Loyola University Maryland

Ignatian Pedagogy

Ignatian Pedagogy

The Jesuit approach to educating women and men for and with others encourages teachers to walk alongside students in the learning process, taking into account the context of the learner and the intellectual and affective experience of learning; reflecting, from various perspectives, on the meaning of learning; expressing learning through action; and evaluating learning through various means, including genuine changes in the learner his or herself.

We call this approach to education and learning the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. It’s not unique to Loyola (although we think our students and faculty embrace it in new and different ways)—it’s a philosophy we share with our colleagues at the 27 other Jesuit colleges and universities nationwide, and many more around the world. It’s a philosophy that has distinguished the Jesuits for nearly 500 years—and has made their order’s educational institutions some of the most admired in the world.

This Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm is based on Jesuit founder St. Ignatius’s experiences directing the Spiritual Exercises, his famous method of helping retreatants become closer to Jesus through imaginative prayer, reflection, and discernment—a critical, internal consideration of a situation or question and how it relates to one’s personal or professional vocation.

Through the resources available on this site, you can learn more about Ignatian Pedagogy and specifically about ways of using the paradigm to enhance your own teaching in the classroom, online, in service-learning experiences, or in clinical supervision. Check out the quick links to the right for a video by Rev. Brian McDermott, S.J., special assistant to the president at Georgetown University and former rector of the Loyola Jesuit Community, describing the principles of Ignatian Pedagogy. Visit the Creighton University online ministries site for information on the spiritual exercises and other Ignatian spiritual materials. The Articles tab, located at the top of this page, includes additional materials on Ignatian Pedagogy. Finally, for ideas from other Loyola faculty members on how to use Ignatian principles in your teaching, click on Integration Ideas.