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Aaron Willis
Director of Bannan Forum
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education



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The Ignatian Center’s Bannan Forum offers this faculty seminar to explore the Catholic intellectual tradition (CIT) and its relationship to scholarship, service, and teaching. The seminar will deepen faculty’s knowledge and engagement with Santa Clara’s Jesuit, Catholic intellectual tradition as a reference point and resource for their work. In addition, faculty will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between faith, reason, and culture in contemporary society. We hope the seminar is a way to meet other faculty across the disciplines and schools, and an opportunity to share in deep reflection and conversation.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the seminar will be switching to multiple quarter-length seminars to allow more faculty to take part in the program and to engage a wide range of themes.  

People with or without faith commitments are warmly welcomed.

The topic for Fall 2022 is

“What is the point of Jesuit higher education?”

The purpose of higher education in contemporary society is a persistent question. A fact supported by the flurry of publications on the topic in the past few years. This quarter we will examine that broader debate and the specific implications of it for our place within the context of Jesuit higher education. The seminar hopes to generate conversations about the building and dissemination of bodies of knowledge, the assumptions of different pedagogical approaches, and the relationship between higher education, society, and the market. 


  • The Seminar will meet on Fridays from 3:00 - 4:30 PM .
  • Meeting dates will be determined by facutly availability prior to our first meeting.
  • We meet four times throughout the quarter to read, write, and explore together the Catholic and Jesuit intellectual resources in and for higher education.
  • Meeting prep materials will include written, audio, and video content which will be provided by the Center.

Participant Expectations:

  • Faculty are expected to attend all meetings of the seminar.
  • Faculty who are unable to make all of the meetings might forfeit their stipend. We understand that unforeseen circumstances arise and will make appropriate accommodations for such instances.
  • In order to better integrate the principles of the CIT into teaching, service and scholarship participants will be expected to collaboratively participate in discussions and contribute a 1,500 to 2,000 word reflection essay exploring the implications of the CIT for their work. The essay is due by September 1, 2023 and will be published in the Ignatian Center’s explore Journal

Compensation and Benefits:

Participants will be offered a stipend of $750