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,


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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