Development of the Ignis Training Program: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality and the Jesuit Vision for Mission for Educators and Staff in Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education
Author(s)Florio, Philip Anthony
Collaboration in Mission
Laity in the Church
Introduction to Mission
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AbstractDegree awarded: D.Min. Religious Education/Catechetics. The Catholic University of America
The project sought to address a predicament now facing the Society of Jesus in the United States. With the current decreasing membership in the Jesuit order and the steady increase of laity serving in Jesuit institutions of higher learning, an ongoing difficulty is how to successfully preserve and impart the Society of Jesus' charism, vision for mission, and brand of spirituality at its twenty-eight sponsored institutions of higher education. Given this situation, the Ignis training program at Fordham University in New York City was presented as an eight-hour introductory seminar offered to a select group of campus ministers, faculty members, student-life administrators, and campus leaders. This was done in an interactive program that sought to promote greater awareness and appreciation of the Jesuit tradition of both spirituality and education. To foster this awareness, the project drew from several interdisciplinary resources: a) the Church's pastoral plan for adult formation, b) the history of the Society of Jesus, and c) the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola and the Ignatian Examen prayer. Upon completion of the seminar, participants were asked to complete a thorough written evaluation of the program. Results confirmed that most had learned a good deal about the Jesuit charism and vision for mission, and were eager to learn more about Ignatian spirituality and its practical application in their daily lives. The project therefore achieved its goal in that regard. A particular contribution of this project is that it provided an adult formation/orientation program that could play a vital role in enabling non-Jesuit colleagues to receive the gifts of Ignatian spirituality, thereby allowing them to help the Jesuit legacy to thrive and flourish in American Jesuit colleges and universities.