Four Themes of Jesuit Education
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.
July 1, 2013
Ethics & Social Justice
Jesuit, Education, Higher Education, Mission, Purpose, Freedom, Ethics
Journal of Jesuit Business Education (JJBE)
Four themes have dominated Jesuit life, mission, and education since St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises: (1) Purpose in life, (2) The human person, (3) Freedom, and (4) Ethics. One might think at first that the Jesuits would emphasize “God” or “divine providence” or perhaps “spiritual life.” Though these themes are of paramount importance to the Jesuits, we view ourselves as contemplatives in action, and so we are interested in how God, divine providence, and spiritual life play out in the world —in “real world” persons, communities, cultures, and societies. We have always been interested in using our relationship with God and our education not only to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God, but also the common good within the world. The inspiration for this comes from Jesus who interwove love of God with love of neighbor.