What is Jesuit Education? (2022)

Your Guide to Jesuit Education

FAQS | History | Colleges and Universities | Glossary

Millions of people across the globe have experienced the transformative power of a Jesuit education. This guide answers frequently asked questions about Jesuit education, including its characteristics, history and values. It also provides a directory of Jesuit universities and colleges within the United States and an index of common Jesuit terms.

FAQS

What is Jesuit Education?

Jesuit Education is based on a 450-year-old tradition that aims to form high school and college students intellectually, morally and spiritually toward lives of solidarity, service and professional success. Emphasis is placed on learning through community service, interdisciplinary courses and the engagement of faith, theology, philosophy and ethics studies.

The phrase “Jesuit education” indicates that a given school was founded and staffed by members of the Society of Jesus. More significantly, it refers to a way of doing things—the style, goals and values that are expressed by teachers, administrators and staff.

The goal is to help shape students’ minds and hearts into a habit of reaching out to the needs of today's and tomorrow's global society and, in the process, reaching out to God.

(Video) 12 characteristics of Jesuit Education

What is a Jesuit school?

Simply put, Jesuit schools are Catholic high schools and colleges that are run by the Jesuits (members of an apostolic Roman Catholic community known as the Society of Jesus).

Across the United States, there are 27 Jesuit colleges and universities and 62 Jesuit high schools. American Jesuit colleges and universities are part of a network of about 133 Jesuit institutions of higher education in 31 countries around the world.

What are the Jesuit values of education?

The values of Jesuit education are rooted in the vision of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit Order (learn more about his life in the ‘history’ section). These values prepare students to be wiser and more compassionate as they take the next step in their life journey as men and women for others.

  • Cura Personalis. Jesuit education emphasizes the view that each person is a unique creation of God. Cura Personalis (meaning ‘care for the whole self’ in Latin) is demonstrated by personal attention in the classroom, a deep respect for diversity and difference and an emphasis on holistic care for the mind, body and spirit.
  • Discernment. Discernment encourages students to be open to God’s spirit as they make decisions and take actions that contribute to the greater good. Discernment is practiced through prayer, reflection, consultation with others and considering the full impact of actions from diverse angles.
  • Finding God in all things. A Jesuit education is one grounded in the presence of God, and encompasses imagination, emotion and intellect. The Jesuit vision encourages students to seek the divine in all things—in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning and in every human experience.
  • Magis . A commitment to the concept of Magis (Latin for ‘more’) is a hallmark of Jesuit education. It challenges students to go beyond what is expected, interacting with the world with generosity, excellence and empathy. Magis is modeled by personal accountability and high expectations of achievement.
  • Reflection. A foundational value of Jesuit education is the practice of reflection. Students are invited to pause to consider the world around them and their place within it before making decisions. This includes challenging the status quo, acknowledging biases and accepting responsibility for actions.
  • Service rooted in justice and love. Jesuit education cultivates critical awareness of social and personal evil, but points out that God’s love is more powerful. This value is illustrated through community service programs, service learning semesters, immersion experiences and various volunteer opportunities for students.
  • Solidarity and kinship. Students work together for the greater good. They develop relationships with their surrounding communities and share their talents and skills to help and serve others. This value is practiced through community engaged learning, where students work with community members to come up with innovative solutions.

Why is a Jesuit education important?

Jesuit education inspires students to live purposeful and fulfilling lives of leadership and service to others. In short, it helps create a better world. Among its many benefits and characteristics, Jesuit Education

  • Prepares students for lifelong learning
  • Explores the intersection between faith and culture
  • Embraces interfaith engagement and collaboration
  • Is comprehensive and rooted in the liberal arts tradition
  • Pays special attention to values, ethical issues and the development of moral character
  • Stresses the importance of social and environmental justice
  • Maintains an optimistic view of human nature and of its possibilities
  • Encourages critical, analytical and creative approaches to solving problems
  • Promotes interfaith engagement and diverse faith traditions
  • Prepares students for a rapidly changing and diverse society
  • Develops responsible citizens who are sensitive to the needs of our time
  • Encourages critical, analytics and creative approaches to solving problems
  • Incorporates a global and international dimension for growth and learning
  • Inspires students to change society and the world for the better

Directory of Jesuit Colleges & Universities (U.S.A.)

Today, there are 27 Jesuit universities and colleges within the United States. Schools range from major research universities to small liberal arts colleges. Programs include business schools, schools of law, schools of medicine and schools of nursing.

