About the Institute


The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development at Neumann University is rooted in the Catholic Franciscan tradition and believes that sport possesses an inescapable spiritual and ethical dimension that merits academic exploration and practical application.


The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, through the lens of athletics, transforms perspectives and inspires behavior that reflects an awareness to God’s presence in our lives.


The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development strives to emphasize the spiritual and ethical dimension in sports.  The Institute seeks to promote living out the Gospel values in a manner that enriches one’s relationship with self, others and God, and an awareness of the need to go beyond self in service to others.  Through research and practice, the Institute commits to offering opportunities for reflection and dialogue on the power of good inherent in sport.

Institute Core Values:

  • Respect
  • Balance
  • Reflection
  • Beauty
  • Play

Neumann University Core Values:

  • Reverence
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Excellence
  • Stewardship

How we serve our community

  • We organize, supervise, and train team chaplains to support the student-athletes and staff of the Neumann University Athletic Department.
  • We plan and facilitate 23 evenings of reflection and three seasonal commissioning masses for varsity and club athletes over the course of the academic year.
  • We train sports captains in leadership, communication, and team-building skills.
  • We serve as a source of education, counsel, and support for Neumann coaches in their work with student-athletes.
  • We produce practical resources for groups seeking to develop programming around sport, spirituality, and leadership (including reflection guides, training exercises, and team activity templates).
  • We offer programming for high school students, coaches, and administrators in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and other regional dioces.
  • We research and publish information on topic in sport, spirituality and character development, such as mission integration in athletics, storytelling in sports, spirituality and the Ignatian spiritual exercises.

The History of the Institute

Dr. Len DiPaul, Assistant Dean of Education and Human Services