Mission Statement

General Information

Program Director:

Alexander Roedlach, SVD, Ph.D.
Phone: 402.280.2567
Email: roedlach@creighton.edu

Ignatian Ideals and Creighton University's Medical Anthropology Program

Creighton University's medical anthropology program is informed by Ignatian ideals that distinguish Jesuit education from other institutions of higher learning and guide both faculty and students to become, using the words of the former Jesuit general superior Fr. Arrupe, S.J., "men and women of competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment."

This program is unique in that it integrates the spiritual values, goals, and objectives of Ignatian pedagogy and Jesuit mission with the scientific theories, methods, and practices of medical anthropology not only to define, but also to actualize an integrated and holistic vision of health. This integration expands the mult-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaborative possibilities of applied medical anthropology at Creighton University to play a critical role in global and domestic health care. The Jesuit emphasis on developing capacities for ethical reasoning and engagement with service and justice unifies and gives depth of purpose to the search for truth in our academic medical anthropology program, setting it apart from others.

The faculty considers the following Jesuit ideals as foundational to the medical anthropology program:

Cura Personalis

  • This Latin expression translates as "care for the whole person" and suggests distinct respect for individual's unique circumstances and concerns as well as their collective particularities, an appropriate appreciation of singular gifts and insights, and careful attention to the needs of others as individuals and as members of multiple social contexts.
  • The program's faculty is committed to a holistic view of education, paying careful attention to the talents, needs and interests of students as individuals, who live in relationships of significance and are part of wider communities. This requires student cohorts to be kept small, which will allow faculty and students to get to know each other and will enable individual mentoring. Students and faculty engage in an intensive on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program, creating a springboard for on-going personal interaction. Each student will have a faculty advisor who will pay close attention to the student's unique circumstances, interests, and professional goals and will continue the mentoring relationship beyond graduation.


  • The original intent of this Ignation ideal is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, meaning "For the Greater Glory of God." Magis, rooted in this ideal means "the more" or "the greater good" and refers to the value of striving for the better, striving for excellence. It embodies the idea of discerning, of identifying the best choice in a given situation, and then acting upon it.
  • The program's faculty strives to instill in students a desire for magis in their personal and professional lives, aiming to obtain an accurate and holistic understanding of culture and society, particularly as related to health and health care, and discerning the best application of such knowledge to improve health and wellbeing at local and global levels.

Women and Men With & For Others

  • This phrase condenses the spirit of generosity, service, and solidarity with those in need. The Ignatian tradition emphasizes that an authentic Christian faith naturally seeks justice for all and encourages the habit of reflection and discernment. St. Ignatius envisioned the Jesuits and their partners to be "contemplatives in action," striving to become agents for change in our world. Those of us who com from other faith traditions or worldview also embrace this commitment to justice within our own framework of meaning and purpose.
  • The program's faculty commits its scholarship, teaching, and mentoring to a fuller understanding of the experience of the disenfranchised and the causes of their marginalization. The faculty is committed to apply its scholarship to address health disparities and to work towards health care equity, both locally and internationally. Access to health care as a human right, social justice in health care, and the preferential option for the poor are key values in this program.

Seeking Sacred Purpose Within All Things

  • The Ignatian tradition highlights the importance of "finding God in all things." This is an invitation to notice God's presence, power, and action in all events of our lives through an ongoing process of personal and collective discernment. Each of us frames our personal experience with this core aspect of Jesuit education from the perspective of our own faith traditions and worldviews, endowing events in our lives with significance and sacredness.
  • The program's faculty integrates its scholarship, teaching, and mentoring with an emphasis on the value and sacredness of the human condition in all its complexities and variations. We strive to deepen an appreciation for the role of culture in shaping the kinds of questions we ask, the methods we use to answer them, and the meanings we assign to our observations and analyses. We pay particular attention to the larger significance of health, illness, and healing for individuals and social groups, domestically and internationally.