First Meeting of the IAJU Committee on Ignatian Leadership Formation

The COVID 19 pandemic didn´t stop the young IAJU Committee on Ignatian Leadership Formation from having their first meeting. Although their plan to have an in-person session in Rome, on Monday the 23rd of March, was cancelled, thanks to technology, the group had a very fruitful virtual meeting on that same date.

I + M IAJU Meeting.

The purpose of this new IAJU committee is to advise the Association on ways in which it can assist member institutions with their formation for mission and identity programs, and more specifically on how they can incorporate the Universal Apostolic Preferences in these programs. The group is formed by six expert educators on Ignatian leadership and identity from very diverse parts of the world.[1]

“In light of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus, how might we ensure the sustainable availability of higher education leaders formed in an Ignatian way of proceeding?”

This question was at the core of the discussion of the group. They started the meeting by mapping the initiatives that are already out there to advance the UAP´s, then the committee analyzed the main strengths and weaknesses of the current faculty and staff formation programs. Finally, the group discussed different ways in which the IAJU network could be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness and depth of these programs.

Michael J. Garanzini, the Secretary of Higher Education, intervened during the meeting and challenged the group to reflect on a set of questions that related the Ignatian formation with the UAP´s. He also suggested that the IAJU Boston College Assembly in 2021 would be a good opportunity for the committee to make recommendations to the Presidents of IAJU institutions on the topic of Ignatian formation, as understood through the lens of the four UAP’s.

That same week, the Chair of the committee, David McCallum SJ, who wears two hats for IAJU, reported on the group discussion to the IAJU board. During his intervention, David also informed the board about the developments of the Discerning Leadership Program (DLP)[2], which he has been entrusted to lead and is now housed within the IAJU.

[1] Committee members: David McCallum SJ (Chair)(AJCU), CJ Arun SJ (JHEASA), Joe DeFeo (AJCU), Susana Di Trolio (Kircher Network), Stephanie Russell (AJCU), Francisco Urrutia (AUSJAL).

[2] The DLP is a two-week program for Church leaders which was begun in Rome for the Vatican, for Jesuit leaders and leaders of Religious Orders. Learn more.

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