The University of Scranton’s Jesuit Tradition and history reaches back nearly 500 years to the teachings, life and insights of Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556). As one of 27 Jesuit schools in the United States, we belong to an elite group that continues this dedication to developing the whole person.
Our nurturing environment invites students of all traditions to a maturing of faith, self knowledge, respect for the dignity of themselves and others, a devotion to justice, a commitment to serving the poor, and a passion for truth, reflection, and lifelong learning. These personal characteristics give Jesuit graduates the foundation they need to succeed in their personal, public, and professional lives.
JOAN GAFFNEY: I felt drawn here because of the sense of community that it offered. The fact that it was a Jesuit school was very important to me because the reputation that a Jesuit education has and being very well rounded. I knew other people who had come to the school and had a very remarkable experience and was just eager. I felt very drawn to it from my very first campus visit.
PAUL MBOH: The academic rigor was there but to me this whole emphasis on ethics and social responsibility, on subsidiarity, making sure that, you know, decisions that push down to the level, in which they need to be made, those are some of the very positive attributes that I'm going to walk away with here and I will hopefully share that also with others, you know, as I go through life because those things you don't get them from every business school but at least, I got them here at University of Scranton.
These values are not just taught to students, they are held, deepened, and demonstrated by faculty as well. As part of her commitment to lifelong learning, faculty member Dr. Rose Sebastianelli explored more intently how The University of Scranton could further reinforce the Jesuit foundation in their students by participating in the 18-month Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP).
The ICP is run under the guidance of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) and is “designed to educate and form administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of higher education.”
“Participating in the ICP motivated me, a full professor with almost 30 years of service to Scranton, to understand more fully the Ignatian tradition and consider the ways in which it could (and should) impact my work going forward.” — Dr. Rose Sebastianelli
As a result of her program, Dr. Sebastian created the Business Education for Justice Seminar at Scranton to:
- Create a critical mass of faculty committed to fulfilling the Jesuit mission through the “service of faith and promotion of justice”
- Maximize the “multiplier” effect so that Ignatian values could be shared as broadly as possible, with colleagues, students, alumni and the business community
- Include newly-hired faculty with the potential to contribute to the Jesuit mission for many years to come
Within the seminar, business faculty and administrators answered critical questions such as, “What role should business faculty play in fostering Jesuit ideals? What are the objectives of a mission-inspired project in teaching?”
Throughout the seminar, it became apparent that when social justice issues were only addressed through service activities, these important business issues were treated as “extracurricular,” instead of the critical component they are. Therefore, they recently added the integration of social justice issues to their faculty’s core responsibilities.
The deeper focus reflects faculty commitment to social justice issues — as each member introduces them within their areas of expertise. For instance, within an operations management course, faculty expose students to the environmental and social consequences of economic activity such as deforestation and loss of biodiversity. They’ll also introduce how leading firms adopt practices that mitigate those consequences and can even lead to a competitive advantage.
As faculty responsibilities are at the “heart” of a university, they are ideally positioned to help set the moral climate of an institution and send students into the business world on a solid foundation of strong Jesuit values rooted to social justice issues.