Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

SLU’s Shared Mission

The Shared Mission program offers an in-depth, community-based opportunity for faculty, staff, administrators and trustees of Saint Louis University. This foundational program opens the door for deeper participation in the wide variety of mission programs offered by SLU's Division for Mission and Identity. The ongoing formation of our community strengthens the Catholic Jesuit mission of the university, a mission steeped in over five centuries of history in the Ignatian tradition yet arguably more vital now than ever before.

 Over the course of an academic year, six Ignatian luncheons bring together small group cohorts to meet, learn, discuss, and integrate the history, impact and lived reality of the Jesuit mission and Ignatian identity of Saint Louis University. Participants in the Shared Mission program come from diverse academic, professional and religious backgrounds. All are welcome to participate as we seek to form an Ignatian “band of companions” centered on mission as we build a community of belonging. Register here for the Ignatian luncheons.

Program Content and Takeaways

Session 1: The Mission of Saint Louis University
  1. The Catholic Jesuit mission in education
  2. Mission, Identity, Community
  3. Contributing to the mission


  • An introduction to some of the basic principles of the Catholic, Jesuit mission of Saint Louis University:
  • Do I have to be Catholic to participate in the mission?
  • What does mission look like in my own particular department/discipline?
  • What part can I play in the mission?
  • How does the Jesuit identity “show up” in the mission?

Session 2: Saint Ignatius of Loyola
  1. The Soldier
  2. The Pilgrim
  3. The Companion
  4. The Founder


A focus on Jesuit identity by telling the story of St. Ignatius, and an invitation to find parallels in our own life stories:

  • Why is the life of Ignatius relevant to our mission today?
  • What does it mean to “find God in all things” in a university setting?
  • What role does community play in carrying out, and maximizing the impact of, the mission?
  • How can setbacks become invitations to something new?

Session 3: The Society of Jesus Throughout History
  1. Early Jesuits and their Contributions    
  2. The Society and Slavery
  3. Contemporary Initiatives


  • How do contributions to science, mathematics, art, literature, etc., express the Catholic Jesuit mission?
  • What does the painful history of slaveholding at Saint Louis University require of us today?
  • What is the “current history” being written by the Jesuit mission today?

Session 4: The Universal Apostolic Preferences
  1. Jesuit Works and Global Collaboration
  2. Discernment
  3. Walking with the Marginalized
  4. Creating a Hope-filled Future
  5. Caring for our Common Home


A sense of the global Jesuit mission by providing an overview of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences:

  • How do current global realities impact what we do here at Saint Louis University?
  • How can I contribute to the work of the Jesuit mission in light of these preferences?
  • “Think globally; act locally.” -Patrick Geddes

Session 5: Jesuit Higher Education
  1. Education as Ministry
  2. Education of the Whole Person
  3. Education as a Transformative Project
  4. The Network of Jesuit Education


The distinctiveness of Jesuit education:

  • What does it mean to “care for the whole person”?
  • How does Saint Louis University make education about more than information and academic progress?
  • Why is it significant that Jesuit universities collaborate nationally and globally?
  • “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle

Session 6: The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm
  1. Context:  who are we?
  2. Experience:  what has occurred?
  3. Reflection:  what was the meaning?
  4. Action:  what must we do?
  5. Evaluation:  how do we serve a higher purpose and greater good?


A sense of Ignatian service, scholarship, and spirituality through use of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm:

  • How do the steps of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm play out in the daily experiences of your department?
  • What is at stake if we are not deliberate about reflection before taking action?
  • What is required when we recognize we have failed?