(Video) The Power of a Jesuit Education

UniversityLocationFounding Year
Xavier UniversityCincinnati, OH1831
Boston CollegeBoston, MA1863
Canisius CollegeBuffalo, NY1870
College of the Holy CrossWorcester, MA1843
Creighton UniversityOmaha, NE1878
Fairfield UniversityFairfield, CT1841
Fordham UniversityBronx, NY & Manhattan, NY1841
Georgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.1841
Gonzaga UniversitySpokane, WA1887
John Carroll UniversityUniversity Heights, OH1886
Le Moyne CollegeSyracuse, NY1946
Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, CA1911
Loyola University ChicagoChicago, IL1870
Loyola University MarylandBaltimore, MD1852
Loyola University New OrleansNew Orleans, LA1912
Marquette UniversityMilwaukee, WI1881
Regis UniversityDenver, CO1877
Rockhurst UniversityKansas City, MO1910
St. Joseph UniversityPhiladelphia, PA1851
St. Louis UniversitySt. Louis, MO1818
St. Peter's UniversityNew Jersey, NJ1872
Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara, CA1851
Seattle UniversitySeattle, WA1891
Spring Hill CollegeMobile, AL1830
University of Detroit MercyDetroit, MI1877
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA1855
University of ScrantonScranton, PA1888

Seminaries and high schools are not included in this list.For more information about the individual Jesuit colleges and universities in America, explore theAssociation of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). Contact information below.

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
One Dupont Circle — Suite 405, Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 862-9893
www.AJCUNET.edu

History of Jesuit Education

Who was St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius Loyola (1491- 1556) was the founder of the Jesuit religious order. He was born Iñigo Lopez de Oñaz y Loyola in the Basque country of Northeastern Spain, where he eventually became a soldier. During a battle with the French, his leg was shattered by a cannonball. He spent his time in recovery reading books about Saints legends and an illustrated Life of Christ.

He became especially inspired by the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic. When he recovered, he decided to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he felt he could be closer to God. During his journey, he spent much of his time in Manresa, Spain, in prayer (sometimes for as much as 7 hours a day). He began to write down his insights about God and who God was for him, forming the basis for his spiritual exercises which are still practiced today.

After returning from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Ignatius decided he needed an education in order to “help souls.” In Barcelona, he went to school with boys a quarter his age to learn the rudiments of Latin grammar, and then moved on to several other Spanish university cities. In each he was imprisoned and interrogated by the Inquisition, because he kept speaking to people about spirituality without having a theology degree or priestly ordination.

(Video) The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life

Eventually, Ignatius enrolled at the University of Paris, where he earned his master’s degree. While in school, he became close friends with like-minded men who decided to bind themselves together in an apostolic community that became the Society of Jesus.

Unanimously elected superior by his companions, Ignatius spent the last 16 years of his life in Rome leading the order, while the others traveled around the world and founding schools as a means of helping people “find God in all things.”

How was Jesuit education started?

Ignatius of Loyola and his companions founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. Once the order was founded, they organized and opened colleges for the education of the young men joining the Jesuit religious order. Seven years later, Ignatius opened the first Jesuit school for young lay men.

At the time of Saint Ignatius’ death, there were 1,000 Jesuits, a good number of them involved in the 35 schools that had been founded. Twenty-five years later the number of schools rose to 144, and another 35 years after that, it approached 400. By the end of the 1700s, there were more than 800 Jesuit colleges and universities throughout the world.

Until the nineteenth century, Jesuit schools were almost exclusively staffed and administered by the Jesuits themselves. Today, many non-Jesuit teachers and administrators work alongside Jesuits in high schools, colleges and universities.

(Video) Part 1 of The Spirit of Jesuit Education

Glossary

A.M.D.G.

Short for the Latin phrase “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,” which translates “For the Greater Glory of God.” It is the motto of the Society of Jesus as mentioned by Ignatius of Loyola in the Constitutions of the Jesuits.

Discernment

A process for making choices, in a context of faith, when the option is between several possible courses of action, all of which are potentially good. For Ignatius, discernment involved prayer, reflection and consultation with others—all with honest attention not only to the rational, but also to the realm of one’s feelings.

Jesuit

A member of the Society of Jesus.

Religious Order

In Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and some Anglican and Episcopalian traditions, a religious order is a community of men or women bound together by the common profession through religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.

Society of Jesus

A Catholic religious order of men founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and a small multinational group of his peers from the University of Paris. They saw their mission as one of being available to go anywhere and do anything to “help souls,” especially where the need was greatest.

(Video) Video: What Is a Jesuit education? A college counselor finds out!

The Spiritual Exercises

An organized series of spiritual exercises put together by Ignatius of Loyola out of his personal experience and others. The Exercises invite the reader or participant to meditate on central aspects of Christian faith, such as creation, sin, forgiveness, calling and ministry and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Ignatius wrote this in his book, The Spiritual Exercises, a handbook designed to help the spiritual guide advise an individual performing the Exercises. The goal is to attain spiritual freedom, the power to act—not out of social pressure, personal compulsion or fear, but out of the promptings of God’s spirit, in the deepest truest core of one’s being, to act ultimately out of love.

As originally designed, the “full” Spiritual Exercises would occupy a person for four weeks full time, but it is possible to make the the “full” Exercises part time over a period of six to 10 months—known as the “Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life.” In that case, the participant, without withdrawing from home or work, devotes about an hour a day to prayer and sees a guide every week or two to process what has been happening in prayer and in the rest of their life.

FAQs

What does it mean to be educated Jesuit? ›

A Jesuit education is one grounded in the presence of God, and encompasses imagination, emotion and intellect. The Jesuit vision encourages students to seek the divine in all things—in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning and in every human experience. Magis .

What is the difference between Catholic and Jesuit school? ›

A Jesuit school is always Catholic, but a Catholic school isn't always Jesuit. In other words, Jesuit schools are under the Catholic umbrella, but they're a sub-category, and they're typically considered more liberal (at least religiously, if not politically) than other Catholic schools.

What are the five characteristics of Jesuit education? ›

Often known as the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, this approach accentuates five elements that should characterize the learning experience in Jesuit education: context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation.

What's so great about a Jesuit education? ›

Jesuit education is known for its personalized attention and concern for the whole person — mind, body and spirit. We not only develop you as a student competent in your area of study, but ensure you are strong in character and conviction as well.

What are the core beliefs of Jesuits? ›

They are grounded in love for Christ and animated by the spiritual vision of their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, to help others and seek God in all things. As members of a worldwide society within the Catholic Church, the Jesuits are committed to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

What were the 3 main focuses of the Jesuits? ›

The Jesuits had three goals: to establish highly disciplined schools, to propagate Catholic beliefs through missionary work, and to combat Protestantism. The Jesuits quickly became the militant arm of the Papacy and the Catholic Church.

Is Pope Francis a Jesuit? ›

After his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, Bergoglio officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.

Are Jesuits liberal? ›

Shaped by their experiences with the poor and powerless, many Jesuits lean liberal, politically and theologically, and are more concerned with social and economic justice than with matters of doctrinal purity.

Can Jesuits marry? ›

In the ordinary span of priestly ministry, it is not uncommon for a Jesuit to marry a couple, baptize their children, perhaps even celebrate the funeral of the couple's parents, and later preside at their child's wedding.

What is the Jesuit motto? ›

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin), meaning "For the greater glory of God." It is the motto of the Society of Jesus.

What are the 5 Ignatian values? ›

Values commonly found in Ignatian spirituality are core values of the Gospel, such as authenticity, integrity, courage, love, forgiveness, hope, healing, service and justice.

How do you become a Jesuit? ›

Catholicism 101: How to Become a Jesuit
  1. Recognize vocation. ...
  2. Become a Novice. ...
  3. Pronounce first vows. ...
  4. Complete First Studies. ...
  5. Brothers move on to specialized training and advanced degrees. ...
  6. Scholastics complete regency. ...
  7. Scholastics move on to Theology studies. ...
  8. Scholastics are ordained to the transitional diaconate.
28 Apr 2015

Is Jesuit Catholic? ›

The Society of Jesus – more commonly known as the Jesuits – is a Catholic order of priests and brothers founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish soldier-turned-mystic who worked to find “God in all things.”

How many Jesuit universities are in the US? ›

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is a national organization that links 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and some 189 Jesuit institutions of higher learning throughout the world.

What are the four vows Jesuits take? ›

Each Jesuit is called to live the vows of obedience, for the greater good of others; chastity, as unselfish relationships; and poverty, by aiming for the essential.

