Holy Spirit University of Kaslik

Coordinates: 33°58′55″N 35°37′08″E / 33.98194°N 35.61889°E / 33.98194; 35.61889
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Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
جامعة الروح القدس – الكسليك
MottoWhen the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the whole truth
Established1938 (1938)
PresidentReverend Father Talal Hachem
Vice-presidentReverend Father Elias Hanna
Students6253 (Fall 2020–2021)
CampusSuburban 12 acres (49,000 m2)

The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK; Arabic: جامعة الرّوح القدس – الكسليك, Jāmiʿah al-Rūḥ al-Quddus – al-Kaslīk) is a private, non-profit, Catholic university in Jounieh, Lebanon. The university was founded in 1950 and ratified under the new Higher Education Law of 1962. USEK is the first university in Lebanon to be established by Lebanese citizens.

The university began as a one-building scholasticate founded by the Lebanese Maronite Order (OLM) in 1938 before expanding in 1950 to include new buildings leading to the current purpose-built twelve acres (49,000 m2) campus at the same site. The campus buildings for six schools and one faculty, a nursing institute, a center for learning and teaching, a center for continuing education, an infirmary, administration offices, library, amphitheater, archeological museum, sports center, bookshop, female dorms, and guest house which are arranged around a central tree-lined walkway, connected to a central plaza and green spaces.

When USEK officially became a higher education institution in 1962, it already stood out as a liberal arts university, adding a new faculty or school every 5 to 10 years to include all the major academic fields - the arts, architecture, business, engineering, humanities, and sciences. Initially, these were taught primarily in French and Arabic until the university converted to the American Credit System in 1997, and since then almost all courses are taught in English.

USEK has rankings in three major league tables for the Near/Middle East. In 2021, it was ranked 2nd best university in Lebanon according to SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR). Also, in 2021 it was ranked 1st Green University in Lebanon for the 4th consecutive year, 3rd in the Arab World and 117th worldwide according to UI GreenMetric World University Ranking. In 2020 it ranked 30th in the Arab region according to QS Arab University Rankings and among the top 650 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings.

With a focus on comprehensive internationalization, the university has more than 250 international partnerships worldwide and is a member of around 150 international associations specialized in different fields. USEK was the only university outside the Americas to be part of the Internationalization Laboratory of the American Council of Education in the USA.

Along with seven other universities in Lebanon, it is a member of E-TALEB, an EU co-funded professional standards framework for excellence in Lebanese universities. The current president is Father Talal Hachem, since 2019.

Fun facts about the university

Religious treasures on campus include relics of Saint Charbel placed in the foundations of the original chapel in 1948, and Our Lady of Ilige, a 10th-century icon representing the Virgin Mary, the oldest Maronite icon, is conserved in the university archeological museum.

The USEK Library is home to one of the few surviving copies of the Book of Psalms, printed in 1610 on the first-ever printing press of the Levant region. This version is written in Garshouni, a script that Turkish rulers at the time could not understand.

Gibran Khalil Gibran, undoubtedly Lebanon’s most famous literary figure, features prominently at the University, which has restored hard copies of his works. As a show of gratitude, a license has been granted to keep digitalized copies of the complete collection for research purposes.

Lebanon’s iconic Martyrs’ memorial statue, which was damaged during the civil war in Beirut, was transported to USEK a few years after the end of hostilities to be restored by the university’s Sacred Art Department and local experts. It was returned to Downtown Beirut after its restoration.


The Lebanese Maronite Order monks (OLM) have been placing their values in education for over sixteen centuries.


Locally, whether in the meadows, under a tree or inside churches or monasteries, Maronite monks have been schooled from the 17th Century onwards, shaping and developing the Maronite identity and its values in knowledge, education, and humanity, passed on and upheld at USEK today. This early influence in Mount Lebanon and later in different parts of the world created the popular expression at that time “erudite like a Maronite.”

Key dates which culminated in establishing the university, the bedrock of the OLM’s educational mission.

1584 Pope Gregory XIII’s established the Maronite College in Rome which provided full scholarships to promising young Maronites who returned to Lebanon to educate their communities.

In 1624, the first Maronite seminary, the school of Hawqa, was founded in Mount Lebanon by returnees from Rome, and taught liturgy and theology, Arabic, Syriac, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Italian languages, in addition to logic and mathematics.

In 1706 the Maronite Order became officially known as the Lebanese Maronite Order (OLM).

In 1789, the educational mission of the OLM became much more inclusive. The Ain Warqa School ran for two hundred years. This school made education accessible to the wider community until it was closed in 1940.

