Education

Maximum development of the gifts and capacities with which each person is endowed in the best possible service of others.

Secondary and pre-secondary education

From the early beginnings of the Society of Jesus, schools have been an important and vital part of the ministry and mission of the Jesuits. Our first school for non-Jesuits was founded in Messina in 1548 and a network of schools quickly began to develop across Europe and other continents.

Today we count more than 2,300 schools in the Jesuit network in partnership with a great number of lay and other religious companions. Together we educate more than 2 million students, from all kinds of religious, cultural, social and language backgrounds in 5 continents and more than 70 countries. You can find the locations and characteristics of our schools in the Educate Magis website: educatemagis.org

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We believe that education is one of the best ways to offer young people a transformative experience in order to reach their potential at the service of society. We want everyone to develop their talents and to have a sense of vocation, a sense that they can make a difference to the world in which they live. We encourage and we train our students to bring hope and to work for reconciliation and liberation, each one using his/her unique talents to change situations of suffering and distress.

Our schools welcome students and families into core Christian values such as faith, solidarity, service, and care for those most in need and on the margins. We want our Christian students to get to know Jesus Christ so that they can love Him and serve Him in the world of today. We also welcome a broad diversity of students from other faith traditions. We aim to promote respect and appreciation for other faiths and secular traditions in an environment of understanding and joy. We believe education is a key way to fight the various kinds of fundamentalisms and the ideologies that fuel them.

Quality education can lead to a deep sense of reconciliation with God, humanity and creation. We challenge our students and ourselves to live according to the Magis: “maximum development of the gifts and capacities with which each person is endowed in the best possible service of others.”

Our emerging priorities for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education are

1. Networking:

we must realize our potential as a global network of schools; to collaborate not only locally, but also regionally and globally to best serve our mission, and all those who our schools serve.

2. Quality education for the poor and marginalized:

we want to continue offering quality education to the poorest and marginalized in the challenging contexts of our time. The Society actively participates in new models such as: Fe y Alegría in Latin America, Africa and Europe; Cristo Rey schools and Nativity schools in North America; and JRS Education in many refugee camps through the world.

3. Identity and inclusiveness:

to really offer Jesuit education our schools must be rooted in the Ignatian pedagogical and spiritual traditions. However, we understand this tradition as welcoming and celebrating the broad diversity of the people we serve in our schools.

4. Reconciliation:

we invite our communities to actively engage in the Jesuit mission of reconciliation with God, humanity and creation. We aim to offer a transformative experience that can heal our wounded world and bring justice and peace to our societies.

5. Renewal and innovation:

our Tradition calls us to constantly discern the new signs of the times and respond creatively to them through the constant renewal and innovation of the pedagogical and educational models we use.

6. Transformative spiritual formation:

Jesuit education is rooted in the Spiritual experience that transformed Ignatius of Loyola. We are convinced that this experience offers powerful insights relevant to the deepest longings of the human heart. We want to share this gift with our communities.

7. Global citizenship:

by committing to forming students who think and act both locally and globally, we want to emphasize and prepare students for the new challenges and opportunities that await them in our common world.

8. Human Excellence:

we must embrace our strong tradition of academic excellence in the context of the human excellence that guides our effort. We aim to form men and women of conscience, compassion, competence and commitment. In short, we aim to form men and women for others and with others.