Why are they called Jesuits? ›

The term Jesuit (of 15th-century origin, meaning "one who used too frequently or appropriated the name of Jesus") was first applied to the society in reproach (1544–1552). The term was never used by Ignatius of Loyola, but over time, members and friends of the society adopted the name with a positive meaning.

Can a woman be a Jesuit? ›

Today, however, women participate in Jesuit education not only as students and teachers but increas- ingly in designated positions of leadership.

What religion is a Jesuit? ›

I am a scholar of Catholicism and a priest who belongs to the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits) – often considered one of the Catholic Church's most influential religious orders.

Who is a famous Jesuit? ›

St. Francis Xavier, a 16th-century missionary, co-founded the Society of Jesus. Countless Catholic schools and universities are named after him. Pope Francis, perhaps the most famous Jesuit in the world, has credited the order with helping him learn the value of selflessness.

What is the Jesuit tradition? ›

The Jesuit tradition is about educating the whole person—mind, body, and soul—and preparing students to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world. What does that mean? It means you'll be challenged to move out of the classroom and contribute to your community.

What impact do the Jesuits still have on the world today? ›

Today, some 20,000 Jesuits, about three-quarters of them priests, work in more than 100 countries and are best known for the schools and institutions of higher learning they administer. Over the centuries, the Jesuits have founded hundreds of missionaries, schools, colleges and seminaries around the world.

Why did the pope ban the Jesuits? ›

Historians identify multiple factors causing the suppression. The Jesuits, who were not above getting involved in politics, were distrusted for their closeness to the pope and his power in the religious and political affairs of independent nations.

Who is the current leader of the Jesuits? ›

Arturo Sosa

What's the difference between Jesuits and Franciscans? ›

Jesuits focus on spiritual formation. They seek to build people with a fulfilling and productive spiritual life. Franciscans seek to love as Jesus loved. They cultivate humility and inner peace and joy.

Can a Jesuit be a pope? ›

In 2013 the first Jesuit pope was elected, Pope Francis. The following is a complete list of contemporary living Jesuit cardinals. Three of them are above 80 years of age and thus are ineligible as a papal elector. Another four are not yet above the age of 80 and thus are currently eligible to serve as papal electors.

When did the Jesuits become so liberal? ›

It was the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) that unleashed liberal forces among the Jesuits, as it did in other church groups and among Roman Catholics in general.

Is there a Jesuit pope? ›

Pope Francis has many firsts to his name — first pope from the Americas, first pope to take the name Francis and the first Jesuit to command the Catholic Church's highest office.

Who is the Pope's wife? ›

However, the rule books when you become Pope are a little stricter. You have to learn multiple languages, attend confession, meet with heads of state, lead mass services, and remain celibate. This means the simple answer to this article's question is no, Popes do not marry.

Do Jesuits take vows of celibacy? ›

Jesuits do not take a vow of celibacy; however, they do take a vow of 'chastity'.

Why do Catholics have celibacy? ›

According to the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law celibacy is a “special gift of God” which allows practitioners to follow more closely the example of Christ, who was chaste. Another reason is that when a priest enters into service to God, the church becomes his highest calling.

What does the Jesuit symbol mean? ›

IHS (also IHC), a monogram or symbol for the name Jesus, is a contraction of the Greek word for Jesus, which in Greek is spelled IHΣΟΥΣ in uncial (majuscule) letters and Iησους in minuscule letters and is transliterated into the Latin alphabet as Iēsus, Jēsus, or Jesus.

How many Jesuit values are there? ›

What are the Jesuit Values? Six values that are known as the principles of the Jesuits o Magis: Meaning “more.” This is the challenge to strive for excellence.

Who founded the Jesuits? ›

Jesuits

What are the 4 pillars of Ignatian spirituality? ›

Ignatius of Loyola, this course explores the pillars of Ignatian spirituality including the Spiritual Exercises, prayer and contemplation, the Examen, and discernment.

What is Jesuit identity? ›

Who are the Jesuits? The Jesuits are members of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Early on, the Jesuits became known for education as they traveled throughout Europe doing missionary work and starting schools and seminaries.

What is Ignatian philosophy? ›

Based on St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises and grounded in the curriculum of the humanists, Ignatian education stresses the active appropriation of knowledge and skills to build ethical and learned human beings.

How long is Jesuit training? ›

The stages of Jesuit formation

The stages of Jesuit (early) formation are Novitiate (2 years), First Studies (3 years), Regency (2-3 years), Theology (3 years), and Tertianship (several options like 2 summers, 1 semester or the better part of a year).

