St. Louis University confers a Doctorate honoris causa to Fr Joseph Christie

Fr Joseph Christie, the Secretary for Higher Education at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, received an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from St. Louis University in Missouri (USA) on 18 May. The University is conferring the honor upon Fr Christie for a lifetime dedicated not just to academia, but to fostering leadership and collaboration across the educational ministries of the worldwide Society of Jesus.

When asked how he felt about the honor, Fr Christie replied, “To have one's work remembered and valued by the communities we serve is always a humbling experience. But this honor, in front of men and women we have been educating to be future leaders and dreamers, will always have a special place in my heart. We treasure what we have experienced, and we pass it to future generations by teaching. That is at the very core of being a community.”

Below is the citation that introduced Fr Christie to the 2024 SLU Commencement Ceremony.

The journey of P. Maria Joseph Christie, SJ., started in his native India. Originally from the Madurai Province, Fr. Christie arrived at Saint Louis University (SLU) in 1993. He spent the next six years earning multiple degrees. From there, the Jesuit priest taught in India for decades and eventually landed in Rome, where he currently serves as the Secretary for higher education of the Society of Jesus.

At SLU, Fr. Christie earned his MBA and doctorate in business administration with a specialization in decision sciences. His doctoral dissertation, “The Cross-cultural Comparison of Ethical Attitudes of Business Executives in India, South Korea, and the USA,” is considered a seminal work in the area of cross-cultural research methodology.


In addition to his SLU degrees, Fr. Christie earned a master’s degree in mathematical statistics from Madras University in India.

While in India, he served as the director and professor of decision sciences at the Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur, one of the leading business schools in India.

In addition, for nearly two decades, he was associated with the Loyola Institute of Business Administration in Chennai, India. He was a professor of decision sciences, as well as the dean for three years and director (President of the Institute) for 11 years. During his tenure, he elevated the school to be among the top 10 business schools in the country.

In the summer of 2020, he was appointed the Secretary for higher education of the Society of Jesus, based in Rome. He replaced another SLU alumnus, Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, in the role after Garanzini became President of the Association of Colleges and Universities in North America.

As the Secretary, Fr. Christie assists and advises the Superior General of the Society of Jesus on matters pertaining to higher education. He is also responsible for promoting discernment, networking and collaboration among Jesuit higher education institutions around the world.

Outside of his role with higher education of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Christie is a member of various advisory boards and committees. With his expertise in evaluation and strategic planning, he is involved in many consultancy projects in India and abroad, mostly related to Jesuit and Catholic Church organizations.

For his leadership in the Society of Jesus and his ongoing role in promoting Jesuit higher education, the degree of Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, will be conferred upon Fr. P. Maria Joseph Christie, SJ.

Share this Post:
Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

Related Posts: