Jesuit, Benedictine, Dominican: Why do some Catholic colleges and universities identify themselves like this?

Julie McCullohJulie McCulloh
Dean of Admission
Gonzaga University

Catholic universities have been founded all over the world, and are often referred to by the religious order that founded and sponsors them. For example, there are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, and these were founded by priests and brothers from the Jesuit order, also known as “the Society of Jesus.”  The orders’ names come from the tradition of the founders of the order. For example, the Benedictine order was established by Saint Benedict in sixth-century Italy and can be summed up in the motto of pax, or peace, and the ethics of prayer and work. Whether a Catholic college is founded by a religious order and therefore is influenced by the mission of that order, or is a diocesan college directly reporting to the local Catholic bishop, all Catholic colleges are missions of the Catholic church and Catholic religious studies faculty members are in conversation with the local Catholic bishop.

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