November 2015 Connections:
The Jesuit Mission of Graduate & Professional Programs
This month’s issue of Connections features graduate and professional programs as they are enhanced by mission at Jesuit universities. From social justice outreach at Loyola Law School (Loyola Marymount University), Saint Louis University and the University of Detroit Mercy, to mission-based curricula at Seattle University and The University of Scranton, these institutions demonstrate a commitment to Jesuit values through all levels of higher education.
Three weeks after the AJCU Federal Relations Conference, AJCU delivered another successful outreach effort through the October 28th Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, attended by AJCU presidents and government relations officers, as well as 32 members of Congress from both the Senate and the House. This breakfast focused on Federal student aid issues, including saving Perkins loans.
When the AJCU graduate administrators met at Marquette University in spring 2015, many of the discussions focused on the challenges in integrating identity, mission and effectiveness into graduate programs at Jesuit universities.
The Jesuit educational tradition stresses “the service of faith and the promotion of justice.” Law students are especially well-equipped to promote social justice by using their legal education knowledge and training to help the poorest, most vulnerable members of society.
As a Jesuit institution, Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Law faculty, staff and students are compelled to put its mission into action. Amid controversies in St. Louis, MO last year, SLU LAW professors and students immediately took it upon themselves to go into the community and assist residents through the process of healing and reform in the wake of Ferguson.
The Jesuit mission of social justice is a conspicuous flame at all AJCU institutions and drives which graduate and professional programs our schools offer and where and how we offer them. By sharing a few examples of graduate and professional programs at Seattle University, we hope to find new conversation partners and tend more fertile ground for developing more agents of social change across the AJCU network.
Exhibiting Ignatian values is both a duty and an opportunity for Jesuit business schools. Because we prepare students to become successful corporate executives and entrepreneurs, we incur a special responsibility to inculcate a sense of business ethics and social justice, as well as spirituality and discernment to help graduates balance demanding careers with fulfilling personal lives.
The University of San Francisco (USF) has created, in collaboration with the Jesuit university in Mexico City (Universidad Iberoamericana), a unique academic program to train professionals and researchers on the many perspectives involved in understanding migration and supporting the personal, social, legal and spiritual needs of migrants and refugees.
Being men and women for and with others is a tenet of Ignatian spirituality and is at the very core of a Catholic and Jesuit education at The University of Scranton. The Ignatian call to care for others is fully embraced across all disciplines of the Panuska College of Professional Studies – a college whose students embrace their vocation in the “helping professions.”