The educational gap was strongly felt across the country and led the OLM to establish its scholasticate (a college-level school of general study for those preparing for membership in a Roman Catholic religious order) in 1938 in Kaslik, which was transformed into the university in 1950. It was one of the first educational establishments to be validated by the new education law in the Ministry of Education.


The purpose-built campus is located in Kaslik, Jounieh 19.7 km north of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

Kaslik Campus

The Kaslik site has been expanded and remodeled at regular intervals over the last 50 years. The north side of the campus has a view of the southern end of Mount Lebanon (بْنَان‎, Jabal Lubnān) and the west side the Mediterranean Sea and bay of Jounieh. The campus buildings are positioned around a tree-lined walkway. The walkway runs from south (main entrance) to north (Science Building) and is flanked by beautiful landscaped green spaces, specifically designed, to integrate social and teaching areas.

Key for Academic Units
Building AA Administration, AC Student Service, G Building D Business School, LTEC and UCLC
Administrative/technical offices Building E Agronomy
Buildings AB/AC Letters Building F Female residence ‘The Foyer’
Building AM School of Music and Performing Arts Building G Administrative and Technical Offices
Building B Sacred Arts, Theology, Liturgy, Law and Political and Social Sciences Building H Sciences
Building C Arts & Architecture Building I Sports Department and tennis courts

Buildings AA, G, and the lower floors of AC house the main administrative and technical offices.

Buildings AC, AB, AM, B, C, D, E, H, and I are for schools, faculty, and other educational units.

Building F - USEK is a mostly non-residential university except for a modest residence for female students, providing common living spaces, 24/7 on-site staff and security. It has one of the most distinctive interiors building on campus. Nautically themed, it resembles the inside of a ship, with portholes, a network of fixed gangplanks and a small chapel at the position of a control room.

Regional University Centers

The university opened its three regional university centers (RUCs) in 2000 and 2001 as part of its sense of duty to make education accessible across the country. The educational mission and objectives of the RUCs are the same as those of the University.

The three RUCs include:

RUC Chekka – located 65km north of Beirut - offers undergraduate courses from USEK Business School and the School of Law and Political Sciences.

RUC Rmeich – located 115 KM south of Beirut - offers an undergraduate program specializing in the field of business.

RUC Zahle - Located 55km east of Beirut - offers undergraduate programs across most core disciplines, including applied arts, architecture, agriculture, business and commercial sciences, engineering, fine arts, food sciences, humanities, law, philosophy, and sciences.

Other off-site campus buildings

The Medical School The latest expansion of the university was completed in 2018 with the official opening of the Francois Bassil Medical Building, an off-campus Medical School, which is located 24.5 km north of Kaslik in Hboub, Jbeil. To complement this, the University Hospital Center was created in partnership with Notre Dame de Secours hospital in Jbeil for USEK medical students to receive hands-on medical training.

Kaslik Library

The monasteries and seminaries of the Lebanese Maronite Order (OLM) have always had well-appointed libraries. In the 1980s and 1990s, generous donations to the university enabled the library to transform and develop its collection, and from 2000 onwards, in addition to newly acquired collections of print books and journals, the library updated its systems and increased its range of electronic resources.

Important Collections

The library has notable collections of rare books and incunabula of historical and cultural significance and are an invaluable research source. The libraries rare books and incunabula include works in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Syriac, and Garshuni. Special collections include approximately 2,000 manuscripts, handwritten in Syriac, Arabic, Latin, and Greek, covering theology, Islam, philosophy, Syriac and Arabic grammar, literature, astronomy, history, and more. Many of these manuscripts are translations from Latin to Garshuni (Arabic in Syriac letters), and some are unique, like OLM 263, which is claimed to be the oldest Maronite Syriac Liturgical textbook for the Palm Sunday Office of Readings, copied at Qozhaya Monastery in 1493. The newspapers and periodicals collections acquired by USEK since the opening of the library include titles of research and heritage importance include Al-Hoda, New Lebanese American Journal, Al-Muhajjer, AlHaqiqa, Al-Maarad and Al-Moktataf. Between 2015 and 2016, the library was extensively remodeled to accommodate the major cultural heritage centers of the university under its roof, including the Conservation and Restoration Center (CRC), the Digital Development Center (DDC), and the Phoenix Center for Lebanese Studies (PCLS).

