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Mission Priority Examen

Reaffirmation of Jesuit Mission by the 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 presidents and the relevant Jesuit officials in light of what seems to work best.

Committee Members

  • Cynthia Schmersal, EdD Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Chair
  • Max Engel, PhD, Associate Professor, Education, Co-Chair
  • Marcus Blossom, Athletic Director
  • Kevin Dilworth, SJ, Assistant Professor, Medical Education, Phoenix Regional Campus
  • Joe Ecklund, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost for Advising and Support
  • Jeff Feldhaus, Special Assistant to the President and Board Liaison
  • Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Humanities Chair
  • Robby Francis, Director of Campus Ministry
  • Janique Hayes, Assistant Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Mission & Ministry
  • Tara McGuire, Associate Vice President of Finance
  • Rene Padilla, Vice Provost for the Global Engagement Office
  • Nicole Piemonte, PhD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Professor of Medical Humanities, Phoenix Regional Campus
  • Nicky Santos, SJ, PhD, Associate Professor of Marketing and Management, Jesuit Rector
  • Sarah Walker, PhD, Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Professor of Marketing and Management
  • Tanya Winegard, PhD, Vice Provost for Student Life