Mission and Ministry

Reaffirmation of Jesuit Mission by the 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities
in the United States - A Brief Overview

Fifty years after Vatican II, 25 years after Ex Corde Ecclesiae, American Jesuit presidents and Jesuit major superiors (in Rome and U.S.) think it's the right time ask how the 28 American Jesuit colleges and universities identify ourselves as Jesuit and Catholic in the 21st century. To that end, university presidents drafted the document "Some Characteristics of Jesuit Colleges and Universities: A Self-Evaluation Instrument." Provincials have approved its use.

We are moving here to the regular reaffirmation that the school's mission is a Jesuit mission, and that the board's priorities are harmonious with the educational vision of the Jesuit Order. Some people call this an affirmation of "communion." The deep purpose is the positive reassertion of vision.

The 28 schools and the Provincials are experimenting, looking for as simple and non-burdensome a method as possible for making this occasional reaffirmation. Here is the overall approach:

Over the next five years, each of the 28 schools will use its own process to review its current Jesuit Mission priorities, deciding – in the Jesuit tradition of magis – what changes to make to improve mission effectiveness. The school invites a small committee from other Jesuit universities to visit and offer advice (which the school is free to accept or decline) about the proposed priorities.

The school will then send a letter to the Jesuit Father General through regular Jesuit channels, reaffirming its intent to carry out its Jesuit Mission with emphasis on the priorities it has selected.

The Jesuit Father General sends back a letter reaffirming that the school is a Jesuit institution.

This sort of procedure will happen once in the next five years and will be repeated every few years. (How frequently is up for discussion.) But, after the first five years, on the basis of knowledge gained from the first round, specifics will be adjusted by the 28 presidents and the relevant Jesuit officials in light of what seems to work best.<xml></xml>

Committee Members

Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD, Vice Provost for Mission and Ministry, Chair
Mary Lee Brock, Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
Tim Brooks, Vice President Information Technology
Todd Darnold, PhD, Harper Chair in Business Leadership, Heider College of Business
John Darwin, Special Assistant to the President, President's Office
Adrian Dowell, University Relations, Senior Director of Athletic Development
Mike Kavan, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Medicine
Bridget Keegan, PhD, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Kelly Tadeo Orbik, Associate Director, Schlegel Center for Service and Justice
René Padilla, PhD, Vice Provost for Global Engagement 
Tom Simonds, SJ, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Education
Tanya Winegard, PhD, Vice Provost for Student Life