Promoting our Jesuit mission and identity
Much has changed since members of the Society of Jesus founded Saint Peter’s College in 1872. The College became New Jersey’s first Catholic coeducational college. The construction of residence halls transformed Saint Peter’s from a commuter to residential campus. Academic programs evolved to meet the emerging needs of society.
But one constant has remained—an education rooted in Jesuit mission and values. VISION 2015 enables us to advance our interfaith community, further integrate faith and reason, and encourage a lifelong commitment to service.
Advancing a Dynamic Interfaith Community
A generation ago, Saint Peter’s attracted a local pool of students who were primarily Catholic. Today, 37 languages are spoken on campus and the student body comprises a rich blend of cultures, faiths and religions from around the world.
While the College’s student body is still predominately Catholic, we will develop this dynamic interfaith community further by introducing opportunities for personal spirituality among the entire College community, as well as professional development for faculty and administrators to strengthen our culture of respect and tolerance.
Further Integrating Faith and Reason
Believing they were “finding God in all things,” early Jesuit scholars courageously embraced both scientific and humanistic developments as revelations of the Creator’s ongoing work of creation. True to that tradition, the new strategic plan urges us to find ways to integrate both religious truth and the use of reason in our graduates so that they are truly men and women of Ignatian discernment, of nuanced ethics, and values that lead them to serve the common good.
Concretely this will mean a First Year Experience infused with Ignatian values, an ethics component in the curriculum of every academic department, and a graduation requirement of service learning.
Encouraging a Lifelong Commitment to Service
“Men and Women for Others” is more than a slogan at Saint Peter’s—it’s a way of life. To further instill lifelong service to others, the College will implement a deeper exploration of volunteerism by building upon existing programs such as the First Year Experience, as well as orientation involving new faculty, staff and students. We will also encourage immersion experiences that offer faculty and staff meaningful opportunities— at home and abroad—to gain a better understanding of Ignatian values and then utilize that experience to engage others in service and social action.
“I’m encouraged by the strategic plan,” said Rev. Michael L. Braden, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry who is also a member of the Promoting Jesuit Mission and Identity Strategic Planning Team. “There may be fewer Jesuits in the classroom, but students will still receive a quality Jesuit education. There will be more and more people on campus who will be good role models— maybe even better role models—because they’ve bought into Ignatian values of cura personalis and magis, and live them in their own way.”
Saint Peter’s College: Vision 2015
Saint Peter’s will be recognized by its community-engaged environment, greener and more eco-friendly campus and new Interfaith Center that will serve as a place of interfaith worship, scholarship and leadership training. A deepened commitment to Jesuit values will be evident throughout the College, from an empowered lay faculty and administrators who have a deeper appreciation for Ignatian values, to the greater number of graduates who go on to serve with organizations such as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Teach for America and the Peace Corps.