An Ignatian Approach to
Elizabeth Murray Morelli
THE PURPOSE of this volume of essays is to gather practical pedagogical strategies that may be of use to professors in religiously affiliated universities and colleges. I have been asked to reflect upon how issues of faith and issues raised by faith are woven into the teaching of my courses. I have been teaching philosophy at Loyola Marymount University for over a decade. During that time I have developed a number of approaches and assignments that seem effective. Because I am a professor of philosophy at a Jesuit university, my approach to teaching has been strongly influenced by the Ignatian ideal of pedagogy. The influence of this ideal on my teaching has been subtle and gradual and, until recently, implicit. I was a product, beneficiary, and instrument of the Ignatian spirit that pervades Jesuit education before I became aware of the explicit ideal of Jesuit education. Because the context of my undergraduate education and my teaching is Jesuit higher education, it might be helpful to review the general outlines of this influence on my pedagogy.
"St. Ignatius was aware of the wide cultural impact of universities and chose to send Jesuits there, as places where a more universal good might be achieved."1 This basic Ignatian commit-
1 "Decree Seventeen: Jesuits and University Life," Documents of the Thirty-
Fourth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis, Mo.: The Institute of
Jesuit Sources, 1995), 189.