Leadership Development Along el Camino Ignaciano
In 1522, Ignatius Loyola left his home in the Basque region of Spain for a 500 mile trek that included life-changing stops in Montserrat and Manresa. To use the modern cliché, it was a journey of self-reinvention. The journey changed his life, and, it is no exaggeration to say, it changed the world (Lowney, 2003). The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to describe an innovative, uniquely Jesuit, leadership development course that we taught along el Camino Ignaciano, the name of the path taken by Ignatius in his voyage of self-discovery, and second, to provide access to academic and logistical resources so that our colleagues in Jesuit business education can create their own courses along el Camino. Jesuit business schools have been challenged to be different (Van Hise and Portico, 2010), to be meaningfully distinctive (Porth, Van Hise and Buller, 2013) and to seek competitive advantage through that differentiation (Lowney, 2010). Jesuit educators have extolled the value of experience and reflection, two of the five key components of the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm, in course design (Quijada, McGrath and Wheaton, 2016; Mauri, de Figueiredo and Rashford, 2015) and have promoted an “Ignatian” approach to leadership development (Dufresne, Botto and Steele, 2015; Byron, 2011). This course, the first of its kind along el Camino, fosters reflection through experience in a distinctive Ignatian way. El Camino is a unique resource for Jesuit educators that can be a catalyst for transformation for students, faculty, staff and alumni of Jesuit institutions, just as it was for the founder of the Society of Jesus.