Jesuit Identity

Saint Ignatius understood the power and responsibility of education.

In 1534, when Saint Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), he insisted that all members of the Order be educated. Next on the agenda was the establishment of schools, colleges, and seminaries across Europe – you might call that revolutionary in an age when education was reserved for the extremely wealthy. Today, the Jesuits are known for having both high academic standards and a strong commitment to social justice.

So what does a 450-year old Jesuit have to do with you? Saint Ignatius was a visionary thinker and prolific writer. Magis is just one of the principles he wrote about that is still powerfully relevant today.

Magis comes from the Latin phrase Ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God. St. Ignatius asked himself and those around him, "What have I done for God? What am I doing for God? And, "What more can I do for Him?"

Don't worry, though. You don't have to be Catholic to appreciate the principle. Living the magis will call you to look deeply into yourself, reflect on your choices, and then choose to live greater, not only for yourself, but also for those around you.

Because you aren't one-dimensional, Saint Joseph's won't limit you to one form of self-expression. That's the gist of Cura personalis: care for the whole person. You'll have freedom to explore your interests and talents, starting in our liberal arts program and continuing with the breadth of student clubs and organizations.

With others. For others. Service is central to Jesuit identity. Though it's not a graduation requirement, hundreds of Saint Joseph's students serve every week. In 2008, our National Alumni Board created Global Community Day, where SJU graduates gather to serve their local communities. The first year, alumni in five U.S. cities participated. Since then, the movement has grown and gone global.

Live greater. Whether you're a traditional undergraduate, adult student, or in a graduate program, you will grow at Saint Joseph's, mind, body, and soul. That's the magis.