“Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” For the Greater Glory of God is the motto of the Society of Jesus. This motto identifies the purpose of all endeavors. It is not simply doing good, but rather doing what will better or more effectively reveal God’s active presence in our work and in our world. Discerning what is better is always an important principle of our decision-making.
Contemplation in Action – St. Ignatius Loyola believed that prayer and reflection should guide our choices and actions. Contemplation is a critical dimension of the spiritual life and it is reflected in Georgetown’s commitments. Analogously, in the academic life, a spirit of reflectivity is a critical aspect of intellectual inquiry.
Academic Excellence – In 1547, the first Jesuits were invited to begin a college in Messina, Italy to allow the young men to receive the same quality of education that the early Jesuits promoted in training their own. Georgetown University is a descendant of this original commitment to education. Academic excellence describes the great importance that we have placed on the life of the mind as a means for uncovering truth and discovering meaning. Georgetown’s emphasis on academic excellence is reflected in the careful selection of both our faculty and students, the quality of teaching and the importance of research on campus, and it has led to our recognition as one of the top 25 universities in the United States.
Educating the Whole Person – St. Ignatius believed that God could be discovered in every human endeavor, in every facet of learning and experience, and in every field of study. He promoted the development of the spiritual, intellectual, artistic, social and physical aspects of each person. Georgetown’s commitment to educating the whole person is evident in our strong core curriculum, our wide array of academic programs and our commitment to living and learning in spiritual communities.
“Cura Personalis” – This Latin phrase translates as “Care of the Person,” and was originally used to describe the responsibility to care for each man in the community with his unique gifts, challenges, needs and possibilities. This value now is applied more broadly to include the relationship between educators and students and professional relationships among all those who work in the University. “Cura Personalis” suggests individualized attention to the needs, distinct respect for each other’s unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for each individual’s particular gifts and insights. Georgetown offers a wealth of wellness resources to students, faculty and staff.
Faith and Justice – The Jesuits made a significant institutional commitment to “the service of faith and the promotion of justice,” which obligates us to address the social realities of poverty, oppression and injustice. While not all members of the Georgetown community would base their commitment to justice on religious principles, our institutional commitment to promote justice in the world, grounds and inspires numerous University projects with the underserved communities of the world.
Women and Men for Others – Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., employed the phrase “Men for Others” in a notable 1973 presentation in Valencia, Spain. Father Arrupe provocatively challenged the alumni of Jesuit schools and universities to be engaged in the struggle for justice to protect the needs of the most vulnerable. Today, this phrase has become more inclusive and its spirit is evidenced in Georgetown’s promotion of community-based learning courses; our local, national and international service projects; justice immersion programs; and over many student-led service and justice organizations.
Interreligious Understanding – The Georgetown University community comprises a wide variety of religious traditions, we support a variety of faith based student groups, a variety of affiliated ministries and numerous interreligious events and services. In addition, the University sponsors the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding; the Program for Jewish Civilization; the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and the Catholic Studies Program.
Community in Diversity – The Georgetown community welcomes and sustains rich diversity among our students, faculty and staff. Approximately 52 percent of our student body are women, 22 percent of our undergraduate students are from a minority ethnic background, and over 2,000 students, faculty and researchers come from 130 foreign countries. At the Qatar campus the students comprise of about 50 different nationalities from a diverse variety of faiths and cultural backgrounds.