The purpose of this article is to give you a sense of what it means that Gonzaga identifies as a Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic university, and how we live out this mission in a religiously diverse community.
We also hope you will consider joining one or more of our learning opportunities during Orientation Weekend. Keep an eye out for sessions and events that help you get to know our history, our mission, and some of the Jesuits who work here.
Again, welcome! We look forward to talking with you more in the months and years ahead.
Gonzaga identifies as a Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic university. What does that mean? Even though we use three words, we are speaking of one mission identity. The Jesuits are a religious order within the Catholic Church, and they were founded in a context of Renaissance Humanism in the 1500’s.
The unofficial motto of the Jesuits is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, which means “For the Greater Glory of God.” Their spiritual tradition is rooted in the belief that God is real and active in our lives and that through discernment we can make choices to collaborate with God in the continued healing and restoration of the world. This is why Jesuit spirituality shows itself in the relentless pursuit of justice. Furthermore, as “Jesus-ites,” the Jesuits put relationship with Jesus at the center, believing that receiving the life of Christ more deeply into our own lives informs this way of being and acting in the world.
Almost from the beginning, Jesuits believed that education was a worthy way to live out their mission. They recognized the power of education in helping people live beyond their own ego and apply intellectual rigor in service of truth and the common good. In other words, they believed that education could help graduates make decisions for the positive transformation of our world, or as they would put it: for the greater glory of God.
Today, Gonzaga carries on this Jesuit tradition by “educating students for lives of leadership and service for the common good” (according to our Mission Statement).
Embracing Diversity in our Community
The reason that Jesuits believe in education may or may not be the reason you have chosen to join the Gonzaga family. We welcome diversity in our community, and we know based on demographic data that at least 20 faith perspectives are represented in our student body each year.
The Jesuits have a long tradition of educating diverse student populations. Many families in the last 475+ years have made the decision to invest in a Jesuit education because they hoped for excellence, a well-rounded approach, and a context in which questions about God, faith and spirituality could be pursued seriously but not prescriptively.
We have found that our mission values and aspirations provide many doorways through which members of our community find inspiration and resonance. Our mission comes to life as diverse people find unique ways of participating in it.
For more information about how our Mission and Ministry team may assist students, from a variety of backgrounds, in integrating their faith commitments with their educational experience, please visit our website at https://www.gonzaga.edu/about/our-mission-jesuit-values/office-of-mission-ministry/students.