SJU Honors St. Ignatius with Leadership Conference

Sold-out event to present model for ‘contemplatives in action’

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

by Katie Smith ’15

PHILADELPHIA (July 28, 2014) — Saint Joseph’s University will hold its inaugural Ignatian Leadership Conference on Thursday, July 31, which is the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Saint Joseph’s was founded by Jesuits in Philadelphia in 1851.

Participants will learn a new model of Ignatian leadership that joins current leadership theory and the gifts of Ignatian spirituality. The model was created by SJU faculty and administrators Ronald Dufresne, Ph.D., associate professor of management; E. Springs Steele, Ph.D., associate provost for mission and identity; and Karin Botto, M.S., executive director of organizational learning and Ignatian leadership.

“The conference is based on the four quadrants of the model: self-knowledge, personal striving, communal discernment and enacted love, all tenets of Ignatian leadership,” says Botto. “We have used this model for our internal leadership programs for faculty and administrators, and we are delighted to now share this work with alumni and friends of Saint Joseph's University.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. The successful legacy of the Jesuits around the world demonstrates that he was one of the most effective leaders in history. His leadership approach, centered on being a contemplative in action, has been adopted in numerous leadership contexts over the past 500 years.

“Our model allows us to create programs, workshops and conferences that teach the spiritual values and leadership style of St. Ignatius for practical use by a wide range of individuals, groups and organizations.” Steele notes.

The sold-out event, running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will bring 100 participants to Hawk Hill. Conference topics include St. Ignatius and his leadership style, the SJU model of Ignatian leadership, learning tools to develop self-awareness, developing a personal discernment practice, and group decision-making.

Michael Gomez, Ed.D., founding principal of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, will deliver the keynote address. Gomez’s work with low-income students exemplifies the values of Ignatian leadership.

More information on Ignatian leadership and the event can be found on the conference’s website

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Director of CAS Communications, 610-660-3240,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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