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The Universal Apostolic Preferences are the fruit of a multi-year process of discernment that began after the Jesuit General Congregation 36 in 2016 and that involved Jesuits and mission partners throughout the world. Confirmed by Pope Francis in a special meeting with Fr General Arturo Sosathe Preferences are a set of practices that provide a point of reference for Jesuit institutions and individuals working at such institutions in order better to align our work with our fundamental mission of reconciliation and justice. They are a way of uniting us in our mission.

With these universal apostolic preferences, we resolve to concentrate and concretize our vital apostolic energies during the next ten years, 2019-2029. We accept them as a mission of the Church through Pope Francis, who has approved them by confirming the communal discernment that was undertaken by the apostolic body.” 

- Father General Arturo Sosa SJ, 19 February 2019

Santa Clara University's own David E. DeCosse, Director of Religious and Catholic Ethics and Campus Ethics Programs was recently published in Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal. Read his article here: Preferences, Practices, and Virtues: An Ethical Reflection on the Universal Apostolic Preferences

The new Preferences name four practices vital for our world today:

Showing the Way to God
Show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment


Walking with the Excluded
Walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, and those whose dignity has been violated, in the mission of reconciliation and justice
Journeying with Youth
Accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future


Caring for our Common Home
Collaborate, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s Creation



The Universal Apostolic Preferences are a way for us to renew our commitment to our mission and vision while we respond to new opportunities and challenges as a Jesuit, Catholic university. 

Mission and Vision of Santa Clara University: 

  • Mission Statement: “The University pursues its vision by creating an academic community that educates the whole person within the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, making student learning our central focus, continuously improving our curriculum and co-curriculum, strengthening our scholarship and creative work, and serving the communities of which we are a part in Silicon Valley and around the world.

  • Vision Statement: “Santa Clara University will educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion and cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.” 

Mission Priority Examen - an evaluation of our Jesuit Catholic identity completed in 2019:

  • Mission Priority Examen - Priority 1: A clear articulation and broad communication of SCU’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and character – at this Jesuit, Catholic university, at this time and this place, with our specific history and ways of proceeding, and for all people  who together make up Santa Clara University.
  • Mission Priority Examen - Priority 2: Deeper education, engagement, and ongoing formation about our Jesuit Catholic mission and character that allows for growth and development throughout one’s career and experience at SCU.


stained glass spiral
Global Jesuits
Universal Apostolic Preferences
Conversations Magazine UAP 1
Conversations Magazine
Fall 2020 Universal Apostolic Preferences Issue
Conversations Magazine UAP 2
Conversations Magazine
Spring 2021 Universal Apostolic Preferences Issue
Examen UAP
Santa Clara University
Mission Priority Examen