The Conservation and Restoration Center

Established in 2002, the Conservation and Restoration Center manages the conservation and restoration of heritage collections including manuscripts, rare and valuable books, archives, maps, and photos to enable the library to make its collections accessible for research. The center also provides conservation and restoration services for the private collections of individuals, families, collectors, dioceses, municipalities, and universities.

The Digital Development Center

Between 2014 and 2015 DDC has been upgraded to the digitization of all library collections and rare materials and make them available to teachers, researchers, individuals in the USEK community, and visiting library users.

The Phoenix Center for Lebanese Studies

Home to a large archive of Lebanese heritage for researchers and students of cultural and scientific research. These archives represent the memory, history, originality, and identity of Lebanon, and include the major collections of key Lebanese historical, political, and literary figures in history such as Camille Chamoun, Fouad Chehab, Elias Sarkis, Bachir Gemayel, Lady Yvonne Sursock Cochrane, Adonis and Joseph Nehme, Wadih El Safi, Salah Tizani (Abou Salim), Maurice Gemayel, Youssef El Sawda, Kamal El Salibi, Gibran Khalil Gibran, Elias Abou Chabke, Bechara El Khoury (Al Akhtal as-Saghir).

The Museum

The library also oversees the Archeological Museum, which houses more than 4,000 archeological items, organized into collections going back to prehistoric times.

USEK Publications Office (PUSEK)

USEK Publications (PUSEK) is the university press responsible for publishing and archiving proceedings of colloquiums, symposiums and conferences organized at the University, as well as proceedings of archives and scientific magazines, scientific books, monographs, diplomatic archives of Lebanon and the Middle East region and manuscripts promoting the Lebanese and Maronite heritage.

PUSEK also edits, publishes and distributes hard copies and digital work of university researchers and research groups in all the major disciplinary fields: Letters, Human Sciences, Law, Business Sciences, Theology, Liturgy, Music, Medicine, Fine Arts, Sacred Art, and Agricultural Sciences.

SCOPUS and Open Access.

SCOPUS has indexed two university journals so far, and PUSEK is in the process of preparing its e-books for Open Access.

USEK Sustainability Office and the Green Committee

The university works on many internal levels to cultivate the mindset of sustainability within the community.

The establishment of the Office of Sustainability and academic and research centers in 2010, and the Green Committee in 2016 consolidated efforts between on-campus partners and built a robust and workable sustainability strategy to advance the environmental management of the institution, increase its environmental and social performance, and embed sustainable practice across the campus.

In 2017, the university launched its Material Recovery Facility (MRF), located next to the student parking, where collected recyclables are stored and dispatched to local eco-driven companies for safe disposal. The university’s recycling program complies with the LEED materials and resources requirement.

2018 the university committed to the UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and the UN Global Compact to help frame and guide its activities.

Sustainable Rankings - GreenMetric and Times Higher Education UN SDGs

Within a year of the creation of the Green Committee, USEK was ranked by GreenMetric World University Ranking 2017 as 1st Green University in Lebanon and among the 10 ‘Greenest’ Universities in the Arab World.

In 2019 - 1st Sustainable and Green University in Lebanon and 3rd Most Sustainable and Green University in the Arab World of that year.

In 2020 - 1st sustainable and Green University in Lebanon for the third consecutive year, and 4th most sustainable and Green University in the MENA Region

In 2021, USEK was ranked by UI GreenMetric Worldwide as 1st Green University in Lebanon for five consecutive years, 3rd in the Arab world and 117th worldwide.

In 2021 USEK ranked 1st, joint-1st and 2nd in Lebanon in the Times Higher Education Impact rankings for the UN SDGs, No Poverty, Reduced Inequalities and Affordable and Clean Energy.

Organization and Administration[edit]

Academic and Administrative Units

In 2019 the university reorganized its academic structure into six schools, one faculty, the USEK Continuing Learning Center (UCLC) and the Learning and Teaching Excellence center (LTEC).

Academic Accreditation

Date Accreditation Body
2021 - NECHE eligibility approval to proceed with an application for accreditation
2019-2024 The Association of Medical Education Programs Evaluation and Accreditation TEPDAD
2019 NAAB for Master of Architecture
2018 ABET Accreditation for two applied and natural sciences and the civil engineering programs.
2017-2022 evalag European Institutional Accreditation
2017 evalag accreditation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Programs
2016 ABET accreditation for nine Computing and Engineering programs.
Ongoing AACSB - Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Administrative Offices

The following various administrative and technical departments that exist outside of the six schools and one faculty include:

