Charlie Currie, S.J., offers reflections on the role of immersion experiences in Jesuit higher education.

BY ISN STAFFJune 25, 2012

Twenty-five immersion experience coordinators from ministry and service-learning offices at Jesuit universities across the country converged for the Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network.  The Summit was the first of its kind for the Jesuit university staff.  John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, hosted the gathering which took place from June 19-21, 2012.

Institutions represented at the summit included: Boston College, Canisius College, College of the Holy Cross, DePaul University, Fordham University, John Carroll University, Le Moyne College, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette University, Rockhurst University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, St. Mary’s Student Parish at University of Michigan, University of San Francisco, Wheeling Jesuit University, and Xavier University.

The Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit provided a relevant space for Jesuit college and university immersion experience coordinators working in ministry, service-learning/academics and student affairs to participate in meaningful reflection and discussion about their work to engage students in the “gritty reality of the world” (Kolvenbach, 2000, Santa Clara University).

Highlights from the program included an opening keynote and dialogue with Charlie Currie, S.J. (former president of the Association for Jesuit Colleges and Universities); discussion opportunities around topics such as Ignatian identity in immersion programs, technology, and program funding; and multiple spaces for networking and cross-institution relationship building.

2012 Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit Participants

“Sharing resources was invaluable to me, and I took something away from each session that I’m sure I will use in the future,” reflected Beth Scanlon, coordinator of social justice outreach in Le Moyne College’s campus ministry office.

Moving forward, Ignatian Immersion Experience Coordinator Summit Participants will continue the conversation and collaboration via an online resource sharing website hosted by ISN as well as future webinars and virtual networking opportunities.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network promotes leadership and advocacy among students, alumni, and other emerging leaders from Jesuit schools, parishes, and ministries by educating its members on social justice issues; by mobilizing a national network to address those issues; and by encouraging a life-long commitment to the “service of faith and the promotion of justice.”  ISN is an independent lay-led 501(c)(3) organization.  More information can be found at: www.ignatiansolidarity.net

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