How do the Jesuits live? ›

Jesuits differ from other priests because they live in community, have special vows and follow the inspiration of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Lawler said. Anderson said Jesuits are required to attend an eight-day retreat every year and a 30-day retreat before their final vows.

What do Jesuit priests wear? ›

Many of those Jesuits are wearing a Jesuit-style cassock. These frocks are distinct from the traditional Roman Catholic cassock: whereas the Roman style has a long row of buttons down the front, a Jesuit cassock is more of a wrap with hooks that fasten at the collar, and a belt tied at the waist known as a cincture.

What are the Jesuit values of education what it means to be a Josephite? ›

Jesuit education transcends academic mastery. It is value oriented and encourages realistic knowledge, of the world in which we live. Above all through such social activities, it prepares men and women for active life commitment.

What are the 5 Ignatian values? ›

Values commonly found in Ignatian spirituality are core values of the Gospel, such as authenticity, integrity, courage, love, forgiveness, hope, healing, service and justice.

Are Jesuits liberal? ›

Shaped by their experiences with the poor and powerless, many Jesuits lean liberal, politically and theologically, and are more concerned with social and economic justice than with matters of doctrinal purity.

How do you become a Jesuit? ›

Catholicism 101: How to Become a Jesuit
  1. Recognize vocation. ...
  2. Become a Novice. ...
  3. Pronounce first vows. ...
  4. Complete First Studies. ...
  5. Brothers move on to specialized training and advanced degrees. ...
  6. Scholastics complete regency. ...
  7. Scholastics move on to Theology studies. ...
  8. Scholastics are ordained to the transitional diaconate.
28 Apr 2015

What religion is a Jesuit? ›

Jesuit, member of the Society of Jesus (S.J.), a Roman Catholic order of religious men founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, noted for its educational, missionary, and charitable works.

Who founded the Jesuits? ›

Jesuits

How many Jesuit schools are there in the world? ›

How many Jesuit high schools, colleges and universities are there in the world today? There are more than 800 Jesuit educational institutions around the world.

What is the motto of the Jesuits? ›

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin), meaning "For the greater glory of God." It is the motto of the Society of Jesus.

Can Jesuits marry? ›

In the ordinary span of priestly ministry, it is not uncommon for a Jesuit to marry a couple, baptize their children, perhaps even celebrate the funeral of the couple's parents, and later preside at their child's wedding.

What is another name for the Jesuits? ›

The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (/ˈdʒɛʒu.ɪts, ˈdʒɛz(j)u-/; Latin: Iesuitæ), is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola and six companions, with the approval of Pope Paul III.

Is Pope Francis a Jesuit? ›

After his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, Bergoglio officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.

Is the new pope a Jesuit? ›

In his first week, the pontiff visits a basilica in Rome and gives his first Angelus blessing in St. Peter's Square. Wait 1 second to continue. Pope Francis belongs to the Jesuits, a religious order whose members take an unusual — and at the moment seemingly ironic — vow: not to strive for a higher office.

What vows do Jesuits take? ›

Each Jesuit is called to live the vows of obedience, for the greater good of others; chastity, as unselfish relationships; and poverty, by aiming for the essential.

Who is a famous Jesuit? ›

St. Francis Xavier, a 16th-century missionary, co-founded the Society of Jesus. Countless Catholic schools and universities are named after him. Pope Francis, perhaps the most famous Jesuit in the world, has credited the order with helping him learn the value of selflessness.

How long is Jesuit training? ›

The stages of Jesuit formation

The stages of Jesuit (early) formation are Novitiate (2 years), First Studies (3 years), Regency (2-3 years), Theology (3 years), and Tertianship (several options like 2 summers, 1 semester or the better part of a year).

How many Jesuit universities are in the US? ›

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is a national organization that links 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and some 189 Jesuit institutions of higher learning throughout the world.

Videos

1. The Power of a Jesuit Education
(Boston College)
2. Jesuit-Educated at Saint Louis University
(SaintLouisUniversity)
3. A Jesuit Education
(Seattle University)
4. What is Jesuit Education at Gonzaga University?
(Gonzaga University)
5. Ignatian Pedagogy - Characteristics of Jesuit Education
(jesuitnet)
6. What is Jesuit Education at Gonzaga University? (short)
(Gonzaga University)

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