Admissions Office Legal Affairs Office
Advancement Office Library
Alumni Office Organizational Development
Architecture and Maintenance Office Press Office
Asher Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Proctoring Office
Career Services Office Public Relations Office
Campus Safety and Security Office Quality Assurance and Institutional Effectiveness Office
Communications and Events Office Registrar Office
Courier Service Relations with Public Administration Office
Editing Office Social Services Office
Green Committee Sports Service
Human Resources - Administrative and Technical Personnel Office Student Affairs Office
Human Resources Teaching Personnel Office
International Affairs Office University Chaplain Office
Internal Audit USEK Counseling Center
IT Office USEK Publications Office (PUSEK)


Accreditation Award Accreditation Body
2018-Present Matrix for Student Services


The university is governed by two main statutory bodies: the University Board of Trustees and The Academic and Research Council The University Council, chaired by the University President is the main governing body, consisting of deans and directors, along with representatives of staff and students. It is responsible for the proper management and financial solvency of the university, with major policy decisions and corporate strategy being subject to its approval. Decisions made by the University Council are communicated to the community every month. Academic and Research Council which oversees academic management and sets strategy and priorities, including curriculum and maintenance of standards and consists of dean and heads of departments, along with student reps.

Key leadership positions at the university:

  • The President
  • Vice-President
  • Vice-President for Community Life
  • Vice-President for Finance

Other appointed and elected group of individuals that have an influential role in the university:

  • The Board of Trustees
  • Student Representatives

Academic profile[edit]


In fall 2020-2021, USEK received 2056 individual applicants, out of which 1728 were accepted and 1467 were enrolled. An applicant can select up to three majors and each choice is considered as an application.

When the economic crisis hit Lebanon and the value of the lira went into free fall, USEK was one of the few universities to decide to keep the same rate of dollar/lira exchange and keep education affordable for applicants. Throughout the economic collapse in Lebanon, student enrollment at the university dropped by XX percent, one of the lowest decreases in student enrolment in the country.

To try and assist students further, the university increased its financial aid:

In 2020 - 25% of the total amount of tuition fees were covered by the financial aid compared to 16% in 2011

In Fall 2021

  • 1923 students benefitted from financial aid discount & 5500 students benefitted from different reduction types
  • 81 students benefited from sponsor donations
  • Student job applications were put on hold since spring 2020 due to COVID-19 measures

Reputation and Rankings

Most recent rankings
Year Ranking Ranking Body
2021 2nd best university in Lebanon SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR)
2021 1st Green University in Lebanon (for the 4th consecutive year) UI GreenMetric World University Ranking
2021 3rd Green University in the Arab World UI GreenMetric World University Ranking
2021 117th Green University Worldwide UI GreenMetric World University Ranking
2020 30th university in the Arab region QS Arab University Rankings
2020 In the top 650 universities in the world QS Arab University Rankings

International Agreements and Joint Program Agreements

USEK has 38 international general agreements 38, membership to 71 international organizations, and 124 cooperation agreements with foreign higher education institutions.

Joint program agreements include:
Program Name Double Diploma / collaboration
Executive Master of Business Administration ESSCA
Master of Business Administration - Human Resources Université Pantheon-ASSAS Paris II
Master of Business Administration - Management and International Affairs HEC MONTREAL
Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Cyberdefence UBS
Master of Science in Communications Engineering Université de Bordeaux
Master’s in Business Law Université de Poitiers


USEK’s Higher Center for Research (HCR) defines and promotes the University research policy and has partnerships with academic and non-academic institutions nationally and internationally. The six major research units include:

  • RU1 Health Sciences and Technologies.
  • RU2 Patrimony: heritage and memory. | Identity, Diversity and Ethics.
  • RU3 Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT) & Dynamic Data Analysis. | Advancing Information and Communication Technologies.
  • RU4 Sustainable Development.
  • RU5 Architecture, Urban Planning and Design.
  • RU6 Law, Policies and Security

USEK Continuing Learning Center (UCLC)

Established in 2015, the UCLC runs short educational and personal development courses for the wider community. It also has a popular experiential Summer School program for internationals who want to gain an in-depth understanding of the Lebanese language, culture, and heritage.

Student life[edit]

The university values the importance of a sense of community and belonging among its students, and part of this is provided by its student services offices, social associations and clubs, pastoral work, cultural trips, and student gatherings.

Student Services Offices and Student Satisfaction

USEK is the first university in Lebanon and the region to gain accreditation for its student support services which include student affairs, financial aid, chaplaincy, counseling center, career services, IT, and admissions.

