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What is the Jesuit Difference?

We say, "We’re a Jesuit university!" You say, "Jesuit?"

Here's why being a Jesuit university matters so much to our students, alumni, faculty, and all members of our Loyola University Maryland community.

Who are the Jesuits?

The Jesuits are members of the Society of Jesus, an order of Roman Catholic priests founded by St. Ignatius Loyola.

What are Jesuits known for?

  • Exemplary teaching
  • Intellectual study, pursuing a broad range of knowledge
  • Social justice and service
  • Cultivating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit
  • Commitment to a life of integrity and honesty
  • Traveling throughout the world to serve God
  • Discernment and reflection
  • Dedication to the greater good, the better way, the magis

What makes Loyola a Jesuit university?

Loyola's liberal education ensures students place the highest value on the intellectual life, and that they understand that leadership and service to the world are intimately connected. Loyola remains mindful of the Jesuit precept that the aim of all education ultimately is the ennoblement of the human spirit.

How will studying at a Jesuit university benefit me?

You'll take classes in Loyola's rigorous curriculum where faculty expectations are high.

As an undergraduate, you’ll complete the core curriculum, taking courses in English, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, fine arts, foreign language, mathematics, natural science, and social sciences.

You’ll be challenged to understand the ethical dimensions of personal and professional life and to examine your own values, attitudes, and beliefs.

Outside the classroom, the Jesuit mission is supported through a variety of programs and events sponsored by various departments, including the office of mission integration, Center for Community Service and Justice, and Campus Ministry.

A few Jesuits you may know:

We asked people around campus, "What does the Jesuit difference mean to you?" Here's what they had to say:

"The Jesuit foundation upon which the Loyola Clinical Centers is built allows us to focus on providing educational and allied health services to community members who might not be able to afford or access the services otherwise. In doing so we model for our graduate students—the future generation of service-providers—the importance of intentionally incorporating social justice ideals into their future practice as clinicians and educators."
—Janet Schreck, CCC-SLP, executive director of the Loyola Clinical Centers

"For me, the difference is that our work and our outcomes are based on careful discernment, in partnership with God and with one another, that is always infused with purpose—one that leads to a better for life for those here and for those to come. On top of that, our ability to speak not only freely in our classrooms and scholarship, but also to include discussions and work related to our faiths, strengthens further the traditional academic freedom that is the foundation for what our universities have accomplished."
—Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs

"What makes a Jesuit school different is the emphasis on the core classes—all of them. You may come in knowing what you want to specialize in, but you still want an education that cuts across all subjects—and you enjoy, you don’t complain about it! The Jesuits also talk a lot about the idea of eloquentia perfecta—the ability to express yourself professionally, socially, wherever you happen to be. People tell us all the time that Loyola students are really great communicators!"
—Aileen Cunnane, '14, Floral Park, N.Y.

 "For me, being at a Jesuit university is all about integrity—being involved in community service matters a lot too, because you can’t go out and have an impact on the world if you don't branch out of what you're used to and where you’re from."
—Sam Gillen, '15, Wayne, Pa.

"I’m an RA (resident assistant), and for me it’s all about the core values, especially cura personalis, looking at the whole person. At a Jesuit school, it’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else. It’s not necessarily being the smartest person in the room. It’s being the best version of you you can be."
—Elizabeth Tierney, '14, Sea Cliff, N.Y.

"A Loyola alumna described what Jesuit education had taught her: 'Dare to be a student forever--and for a higher purpose!'"
—Juniper Ellis, Ph.D., professor of English

"For me, the Jesuit difference in teaching entails balancing high expectations from the students with care for them as individuals."
—Gerard Athaide, Ph.D., professor of marketing

"For me, the Jesuits bring a thoughtfulness and contemplation to all discussions of issues important to our lives."
- Kevin Atticks, DCD, publisher of Apprentice House and affiliate assistant professor of communication