The university derives its title and fundamental mission from St. Vincent de Paul, the founder of the Congregation of the Mission, a Catholic society of apostolic life whose members, Vincentians, established and continue to sponsor DePaul.  Motivated by the examples of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, who instilled a love of God by leading their contemporaries to serve urgent human needs, the DePaul community believes our mission as an educational institution is to foster integral human development, social mobility, and social transformation.

Guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism​, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. Through education and research, the university addresses the great questions of our day, promoting peaceful, just, and equitable solutions to social and environmental challenges. Since its founding in 1898, DePaul University has remained dedicated to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities.