Jesuit Leadership Seminar 2019 participants in Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago
Editor's note: Brittany Fried, Center Manager of th Center for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University, was part of the organising committee of the seminar and shared this report with us.
The Jesuit Leadership Seminar is a 5-day program to develop leaders for Jesuit colleges and Universities sponsored by the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities. The 2019 Jesuit Leadership Seminar took place at Loyola University Chicago, and welcomed 50 individuals ranging from university Provosts to Athletic Directors. Participants represented 18 Jesuit universities in the United States as well as Universidad Loyola Andalucía in Spain.
Core to the Jesuit Leadership Seminar is development of leadership founded in the Ignatian tradition. Reflecting on this, participant Arto Woodley, Executive Director of the Center for Community Engaged Learning at Fordham University, said: “There was a concerted effort to help the participants fully understand the Ignatian ethos and how it applies to their work.” This was accomplished “Particularly [by] helping each of us fully grasp Ignatius's journey in becoming St. Ignatius and how the principles that have guided the Order for the last five centuries are even more applicable in our current times.”
Another participant, Dan Kim, Vice President for Communications at the College of the Holy Cross, stated that the most significant impact of the Seminar for him “involved seeing how [he] could apply [Ignatian leadership] concepts to [his] life and work.” Dan noted he has referred to information he learned in Seminar sessions on a daily basis since attending.
By bringing together diverse leaders from the many Jesuit universities in the United States, the Jesuit Leadership Seminar hopes to build solidarity and companionship across the American Jesuit universities, starting at the individual level. Seminar Director, Dr. Jeanne Lord, spoke to this when she said a central goal of the Seminar is to create “a renewed awareness that we are all companions in mission, charged with nurturing and sustaining the tradition of Jesuit higher education.” The Seminar provides opportunities for administrators and faculty to grow in heart, mind and spirit together, and therefore support each other as companions in mission moving forward.
The Jesuit Leadership Seminar strives to expand the scope and resources of the Jesuit higher education network, as well as bridge the challenges of distance and opportunities for collaboration. In the words of Dr. Lord, the Seminar “offers an opportunity for us to gather, to learn from each other, and - importantly - to nurture and sustain the relationships critical to the success of our mission.” In this respect, the Jesuit Leadership Seminar serves as a viable model for smaller-scale and regional Jesuit networks, both within the United States and abroad. Replication of the Jesuit Leadership Seminar in Jesuit networks internationally will allow for deepened formation, solidarity, and collaboration within those communities and expand the development of Ignatian leaders across the globe.