Jesuit Values

What is a Jesuit Education?

The Jesuit Catholic tradition of education can be traced to the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and his followers. Key characteristics of a Jesuit education can be summarized as follows:

  • Striving for the Magis. Seeking the Magis (the more, the greater) is more than just striving for excellence since it also asks individuals to strive for “further still.” It challenges students to study for more than grades and the University to hold itself to standards more substantive than college rankings.
  • Promoting critical inquiry. Education within a Jesuit perspective must include questioning and exploring. That reflection process must always include an analysis of the ethical dimensions of what is done and learned.
  • Pursuing diversity. Central to Jesuit education is the intention expressed by St. Ignatius to create schools and ministries that reflect the needs and aspirations of the time and place. Throughout history, Jesuit schools have welcomed students of all religious traditions and those with no denominational affiliation as full partners in educational enterprise.
  • Instilling leadership in service. Also central to a Jesuit education is the importance given to exposing students to the voices of the underserved, the disadvantaged and the poor as well as making it possible for students to serve others and learn from those service experiences.
  • Promoting justice. This encompassing principle of Jesuit education affirms that in educating for justice, we challenge students to use their talents and skills in order to create a better world for generations to come.
St. Ignatius

“The most important social responsibility of a university is to be a promoter of justice at all levels: in individual relations, in organizations and also in societies where it operates, with a vision that is both local and global. A justice which must integrate… environmental justice, the dimension of gender, and human coexistence in a multicultural world."

Fr. Adolfo Nicolas. S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Jesuit Education in Action