I recently visited the campus of Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. I recorded this short video about Jesuit Education.
If you prefer, you can read the transcript below.
I’m here now on the campus of Loyola University of Maryland and Loyola is a name that can be somewhat confusing in college admissions and college searches because there are several of them, Loyola of New Orleans, Loyola of Chicago, Loyola Marymount. As you might expect these four institutions as well as several dozen or so more are members of sort of the Jesuit community of universities.
Jesuit education was started by the Society of Jesus, not to evangelize or proselytize but to educate and so there are 21 universities in the United States that have a Jesuit model of education. Some of the big names including Boston College, Marquette, all of the Loyolas, of course, the Jesuit model, Regis University in Denver, my hometown. The idea here for the Jesuits is educating mind, body and spirit so you will find in Jesuit universities that religion is taught, it’s part of the requirement of finishing your degree here but it is not religion in the sense that you must believe any certain set of religious precepts but you need to train your spirit, train your, think more about what it means to be a human being, what is your responsibility to your fellow human, what is your responsibility to your community. And so you can take those required courses in all manner of religious thought including religious ethics, Islam, Judaism, other non-western religions, I mean it’s a fairly broad requirement but again the idea here is that you will be taught in a religious context, not that you must be a specific religion or that you must ascribe to a certain set of beliefs. There are plenty of colleges that do require that kind of thing but Jesuits do not.
So you’ll find that the Jesuit universities, many of them are in relatively urban areas like Loyola Maryland in Baltimore. You’ll find that they’re sort of medium sized universities with graduate schools as well as a solid undergraduate education. So when you start thinking about your own religious affiliation and your comfort zone in talking about those big issues of what is it to be human, what is our responsibility to our communities even if you’re not a religious person or in the catholic faith, the Jesuit universities are certainly a place where we’re going to talk about God, we’re going to talk about what it is to be spiritual and that can be a really important part of an undergraduate education.