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Collegium: Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life

An annual week-long summer seminar for faculty at Catholic colleges and universities nationwide to reflect on the intersections of faith and intellectual life. The colloquies provide a collegial environment in which participants from diverse backgrounds, faiths, and disciplines can discuss the Catholic intellectual tradition, higher education, and their own place in it. More information on the Collegium National Organization.

2024 Collegium Colloquy - June 2024, College of the Holy Cross

Faculty participants move among plenary talks, small group conversations led by mentors who are themselves Collegium alums, and time for both communal and individual reflection and prayer. Readings, poetry, works of art and film provide daily structure and substantive sources of insights and further questions, always with the aim of helping people more deeply understand the nature of their vocation and the vital contributions they make to the mission of their home institution. Because the rhythm of the colloquy depends on a shared commitment of group members to a process that takes a week to develop, participants should be able to commit to being present throughout the colloquy. Open to full-time faculty.


Past Collegium Participants 

Name Department
Gerard Athaide Marketing
Carolyn Barry Psychology
Danielle Brabazon Chemistry
Bill Donovan History
Lynne Elkes Economics
Mickey Fenzel Pastoral Counseling
Keith Gallagher Computer Science
Dave Haddad Mathematics / Academic Affairs
Mark Johnson Finance
Raymond Jones Management and International Business
Randy Jones Physics
Suzanne Keilson Engineering
Beth Kotchick Psychology
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. Theology/ President's Office
 Jon Malis Fine Arts
Ilona McGuiness Writing
Janet Maher Fine Arts
Rev. Jim Miracky, S.J. English / Loyola College Dean's Office
Brian Norman English / Academic Affairs
Elizabeth Oakes Pastoral Counseling
Paola Pascual-Ferra Communication
Janet Preis Speech-language Pathology/Audiology
Dan Schlapbach Fine Arts
Norm Sedgley Economics
Wendy Smith Teacher Education
Joseph Stewart-Sicking Education Specialties
Martha Wharton Academic Affairs
Karsonya Wise Whitehead Communication

Thoughts from past participants

After a grueling academic year where I took on administrative responsibilities for Sellinger Scholars (business honors program) in addition to my 4/4 teaching load, I looked forward to an opportunity to step back, breathe, and think about what was integral to my work at a Catholic, Jesuit institution. The week-long Collegium at St. John’s University in Minnesota was not just my first time in the Midwest, but my first opportunity to enjoy learning with faculty, staff, and administrators from Catholic institutions across the country. All of us were a bit apprehensive about the week, but quickly fell into a camaraderie of stories, shared experiences, and enlightenment. I found that no matter the discipline or rank, each person struggled with how to make Catholic institutions unique in teaching and mentoring 21st century students, especially in a post-pandemic world. While there were no clear-cut answers, Collegium gave me a chance to truly reflect and discern what I could bring to both my students and colleagues in the next year and beyond. Understanding that the work we do at Catholic institutions is holy/sacramental, provided me with the strength and desire to carry on with my work after 28 years in the classroom. I highly recommend the experience to faculty, staff, and administrators alike as a chance to step back and take time to see the bigger picture of our work and lives.
-Lynne Elkes (Economics), 2022 Collegium participant

I applied to the Collegium program specifically for this summer of 2021 after the burdens of the pandemic were somewhat alleviated and the return to a ‘normal’ campus in the fall loomed. An uneasy anticipation needed to be acknowledged. Although the week-long colloquy was virtual, we enjoyed spiritual exercises at the beginning and ending of each day, larger thoughtful and inspiring lectures, and time for smaller group discussions. As the mentor and guide of our small group said, “I will hear your voices long after this week is done”. A surprisingly delightful experience for me, which we all did individually the first evening, was watching “Babette’s Feast”, a movie which celebrates the spiritual-physical connections in the joys of a meal. My small group was composed of colleagues from various Catholic institutions across the United States and from a variety of disciplines. It was reassuring to meet colleagues from math, communication, neuroscience as well as theology and philosophy. We struggled and conversed together over everything from the mundane details of teaching and campus politics to the more sacred concerns of what a ‘sacramental’ view of our work might look like.  Sometimes we tend to make the division between the sacred and profane too rigid and the Collegium experience helped to refresh and remind me that there is always such a holy element in our work as teachers and scholars. Collegium helps to illuminate how a desire for meaning and purpose, that we all have, can align with larger traditions, missions, and values. This question of the sacramental was placed in juxtaposition with the ‘prophetic’ imperative of our collective work in higher education, acknowledging, without despair, the challenges we face and a call to our work, in whatever field. The experience helped to reaffirm my conviction that there is nothing wrong and everything right in believing that these world views and wisdoms have something important to say to me and to my discipline.
-Suzanne Keilson (Engineering), 2021 Collegium participant

