[July 23, 2018] In our world there has been a trend – some say it’s a fad – to denigrate anything having to do with religion. That trend is foolish and here is one reason why. Simply put, the Jesuit religious value system brings out the very best in people.
A Jesuit education is an integral part of teaching Jesuit core values. These values are what drive and guide individuals, help us in our everyday lives, and teach us to reflect on critical thought and responsible action.1
I first became aware of Jesuit values when one of our sons first attended a Jesuit High School. It was a thoughtful, conscious choice and, of course, it was ultimately the right choice.
Here are the core values of Jesuits; those same ones that make their members successful in life:
- Magis: Striving for excellence.
- Women and men for and with others: sharing gifts, pursuing justice, and concern for the poor.
- Cura Personalis: “Care for the individual person.” Respecting each person as a child of God.
- Unity of Heart, Mind, and Soul: developing the whole person.
- Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: for the greater glory of God.
- Forming and Educating agents of change: teaching behaviors that reflect critical thought and responsible action on moral and ethical issues.
These core values are used to drive and guide individuals. It means to broaden your understanding of cultural and global differences and increase civic engagement. It means taking care of the entire person and caring for individual needs. It also means recognizing that we as leaders will always need to do more.
Jesuit values mean that one should never force Jesuit values on individuals nor ostracize those who do not prefer to follow these values. This is what makes a Jesuit education a worthy goal of any person who wants to improve themselves and, importantly, to help others.