The Fathers of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is a religious order of the Catholic Church, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. The Jesuits are active in the field of education throughout the world. In India, they run many schools and colleges. These institutions are part of the Catholic Church’s effort to impart education to the people of India.
1.World-Affirming: Jesuit education acknowledges God as the Author of all reality, all truth and all knowledge. God is present and working in all of creation: in nature, in history and in persons. Jesuit education, therefore, affirms the radical goodness of the world ‘charged with the grandeur of God.’ So it regards every element of creation as worthy of study and contemplation, capable of endless exploration
2.The total formation of each individual within the community: God is especially revealed in the mystery of the human person, ‘created in the image of likeness of God.’ Jesuit education, therefore, probes the meaning of human life and is concerned with the total formation of each student as an individual personally loved by God. The objective of Jesuit education is to assist in
the fullest possible development of all of the God-given talents of each individual person as a member of the human community.In Jesuit education, particular care is given to the development of the imaginative, the affective, and the creative dimensions of each student in all courses of study. These dimensions enrich learning and prevent it from being merely intellectual. For these same reasons, Jesuit education includes opportunities through course work and through co-curricular activities which help all students to come to an appreciation of literature, aesthetics, music and fine arts.
3.Value-oriented Education : Jesuit education includes formation in values, in attitudes, and in an ability to evaluate criteria; that is, it includes formation of the will. Since a knowledge of good and evil, and of the hierarchy of relative goods is necessary both for the recognition of the different influences that affect freedom and for the exercise of freedom, education takes place in a moral context: knowledge is joined to virtue.
4.Men and Women for others : Jesuit education helps students to realize that talents are gifts to be developed, not for self satisfaction or self gain, but rather, with the help of God for the good of the human community. Students are encouraged to use their gifts in the service of others, out of love for God.
5.A particular concern for the poor : Reflecting on the actual situation of today’s world and responding to the call of Christ who had a special love and concern for the poor, the Jesuits have made a ‘preferential option’ for the poor. This includes those without economic means, the handicapped, the dalits, the marginalized and all those who are, in any sense, unable to live a life of full human dignity. In Jesuit education this option is reflected both in the students who are admitted and in the type of formation that is given.
6.Excellence in formation : In Jesuit education, the criteria of excellence is applied to all areas of student life: the aim is the fullest possible development of every dimension of the person, linked to the development of a sense of values and a commitment to the service of others which gives priority to the needs of the poor and is willing to sacrifice self-interest for the promotion of justice. The pursuit of academic excellence is appropriate in a Jesuit Institution, but only within the larger context of human excellence.
A traditional aim of Jesuit education has been to train ‘leaders’; men and women who assume responsible positions in society through which they have a positive influence on others. In today’s understanding the Ignatian world – view is not to prepare a socio economic elite, but rather to educate leaders in service.