On This Page
Our Jesuit & Catholic Identity
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942, Fairfield University is proud of its identity as a Jesuit and Catholic university, an identity that gives rise to our vibrant institutional mission: education in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions that prepares students to lead their communities with insight, empathy, critical rigor, and a determination to serve and promote justice.
The 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition of Catholic Christianity grounds our core curriculum, in its broad humanism and commitment to reasoned inquiry. Courses that engage religious belief and practice — in religious studies, philosophy, history, literature, and the arts — are complemented by lively discussions of faith, spirituality, justice, and public life outside the classroom. Thus we claim, with our Mission Statement, that “Fairfield is Catholic in both tradition and spirit.”
As a Jesuit school, we value the notion of cura personalis, often translated as “care of the whole person,” inspired by the unique qualities of dialogue and reflection that are characteristic of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In addition, the historically global reach of the Society of Jesus continues to inform Jesuit education, so that diversity and inclusion — of peoples, cultures, ideas, and traditions — are valued throughout the enterprise.
Fairfield University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. These schools network through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). We are associated with the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), and are grateful for the Jesuits who serve in many capacities here. The Rev. John Mulreany, S.J., is the superior of the Fairfield Jesuit Community. To learn more about a Jesuit vocation, please visit www.beajesuit.org.
Animating our alumni are members of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society for undergraduate and graduate students.
Strengthening our commitment to our Jesuit and Catholic mission are well-established programs and centers that, through lectures, workshops, publications and grant-funded activities, continually propose questions of faith, reason, justice and beauty. The Center for Catholic Studies and the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies offer lectures that bring students, faculty and members of the general public into conversation on key issues. The Center for Social Impact supports both service learning as well as a series of research projects that engage questions from food security to immigration. The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality presents the gift of Ignatian spirituality through programs, workshops, and opportunities for individual direction.
The breadth of Fairfield’s Jesuit Catholic mission is demonstrated in other initiatives as well, from the Sophomore Residential Colleges program to numerous initiatives that introduce our incoming students to Jesuit education. Finally, with offices in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, Campus Ministry, while primarily supporting the sacramental life of the Catholic community, is also a home to chaplains from other faith traditions and welcomes those exploring faith through retreats and service projects.
The journey you take during your time at Fairfield might include a spiritual path, one that leads through our Campus Ministry Center. Located on the lower level of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, the center strives to be a home for students of all faith traditions who are interested in exploring and enriching their spiritual lives.
Murphy Center For Ignatian Spirituality
The mission of the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Fairfield University is to keep the Ignatian charism alive, both at the University and the college preparatory school, as well as offering this to the local Christian community of Fairfield County through collaboration and programs promoting Ignatian spirituality.
Center For Catholic Studies
Catholic Studies is an inter-disciplinary inquiry into the intellectual tradition, history and culture, both "high" and popular, of the Catholic Christian tradition. The Center is directed by the holder of the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies, currently Dr. Paul Lakeland, Professor of Religious Studies.
Center for Social Impact