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment monitors and evaluates all feedback from students. The University provides two student satisfaction surveys at the end of every semester:

The Student Well-being Survey measures student satisfaction regarding the administrative and academic services provided by the University.

The Course Feedback by Students (CFS), an anonymous survey, is an American Style evaluation tool that complies with the highest international standards. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a new section, “Evaluation of the Online Learning Experience”, was added to the survey.

Student Representatives

USEK organizes a draw every academic year to select student representatives for every department and school. The role of the student representative is to voice the concerns of students, put forward students’ ideas to tackle specific challenges, and promote activities and events. They meet every other week during the semester.

The Office of International Student Services

The Office of International Student Services helps international students with information about immigration issues, provides support for academic and cultural adjustment, and offers opportunities for involvement in the University community. International students have the chance to intimately learn about American culture IDEA: Involvement in the University Community - Green Committee


The university has teams for basketball, volleyball, football, futsal, table tennis, ski, tennis, chess, fencing, combat sports and athletics. Specialized trainers coach the teams to represent USEK in national and international university competitions, and students are regularly selected to represent Lebanon in national teams.

Intercollegiate sport

USEK teams participate in a number of intercollegiate sporting events

Achievements/Wins: - FSUL – Universiade 2019 Women’s Basketball Champions - FSUL – Universiade 2019 Men’s Basketball 2nd Place - University Sports Conference (USC) Men’s Basketball League 2018-2019 Runners-up - University Sports Conference (USC) Women’s Basketball League 2018-2019 Champions - University Sports Conference (USC) Men’s Futsal League 2018-2019 Champions - University Sports Conference (USC) Men’s Swimming League 2018-2019 2nd Place - University Sports Conference (USC) Men’s Volleyball League 2017-2018 Champions


Training Camp for all sports teams in Loutraki, Greece

September 18-22, 2019 120 members - Sports Teams: Basketball (Men & Women) Futsal (Men & Women) Volleyball (Men & Women) Tennis (Men & Women) Table Tennis (Men & Women) Swimming (Men & Women) Track and Field (Men & Women)

Team building camping for all sports teams in January 2020

The Choir

The Choir of Kaslik was founded in the same as the University, in 1950. This first all-male choir consisted of young scholastics (17-25 years in age) and postulants (11–15-year-old boys) from the same Order.

The importance of this choir plays an ecclesial and liturgical role, and an artistic and patrimonial role in the preservation and the promotion of authentic Arabic and Lebanese music. This choir was the principal execution tool of liturgical and musical reforms that took place within the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik had an influence on the Maronite Church in Lebanon and beyond its borders. Through concerts and records, the choir revitalized an authentic Lebanese and Arabic musical heritage.

Student Chapters

USEK is affiliated to international recognized chapters in a most of its schools. The role of the student chapters is to activate students and link them to the global scene. USEK student chapters are:

  • ASME - Mechanical Eng. Students
  • ASCE - Civil Eng. Students
  • AICHE - Chemical Eng. Student
  • IEEE - Electrical, Biomedical, Telecommunications, Computer Eng. Students
  • IEEE - EMBS - Biomedical Eng. Students
  • IEEE - PES - Electrical, Telecommunications, Biomedical and Computer
  • RDCL - School of Business
  • AIAS - Chapter 11 - USEK students

The Chaplain Office |Pastoral | The Marian Apostolic Movement |Scouts

The USEK Chaplain Office is located in Building B and aims to support all pastoral and social activities, namely liturgical celebrations, biblical sharing sessions, spiritual accompaniment, conferences, spiritual retreats, pilgrimages, humanitarian and social activities, socio-cultural outings, and sports activities. The chaplain is involved in pastoral and scout events of the USEK University Pastoral, the Marian Apostolic Movement and Scout Spirit.

The USEK University Pastoral

Founded by the Assembly of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon in 1979 and officially recognized by the Lebanese State in 1988, Pastoral provides a space for all USEK students leading a Christian life and engaged in spiritual reflection.

The Marian Apostolic Movement

A Christian secular movement founded originally in Lebanon in 1973 and 2017 at the university. It honours the Blessed Virgin Mary as their role model. The USEK branch of this movement brings together current and former members with the aim of supporting the mission of the Lebanese Maronite Order at the University.

Scout Spirit

Founded in 2017, Scout Spirit brings together students from all the different scout associations in Lebanon to celebrate the values of the scouting movement through a range of activities.

See also[edit]


33°58′55″N 35°37′08″E / 33.98194°N 35.61889°E / 33.98194; 35.61889