Jesuit Tradition

Jesuit institutions are recognized internationally for their high academic standards. The Jesuit philosophy of education centers on providing an atmosphere of open inquiry that unites rigorous scholarship and academic excellence with ethical values and service to others.

The Jesuit approach to education begins with a respect for every person and a desire to develop leaders who are concerned about society and the world in which they live. Jesuit institutions are characterized by a common world-affirming outlook that seeks to prepare students for committed service as globally-minded and socially conscious citizens. The four key characteristics of a Jesuit education are:

  • Striving for more (magis) This Ignatian characteristic encourages students to go beyond excellence to always choose the greater good, and strive to develop each element to the fullest. It is not simply about being the best in their class, but rather reflected in the individual’s desire for constant improvement, the need to always go that extra step, striving for growth and open to change.
  • Care for the whole person (cura personalis) Cura personalis aims at the development of the whole person—intellectually, spiritually, physically, and socially—while paying particular attention to the needs of the person. It manifests itself in the person who develops his/her gifts in service for others and demonstrates an ability to bring out the best in everyone.
  • Leadership in service "Men and Women for Others". Leaders in service are ones who display a genuine concern for society and the world in which we live, especially the marginalized, vulnerable and forgotten. They take on leadership roles not for personal gain, but to help advance their community and improve conditions for all.
  • Promoting justice Graduates of a Jesuit institution develop a faith and worldview that fosters a disciplined and informed sensitivity to, and active concern for, human suffering and exploitation. They display a respect for all individuals and their basic right to fair and equal treatment. They are committed to justice and show a deep concern for the marginalized citizens of our society.


​There are 848 Jesuit institutions---114 of which are post-secondary institutions---in 68 countries around the world, including Ateneo de Manila (Manila, Philippines), Boston College (Boston, MA), Campion Hall (Oxford), Georgetown University (Washington, DC), Fordham University (Bronx, NY), Sogang University (Seoul, Korea), and Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan).


Jesuit links

Jesuits in English Canada
Society of Jesus
Association of Jesuit Universities & Colleges
Jesuits in the United States