The Private Technical University of Loja was founded by the Ecuadorian Marist Association (AME) on May 3, 1971, and recognized by the Ecuadorian State under Executive Decree 646, published in the official register No. 217 of May 5, 1971, it is constituted as an autonomous legal entity under the protection of the "Modus Vivendi" celebrated between the Holy See and Ecuador, taking into account the norms of the Church in its organization and government.
The mentor and first chancellor of the University were the Marist brother Santiago Fernández García and the first rector of the UTPL was the engineer Alejo Valdivieso, who was appointed as the main authority of the University on October 3, 1971.
The UTPL is an autonomous institution, with a social and public purpose that imparts, develops research with scientific-administrative freedom, and participates in development plans of the country. It is a pioneer in the modality of distance learning education since 1976, opening the possibility to access a higher education of quality.
In 1997, the Diocese of Loja transferred to the Institute of Christ the Redeemer, Missionaries and Ideological Missionaries the leadership of the University so that they could lead it with total autonomy and in keeping with the Idente charism.