Back to the land of Billikens: the JSEA Colloquium in St. Louis

June 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

The Jesuit Secondary Education Association (JSEA) Colloquium is next week in St. Louis, at Saint Louis University, where I graduated in 2004 with a degree in philosophy. The theme of the colloquium is “A Fire that Kindles Other Fires: the Profile of the Ignatian Educator.”

The last colloquium, in 2010, was held at Santa Clara University and was an outstanding week to share best practices and exchange insights surrounding Catholic and Jesuit education. Next week will be the same. The colloquium includes keynote speeches and small group presentations centered around the profile of the Ignatian educator. It’s an oustanding chance to gain a sense of the commonalities and differences among the 50-plus Jesuit secondary institutions in the country and to see how other schools are dealing with the variety of issues that we all face in areas from technology, to curriculum, to campus ministry, admissions, and more.

The profile of the Ignatian educator centers around five basic categories and describes the characteristics that Ignatian educators should embody. It’s similar to the way the Graduate at Graduation document applies to students. The profile can be found here.

For anyone going to the Colloquium next week, see you there! I’ll be presenting on Thursday on the topic: “A.M.D.G. in a skeptical world: On opening students to the journey of faith.” I will speak about ways to break through the secularism and skepticism that shapes many of our students’ beliefs, which can close them off from any serious interest in God. I am basing my presentation on two articles I published this past academic year in America magazine.

SLU’s mascot is a Billiken. I’m not exactly sure what a Billiken is, but here’s a picture I snapped a few years ago of the little man sitting on his campus perch. Legend has it that good luck comes to those who rub its tummy. Shockingly, this luck did not reverse weeks of procrastination on philosophy papers.

I am a Billiken. What is that?

I am a Billiken. What is that?

Posted by Matt Emerson.

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