Having attended Collegium in 2003 at St. John's University (Collegeville, MN) early in my years as a junior faculty at Loyola, I welcomed the opportunity to return to Collegium in June 2017 at St. Catherine's University (St. Paul, MN) at a very different time in my professional life now as a full professor and incoming department chair. I found this abbreviated visit of just 2 days (compared to the week-long trip) to be packed with rich conversations with faculty and administrators from across the country who care deeply about Catholic higher education. Throughout the two days, we shared numerous prayer services, guided examens, and a special concluding mass, where I got to return to a college hobby of mine, singing in the choir. The first day of presentations mapped the terrain of the current challenges, opportunities, and priorities for the future of Catholic higher education. On the second day we explored particular issues (STEM advancement, diversity, online pedagogy, interfaith encounters) as they relate to Catholic mission, as well as engaged in an imaginative exercise of what would a university look like that was built upon particular Catholic people (e.g., Pope Francis, Teilhard de Chardin, Oscaro Romero, Dorothy Day, Gregor Mendel). While at Loyola we focus on Jesuit spirituality when we discuss mission, I enjoyed sharing best practices of how mission is lived out at other institutions who have a variety of Catholic charisms. I left Pause at 25 having made many new professional contacts and friends at other institutions, having strengthened my relationships with my institutional colleagues on the trip (Kaye Whitehead and Brian Norman), and having a renewed spirit in my vocation as a faculty member at our Jesuit, Catholic institution of Loyola University Maryland.
-Carolyn Barry (Psychology), 2017 Collegium participant

"Collegium offered an expansive vision of the Catholic intellectual tradition and an inclusive approach to thinking about intersections of academic inquiry and spiritual life. I was challenged by the array of colleagues from various backgrounds, sensibilities, and faith commitments--including none--all of whom shared a fierce commitment to the life of the mind and educational ideals. I left more fluent in the intellectual tradition in which Loyola participates and a sharpened sense of institutional mission and identity--and the important difference between the two. I appreciated the opportunity to reflect among colleagues on my own role as a non-Catholic faculty member and academic leader at a Jesuit, Catholic institution."
- Brian Norman (English), 2015 Collegium participant

"Collegium was a great opportunity that allowed me to meet colleagues from all over the country and learn how they integrate faith and spirituality into the classroom. I know how important our Jesuit mission is as a University and learning how to better bring our mission alive in my teaching, scholarship, and service was especially enriching. I highly recommend this spiritual and professional development opportunity."
- Mark Johnson (Finance), 2013 Collegium participant

"My participation in "The Collegium: Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life" came at an important time, when I was pondering many inter-related questions. The retreat aspect of the weekend allowed me to explore these on a deep level, and, by chance, to discover a meditation center within walking distance of the grounds of Saint John's College (Collegeville, Minnesota). This happenstance rejuvenated my meditation practice. The fascinating and collegial conversations with a lovely group of faculty from many other parts of the country likewise inspired me in my own teaching practice. A triple benefit (as an artist steeped in books and processes of all kinds in art making) was seeing the in-progress work and exhibition of the Saint John's Bible project, produced where we were! This was the first illuminated manuscript version of the bible created in 500 years--contemporary work using all the traditional methods, with all the collaboration and painstaking technique aspects to which I am so attracted in art, thus also inspiring my own art practice."
- Janet Maher (Fine Arts), 2009 Collegium participant

"In 2004 I attended Collegium, which was foundational in my faculty development at Loyola. The experience not only deepened my understanding of Catholic Intellectual Thought, but provided me with an opportunity to discern how I could contribute to Loyola’s mission in a variety of ways from creating new interdisciplinary courses to seeking out service opportunities to pursuing a new line of scholarship on the psychology of religion and spirituality."
- Carolyn Barry (Psychology), 2004 Collegium participant

“I found Collegium to be an experience that was very rewarding on both the personal and professional level. It allowed me to reflect upon, amidst the company of fellow Catholic educators, the foundations and future of the Church’s intellectual tradition and educational mission, and the vital role that Jesuit institutions, with their holistic pedagogies, play in advancing such mission.”
- Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. (Theology), President of Loyola University Maryland, 1997 Collegium Participant

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