Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality

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The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality Welcomes You

Welcome! We are a Center on Fairfield University’s campus that offers spiritual direction to students, faculty and staff, the Diocese of Bridgeport, and community members of all faiths. In the Ignatian tradition, the Murphy Center’s spiritual directors help people explore the sacred aspect of being human, and finding God in all things.

Programs We Offer

Searching for deeper meaning and life purpose?
For a more personal relationship with God?

Satisfy your spiritual hunger at Fairfield University’s Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality.


Encountering the Living God

A 10-week program of prayer and reflection, under the personal guidance of one of the Murphy Center’s trained spiritual directors. This program is open to Fairfield students, faculty, staff and members of the larger community. Its method and content are inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius o f Loyola. Participants meet weekly with a spiritual director for ten consecutive weeks.

Students’ Ten-Week Ignatian Experience

Follows the model of the Encountering the Living God program. Intended for Fairfield University undergraduates, led by a team of the Murphy Center’s spiritual directors. The course, Finding God in All Things, is offered to Fairfield University undergraduates every semester of the academic year. The course introduces students to Ignatius of Loyola, and to his spiritual legacy, as expressed in his writings and in the history and on-going mission of the Jesuits. A second course, Christian Spirituality, introduces students to the fundamentals of spirituality through a variety of different traditions. A component of both courses is the opportunity to participate in the Ten-Week Ignatian Experience. In both classes, students receive credit for course requirements by participating in this program.

Parish Ignatian Pilgrimage

A multi-month program offered in parishes of the Diocese of Bridgeport, providing participants with an introduction to Ignatian Spirituality in both theory and practice. The program includes lectures, discussions in faith-sharing groups and opportunities for individually directed prayer experiences.

Ignatian Spirituality for Today

A multi-month program offered at Fairfield University. The program follows the structure of the Parish Ignatian Pilgrimage.

Spiritual Direction

Is for anyone, of any faith, who is seeking a deeper connection with God. Participants meet with a spiritual director who can assist them in developing the skills needed to recognize the presence of God in their life. A spiritual director is a companion who aids in listening for the movements of the Sacred. The spiritual director helps a person pay attention to God’s personal communication, respond, grow in intimacy with God, and live out the invitations that emerge from that relationship.

MCIS Women’s Initiative

The MCIS Women's Initiative seeks to assist women in their desire to find God in all things. Programs are designed to nurture personal spiritual growth in both a communal and individual atmosphere with biannual meetings consisting of a brief talk followed by self-reflection and small faith-sharing groups. The group is open to Fairfield students, faculty, staff and members of the larger community.

A Closer Look at Spiritual Direction

“Spiritual Direction is the space to explore the everyday ordinariness for the presence of God and the workings of grace, precisely at those time when nothing seems to be happening.”

— Eugene Peterson

What can I expect from spiritual direction?

  • No judgment or agenda — just a welcoming presence who is there to help you discover the "life in your life."
  • Someone who will listen attentively and reflect back the presence of God you are experiencing and discovering.
  • Reverence and respect for the spiritual movements in your life, in the context of your religious background or belief system.
  • Confidentiality — everything you share in spiritual direction is held in confidence.
  • Encouragement and Hope to gently nudge you toward the wisdom and love God is already pouring into your life.
  • Freedom to discover your deepest desire and move toward freedom from all that distracts from that desire.
  • Meaningful Connection to yourself, God, and others, to respond to the movements of your heart and make choices in line with your truest self.
  • Support — noticing God's action in your life, and finding valuable inner peace during difficult times.

What Can We Do for You?

Come talk to us about:

  • Who you are and where God is in your life
  • Thoughts, questions, desires you have about faith and spirituality
  • Discovering the nature of your deepest desire
  • Feeling spiritually disconnected, isolated, or lost
  • Making choices in line with your truest, most authentic self
  • Connecting your lived experience with your spiritual journey

We can help you:

  • Feel, appreciate, and notice what is stirring below the surface of your life
  • Find the connection you desire with God, yourself, and others
  • Disconnect from the digital world and feel rooted in the real world
  • Become free of all that distracts from your deepest desire
  • Respond to God’s love and the movements of your heart
  • Enhance your appreciation for your spiritual life
  • Reverence the sacred in your everyday experience
  • Develop a personal relationship with God and prayer


  • Individual and group spiritual direction
  • Walk-in hours for support and spiritual guidance
  • Retreats
  • Days and evenings of guided reflection
  • Faith sharing groups

Appointments and scheduling:

  • Ten-week student encounters begin in September and January, at the start of each semester
  • For all other appointments or programs, call 203-254-4000, ext. 2373


Dolan House

Office hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

DROP-IN hours:

Monday – Wednesday
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Social Media:



News & Events

From lecture series to retreats to special events, The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality offers a diverse selection of programming to meet a range of spiritual needs.

Staff & Advisory Board

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality is comprised of an array of individuals committed to supporting the faith-life of the students, faculty and staff of Fairfield University as well as individuals from the larger community outside of the University.

Mission Statement

The Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality of Fairfield University welcomes those seeking to deepen their relationship with God and to enrich their daily lives. We offer spiritual direction and programming, in the Ignatian tradition, to guide individuals and groups in their journey toward this encounter, as St. Ignatius did, by “finding God in all things.” As part of this outreach, we also train spiritual directors who can assist individuals and groups in the discernment of God’s direction in their lives. We are committed to supporting the faith-life of the students, faculty and staff of Fairfield University as well as individuals from the larger community outside of the university.

The Murphy Center's goals are to:

  • Establish a lasting infrastructure to serve as a repository and holder of the Jesuit values foundational to the culture of Fairfield University
  • Promote vibrant and attractive expressions of Ignatian spirituality at individual, group, and larger community levels, both on campus and in the Diocese of Bridgeport
  • Create a symbol that personifies the commitment of the University to these Ignatian values
  • Offer a space suitable for personal discernment, dedicated to the kinds of experimental and formative discussions about Jesuit and Catholic identity that animate Fairfield's institutional life

Support the Center

Words of gratitude and humility set the tone for the dedication of the newly renamed Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality on Thursday, September 27.

A $4 million gift in honor of Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S. J., the President of Fairfield, has been made by long-time University supporter and 2011 honorary degree recipient, the Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The gift will fund scholarships to enable deserving young people to pursue an education at Fairfield, and will permanently endow Fairfield’s Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality.

Support the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality and make a gift that helps us continue to provide spiritual direction to students, faculty and staff, the Diocese of Bridgeport, and community members of all faiths, both within the University and in the greater Fairfield area. 

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