Introduction to Ignite
From the President
The University of Scranton is animated by the vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his first companions. The Society of Jesus is more than 470 years old and continues to educate young men and women in the spirit of Ignatius. One of the key phrases capturing the charism of Ignatian spirituality is “to love and serve in all things.” In Ignatius’ Spanish it reads “en todo amar y servir.” So it is most appropriate for this issue of Ignite: Faculty work in the Ignatian tradition to celebrate our University’s commitment to service.
How did Ignatius understand service, and how might we follow his lead? For Ignatius, we begin to learn about service by looking at God who is the first to serve. From God, we learn that love stimulates service and, to paraphrase Ignatius, love is expressed in serving more than in speaking. And we also learn that to serve is always to share what we have been given.
Here lies the key to Jesuit higher education in the 21st century. What universities claim to be teaching their students—specifically, to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems and communicate clearly—is necessary, but not sufficient, for Jesuit universities. For a Jesuit university should ask more of its students by challenging them to make Ignatius’ charge—his notion of service—their own. This is the “value added” of Jesuit higher education.
To deliver a transformative education in the Jesuit tradition requires the integration of academic, moral and spiritual learning—the union of mind, heart and soul. For Ignatius, a proper education should help students discover their vocation in life, above all their vocation to love and serve. Scranton faculty and staff take this charge seriously, and so our students excel in service. Whether providing care at the University’s own Leahy Clinic, assisting at social service agencies around town, or traveling “abroad with a purpose,” Scranton students embody and celebrate Ignatius’ notion of service. This is what makes The University of Scranton so special.
Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.