Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility



Michael Cooper, SJ

50 Years a Priest
Adjunct Professor of Ignatian Spirituality & Pastoral Studies, St. Leo University

Father Michael Cooper, SJ, celebrates 50 years of serving the people of God as a priest. A member of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, he currently serves as adjunct professor of Ignatian Spirituality and Pastoral Studies at St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida.

Following his ordination and subsequent completion of his doctorate in Sacred Theology, Fr. Michael (as he prefers to be called) served as a retreat minister at the Jesuit Renewal Center in Milford, Ohio, while simultaneously teaching spirituality at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He was a professor of spirituality and pastoral theology at Loyola University in Chicago from 1986 to 1997, where he also served as superior of the Gonzaga House.

After serving as director of the Spiritual Life Center for the Diocese of Gary (Indiana) for one year, Fr. Michael began his tenure at St. Leo University in 1999 as assistant to the president for university ministry and director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies. In 2007, he began full-time teaching of undergraduates and graduate students in the Master of Theology program, which he developed. His graduate courses focused on Ignatian Spirituality and on Christian Spirituality.

In 2021, Fr. Michael retired from Saint Leo and founded the Arrupe Spirituality Digital Community on Zoom, of which he is the director. The Arrupe Spirituality ministry offers programs in the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, a book club and a year-long internship for spiritual directors, along with other programs in Christian spirituality. Besides taking care of his dog, LuLu, Fr. Michael also helps with Mass in two local parishes and is chaplain for the Knights of Columbus.

Father Michael earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and English from Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in the sociology of religion from Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. He has also received a Master of Divinity from JSTC in Chicago and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique in Paris.