Jesuits of the U.S. Central and Southern Province are involved in education at several levels. The province sponsors four universities, two colleges, 12 high schools and two middle schools. These enterprises share a common sense of mission that is in continuity with the historical evolution of the Ignatian charism dating back to 1551 when the Roman College opened its doors. These schools respect the reality of being both Catholic and Jesuit-sponsored works, and they rely, perhaps as never before, on the collaborative talents and energies of Jesuits and their partners.
On the 200th anniversary of Jesuit education in the United States, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, then Superior General of the Society of Jesus, described the purpose of Jesuit Education:
“Our purpose in education, then, is to form men and women for others. The Society of Jesus has always sought to imbue students with values that transcend the goals of money, fame, and success. We want graduates who will be leaders concerned about society and the world in which they live. We want graduates who desire to eliminate hunger and conflict in the world and who are sensitive to the need for more equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We want graduates who seek to end sexual and social discrimination and who are eager to share their faith with others. In short, we want our graduates to be leaders-in-service. That has been the goal of Jesuit education since the sixteenth century. It remains so today.”