Centers of Distinction

Santa Clara University has three Centers of Distinction that serve as major points of interaction between the University and local and global communities. Each center focuses on a theme that is central to Santa Clara’s distinctive mission as a Jesuit university and offers an educational environment integrating rigorous inquiry and scholarship, creative imagination, reflective engagement with society, and a commitment to fashioning a more humane and just world. Each center engages faculty and students from different disciplines as well as experts and leaders from the community through speakers, conferences, workshops, and experiential learning opportunities.

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

The mission of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is to accelerate entrepreneurship to end global poverty for the next generation. We fuse the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley with the University’s Jesuit heritage of service to the poor and protection of the planet, catalyzing innovative, sustainable solutions to poverty, and guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through an array of programs, including our signature Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) accelerator program and award-winning Global Social Benefit Fellowship (GSBF), the Center engages an international network of social enterprises, investment capital, and technical resources to build the capacity of the global social entrepreneurship movement. As a Center of Distinction at Santa Clara University, we offer faculty and students real-world case studies, distinctive curricula, and unique opportunities for research, fellowships, and internships — advancing the University’s vision of creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world with a uniquely Silicon Valley flavor. More information can be found at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship website.

Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education

The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education promotes and enhances the distinctively Jesuit, Catholic tradition of education at Santa Clara University, with a view toward serving students, faculty, staff, and through them, the larger community, both local and global. The Ignatian Center achieves this mission chiefly through four signature programs:

  • The Bannan Forum  provides year-long thematic programs, including academic events and scholarly activities that further the Jesuit, Catholic character of the University.
  • Arrupe Engagement, a  community-based learning program that supports the Experiential Learning for Social Justice core requirement, places over 1,200 students each year with community partners, frequently in connection with an academic course.
  • Thriving Neighbors extends the community-based learning experience by engaging teaching, scholarship, and sustainable development that links Santa Clara University with the predominantly Latino Greater Washington community in San Jose, CA.
  • The Immersion and Fellowship programs offer students, during academic breaks, the opportunity to experience local, domestic, and international communities with little access to wealth, power, and privilege.
  • The Ignatian Spirituality offers experiences grounded in the Ignatian practices that support faith development and growth to members of the community to encounter the spiritual sources of the Jesuit tradition.

Through these four programs, the Ignatian Center aspires to be recognized throughout Silicon Valley and beyond as providing leadership for the integration of faith, justice, and  intellectual life.

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real-world problems. Our mission is to engage individuals and organizations in making choices that ​respect and care for others. Beyond a full range of events, grants, and fellowships for the Santa Clara University community, the Center serves professionals in business, education, health care, government, journalism, and the social sector—providing training, programs, and roundtables that explore the ethical challenges in the field. In addition, we focus on ethical issues in leadership, technology, the internet, and immigration. Through our website and international collaborations, we also bring ethical decision-making resources to the wider world.