Founded in 1947 by the Order of Augustinian Recollects, then Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos developed from a small institution of learning to one of the excellent schools in the country. From classes held in an old building and a portion of the convent, the school built modern retaining classic features.
In 1965, the Recoletos Church was demolished, and in 1968, the six-storey edifice was built. In 1980, CSJ-R bought a new site in Basak Pardo, Cebu City, then built the new building for the grade and high schools, the Recoletos Coliseum, Open Gymnasium and the Pope John Paul II Retreat House. In 1996, the Talavera House of Prayer was built in the scenic hills of Quiot, Cebu City.
The years that followed gave the school opportunities to expand, all the time developing QUALITY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY-ORIENTED EDUCATION. On November 28, 1998, the 52nd General Chapter held in Granada, Spain, voted for the creation of a new Religious Province in the Philippines dedicated to ST. EZEKIEL MORENO, OAR. The Recollect Philippine Province, where USJ-R belongs, now stands as the eighth regional cluster of communities of the ORDER of AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECT worldwide.

The curricular programs of USJ-R evolved from traditional to innovative course offerings. Arts and Sciences (started as liberal arts in 1947); Education (1947); Commerce (1948); Engineering (1961); Bachelor of Laws (1957); and the Graduate School (1962). In 2003, the College of Information, Computer and Communications Technology was created. The Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) followed in the same year. On April 1, 2004, the Vertical Alignment of the undergraduate and graduate schools took effect which established five graduate schools: Graduate School of Business and Management, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Information Technology and Computer Studies, Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Engineering. In June 2004, the B.S. in Nursing started its first operation.
On September 21, 1984, then CSJ-R attained the UNIVERSITY STATUS. Spanning years of accreditation and re-accreditation, USJ-R, Level 3, PAASCU, was granted AUTONOMOUS STATUS by CHED in 2001.

The growth of USJ-R had been largely due to the Recoletos leadership n cooperation with the lay community. Rev. F. Martin Legarra, OAR (1947-1958), Rev. F. Federico Terradillos, OAR (1958-1961), Rev. Fr. Pedro Peña, OAR (1961-1964), Rev. Fr. Francisco Monasterio, OAR (1964-1970), Rev. Fr. Miguel Navarro, OAR (1970-1971), First Filipino Rector, Fr. Victor Lluch, OAR (1971-1973), Rev. Fr. Francisco Siquenza, OAR (1973-1976), Rev. Fr. Blas J. Montenegro, OAR (1976-1979), Rev. Fr. Hernando D. Coja, OAR (1979-1981), Rev. Fr. Rafael E. Cabarles, OAR (1982-1987), Rev. Fr. Emeterio D. Buñao, OAR (1988-1999), Rev. Fr. Walthrode Conde, OAR (2000-2003), Rev. Fr. Constantino Real, OAR (2003-2006).  In 2003, Rev. Fr. Anthony A. Morillo, OAR, became the next president.
Through the years, USJ-R has been reaping awards in academic, community and co-curricular programs. It has continuously expanded its linkages and maximized services.
USJ-R’s administrators, faculty, alumni and students have continuously become pacesetters and created a difference. Always keeping the TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE, USJ-R is committed to the upliftment of the quality of life in the context of Christian living. ADELANTE!

Source: usjr.edu.ph