involved in higher education in the Marianist tradition:

Characteristics of Marianist Universities – Resource Paper (Re-published by the Association of Marianist Universities, 2006)