Over spring break, the Paul C. Reinert, S.J. Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning hosted its fourth annual Ignatian Pedagogy Institute. The day-long event brought together faculty and graduate students to increase and deepen their knowledge of Ignatian pedagogy as an extension of Ignatian spirituality and connected to contemporary contemplative practices. The concept of Ignatian pedagogy derives from the underlying principles, values, and actions realized in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and is foundational to a Jesuit education.
Attendees were led through a series of reflective exercises focusing on themselves a teachers and on ways to engage their students in deeper, more intentional learning. Exercises also served as models of activities that may be adapted for a variety of disciplines and pedagogical purposes. Fr. Christopher Collins, S.J., SLU’s assistant to the president for Mission and Identity, presented on the role of the spiritual director in Spiritual Exercises.
The Ignatian Pedagogy Institute is offered in a three-year cycle, with each offering of the Institute focusing on a different aspect of Ignatian teaching: Contemplation (year one), Imagination (year two), and Discernment (year three). Attendees also are invited to join the Ignatian Pedagogy Academy, a multi-year community of practice in which faculty and graduate students meet regularly to discuss common readings and relevant topics of interest.
Academy members who complete the full three-year cycle of the Ignatian Pedagogy Institute and who participate in community of practice meetings are designated Fellows of the Ignatian Pedagogy Academy. At this year’s Institute, the Reinert Center acknowledges the first member of the Academy to complete the full cycle, Elizabeth Richard, Ph.D., associate professor in communication.
For more information on Ignatian pedagogy or on the Ignatian Pedagogy Academy, contact Gina M. Merys, Ph.D., associate director in the Reinert Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.