What is the Jesuit Difference?

Pope Francis with text, 'Transformational Leaders are Jesuit Educated.'

Here's why being a Jesuit university matters so much to our students, alumni, faculty, and all members of our Loyola University Maryland community.

Who are the Jesuits?

The Jesuits are members of the Society of Jesus, an order of Roman Catholic priests founded by St. Ignatius Loyola.

What are Jesuits known for?

  • Exemplary teaching
  • Intellectual study, pursuing a broad range of knowledge
  • Social justice and service
  • Cultivating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit
  • Commitment to a life of integrity and honesty
  • Traveling throughout the world to serve God
  • Discernment and reflection
  • Dedication to the greater good, the better way, the magis

What makes Loyola a Jesuit university?

Loyola's liberal education ensures students place the highest value on the intellectual life, and that they understand that leadership and service to the world are intimately connected. Loyola remains mindful of the Jesuit precept that the aim of all education ultimately is the ennoblement of the human spirit.

How will studying at a Jesuit university benefit me?

You'll take classes in Loyola's rigorous curriculum where faculty expectations are high.

As an undergraduate, you’ll complete the core curriculum, taking courses in English, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, visual and performing arts, foreign language, mathematics, natural science, and social sciences.

You’ll be challenged to understand the ethical dimensions of personal and professional life and to examine your own values, attitudes, and beliefs.

Outside the classroom, the Jesuit mission is supported through a variety of programs and events sponsored by various departments, including the office of mission integration, Center for Community, Service, and Justice, and Campus Ministry.

A few Jesuits you may know:

What does it mean to be educated in the Jesuit tradition?

Jesuit education is about intellectual rigor, being challenged to do more and be more, thinking of people and problems beyond yourself, and trying to be part of the solution toward a more just world. But it’s even more than that. Read what some Loyola University Maryland students, graduates, and other members of the community have to say.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president emeritus

"Our Jesuit, Catholic mission challenges our students—and, indeed, each of us—with determining our role in addressing issues of social justice. A Loyola education does not merely prepare students to thrive in their future personal and professional lives. A Loyola education impels and inspires, perhaps even requires, our students and graduates to seek out injustice, to give voice to the voiceless, to work toward peace, and to create a brighter tomorrow."

Patricia Bryan

Patricia Bryan, ’15

"My Jesuit education at Loyola has inspired me to continue to learn from others, to remain humble and genuine, and to keep in mind the thing that matters most: love. I strongly desire to redefine justice and remind people of the importance of emotions. My experience at Loyola provided me with the pool of people and opportunities necessary to break my previous understanding of things. Without it, I would still be afraid to dream, I would still be quick to hate, and I would still be easy to deceive."

Major Sean Gallagher

Major Sean Gallagher

"A second lieutenant commissioned from the Greyhound Battalion can be deployed in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan within a year, as some of our recent graduates have experienced. They will be in charge of a whole valley full of villages with local population. This is an incredible responsibility for a young man or woman, which is why it is important for them to take everything seriously—not only here, but continuing on forward. Leadership excellence for the nation starts in the Greyhound Battalion, where Strong Truths Well Lived meets Army Strong. We look to develop leaders of character, commitment, and competence for the United States Army that will lead, learn, serve, and win in a complex and changing world."

Bill Heiser

Bill Heiser, Ed.D., ’95, president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

"My Jesuit experience as a student and later as an administrator at Loyola taught me the importance of service for others. I’ve spent my entire career working in education, with the mission of giving back to students what Loyola gave me: “an opportunity to become something more.” I embrace the Latin word, magis, meaning “more” or “better,” and the motto Ad majorem Dei gloriam, meaning “for the greater glory of God.” Loyola taught me the importance of doing more for Christ and, therefore, doing more for others. Never have those words been more important than in my current role as president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore City, where we strive to transform lives one student at a time in the Jesuit tradition."

Rev. John Conley, S.J.

Rev. John Conley, S.J., Bernard P. Knott Chair of Philosophy and Theology

"Most Jesuit schools still offer a strong core curriculum, balanced by discipline-specific professional training through the election of a major. This balance between a broad humanistic-scientific formation and a more narrow specialized formation in one discipline distinguishes the Jesuit vision of education from that which animates many other American colleges, devoted to professional training alone or to a loose collection of elective courses that never demands that the student leave his or her academic comfort zone."

Michelle Betton

Michelle Betton, ’05

"My Loyola education gave me a broader view, a world view. The Jesuit tradition teaches students how to be citizens of the world. Through a well-rounded education, students learn about the people and places around them, how we are all connected, and that we can change the world for the better if we choose to. Everything is important, everything is sacred, and each action, however small, can change the world around it. It is this education that set me on my current path, working to address poverty and inequality around the globe. I champion critical causes because I feel that every person deserves the same advantages that we at Loyola had the opportunity to experience—and because God calls us to value and cherish all of His people. I am making my small change by working for others, and I hope that in conjunction with all those working around the world, we will effect major change that will eliminate inequality and poverty wherever it is found."

Gabe Carter

Gabe Carter, ’15

"My Jesuit education at Loyola University Maryland also shaped me to understand servant leadership: to lead by example and to lead passionately and strongly with others is far more important than ordering others around. Even though I knew what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have without the friends and teachers who inspired, taught, and supported me."