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Faculty/Staff Immersions

A faculty immersion trip to Universidad Centroamericana

“When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change. Personal involvement with innocent suffering, with the injustice others suffer, is the catalyst for solidarity, which then gives rise to intellectual inquiry and moral reflection."  

-Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.

(Former Superior General of the Jesuits)


Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former superior general of the Jesuit order, challenged American Jesuit higher education with these words at the Justice Conference held at SCU in 2000. In the Ignatian spirit of holistic education and education in service of the common good, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education offers an annual immersion trip for Faculty and Staff members.

Through this immersion opportunity we seek to: 

  1. deepen our engagement with the Jesuit higher-educational vision
  2. foster understanding of and solidarity with marginalized communities
  3. build collaboration with our sister Jesuit institution in San Salvador, the University of Central America, José Simeón Cañas (UCA).


History of the Program

The Ignatian Center has hosted a staff and faculty immersion since 1992, sparked initially by the signing of the peace accords and the call for truth and reconciliation in the wake of the Salvadoran Civil War. For the past several years the program has focused on a dual purpose: immersive education--opening ourselves to the reality of the marginalized--and building relationship and collaboration with counterparts at UCA. This began in 2013 with the President and his staff and has continued over the last years with various university departments including faculty and staff from the Law School, the School of Engineering, the Public Health Program, and Development Office and Alumni Relations. Santa Clara has long held a unique and privileged relationship with the UCA. Our growing desire has been to use this annual immersion trip to encourage a space of dialogue for mutual enrichment between corresponding departments at each institution and as a ground for potential collaborative relationships to be built.

Program Commitments 

  • 3 pre-trip meetings in the winter/spring quarters
  • 7 nights in San Salvador (Friday to Friday), including:
    • 3-4 days of immersion into the Salvadoran context including engagement with survivors of the civil war and individuals who can speak to the contemporary socio-economic reality of El Salvador, visits to significant sites related to Oscar Romero and the Jesuit Martyrs, and connection with SCU's Casa de la Solidaridad program.
    • 2 days at UCA in conversation with corresponding departments.
  • 2 post-trip meetings in the fall quarter

Selection Process

Participants are selected from staff and faculty leaders (and at times key community members) who seek to use this experience to advance university mission through their respective roles on campus. Priority is given to:

  • Faculty/staff who play a significant leadership role in the University or desire to cultivate such leadership for University mission and identity.
  • Individuals who have not participated in a University immersion in the past.
  • Regular faculty and senior lecturers.
  • Staff who are committed to the Jesuit mission, have been at the University for two (2) years and are likely to remain for the foreseeable future.


The selection process is coordinated by the Ignatian Center staff in consultation with the President and Provost.

For additional information or questions, please contact Charles Mansour, Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education:, 408-554-5346.




Past Participants