The following Georgetown University values attributed to the insights of St. Ignatius of Loyola, will help you to understand what makes us such a welcoming and enriching educational community. From its founding, Georgetown was proud to welcome students from various religious and cultural backgrounds. And as Georgetown expands into a global university, these values continue to guide us and help us celebrate the diversity of people, views, and beliefs that strengthen our education and service missions. We hope that whatever traditions you bring to our university community, you will find that you can incorporate these Ignatian values in a way that applies to you and to your experience at Georgetown, and beyond.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
The motto of the Society of Jesus is “for the Greater Glory of God”. This motto is at the root of all of life’s endeavors – it is not simply doing good that matters, but rather doing good that will better or more effectively reveal God’s active presence in our work and in our world. Discerning what is greater is always an important principle of our decision-making.
In 1547, the first Jesuits were invited to begin a college in Messina, Italy, so that the young men of that town could 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 universities in the United States.
Care for Our Common Home
Pope Francis urgently calls for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” As we strive to protect our common home and promote the common good, we show respect for the Creator and act on the moral imperative to care for the earth and for those most impacted by environmental degradation. Georgetown seeks to strengthen our efforts to bring the intellectual, institutional, and spiritual resources of our community to advance environmental sustainability and environmental justice.
Community in Diversity
The Georgetown community affirms and promotes a rich and growing diversity of faith traditions, and the varieties of cultural heritages represented by our students, faculty, and staff. Approximately 52% of our total student body are women, 22% 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 come from more than 50 different nationalities and represent a diverse variety of faiths and cultural backgrounds. Georgetown lives out this institutional commitment through a variety of resources and programs across our campuses, including: the Office of Student Equity & Inclusion; the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, & Affirmative Action; the Women’s Center; and a wide array of student-led cultural and faith-based groups.
Contemplation in Action
St. Ignatius believed that prayer and reflectivity should guide our choices and actions. Contemplation is a critical dimension of the spiritual life and it is reflected in Georgetown’s commitments. In academic life, a spirit of reflectivity is a critical aspect of intellectual inquiry.
This Latin phrase translates as “Care of the Person,” and originally was used to describe the responsibility of the Jesuit Superior to care for each man in the community with his unique gifts, challenges, needs, and possibilities. Today this value applies broadly to our shared University life, to include the relationship between educators and students, and professional relationships among all those who work in the University. Cura Personalis is a profound care and responsibility for one another, grounded in individualized attention to the needs of the other, attentive to their unique circumstances and concerns, and their particular gifts and limitations, to encourage each person’s flourishing.
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. As such, he promoted the development of the spiritual, intellectual, artistic, social, and physical virtues of each person. Georgetown commits to integrating the virtuous life into academic experiences, co-curricular life on campus, immersion trips, living-learning communities, religious and humanistic engagement, and all the shared experiences of our community life.
Faith that Does 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 in our world. Georgetown’s commitment to faith formation carries this commitment forward into our academic and community life, and in the promotion of justice to advance the common good. The “faith that does justice” is expressed and acted upon in Georgetown’s centers for research and dialogue, community based learning courses, social justice immersion experiences, and in direct service to the marginalized and vulnerable in our community.
The Georgetown University community comprises a wide variety of religious traditions. We support faith based student groups, a variety of affiliated ministries, and provide platforms for interreligious events with the understanding that this dialogue opens up an understanding of God revealed through different religious traditions, recognizing and celebrating the spiritual and moral values found among these traditions. 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.
People for Others
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., used 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 many student-led service and justice organizations.