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JST Exceptions


This document describes exceptions to the Faculty Handbook of Santa Clara University that are applicable to the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST). Except as noted in this document or in the Faculty Handbook itself, JST faculty are subject to all provisions in Chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook.

This document was approved by the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara University on October 15, 2010 after prior approval by the JST Academic Council and the JST Board of Directors.


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This document, "Exceptions to the Santa Clara University Faculty Handbook: Jesuit School of Theology," complements four other documents to which we consider ourselves bound: the Statutes, the Policies and Procedures (Regulationes), the Santa Clara University Faculty Handbook, and the JST Protocols Booklet (which is currently under development). Faculty should be familiar with the contents of these documents.


The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU) is a theological school faithful to the intellectual tradition and the apostolic priority of the Society of Jesus: reverent and critical service of the faith that does justice. As such, JST-SCU shares Santa Clara's strategic commitment to a Jesuit education grounded in an engaged pedagogy for the formation of leaders of competence, conscience and compassion.

JST-SCU achieves its mission primarily through the academic, pastoral, and personal formation of Jesuits and other candidates for ministry, ordained and lay, in the Roman Catholic Church. As an Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology, it prepares men and women to serve the Church as scholars and teachers. It fulfills this mission in the ecumenical and interfaith context of the nine-member Graduate Theological Union and the adjacent University of California at Berkeley.

JST-SCU is specifically committed to the preparation of Jesuits and others for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, the preparation of men and women for varied forms of ministry in the church, the advancement of theology through scholarly contributions to academy, church, and society, and the theological, spiritual, and personal renewal of those already engaged in ministry.

JST-SCU discharges its apostolic commitments by means of its critical fidelity to the Roman Catholic tradition, its attentiveness to the cultures shaping the church in a pluralistic world, its special concern for ministry with Latino communities, its skillful use of socio-cultural analysis and theological reflection in all apostolic endeavors, and its commitment to full partnership and mutuality between women and men in church and society. It accomplishes these commitments through its academic programs, sabbatical program, outreach programs, summer institutes, and financial aid programs which are designed for direct engagement with the local Church in the Bay Area, the global Catholic Church, and other religious and cultural communities. In these ways, JST-SCU seeks to read the signs of the times in order to proclaim the gospel of Christ effectively and to promote God's work of justice and peace in a rapidly changing global context.


This statement replaces 3.6.1 in the SCU Faculty Handbook.

The Jesuit School of Theology, as a center of theological discourse, affirms that academic freedom is essential for both research and instruction. It recognizes that freedom of inquiry, open discussion, and the exchange of ideas are essential to the pursuit of knowledge. Such freedom presupposes of its faculty first, personal integrity in dealing with students, peers, and administration; second, scholarly competence by observing the professional standards of one's discipline with a commitment to the mission of the School; third, a responsibility to be accurate and judicious in public statements; fourth, openness to criticism from one's peers.

The Jesuit School of Theology recognizes that its relationship with the Roman Catholic Church is a constitutive part of its mission. Theology serves the Christian community by expressing the abiding truth of Jesus Christ within a cultural context, mediating between faith and culture. Theology becomes a means of communicating the Church's teachings to the community of believers and to society at large. Theologians recognize their responsibility to preserve the integrity of the Christian message and to protect the faithful from erroneous teachings in faith and morals. Towards this goal, academic freedom—the freedom of inquiry, thought and expression—is essential.


In terms of rank, JST employs the same categories as can be found in the SCU Faculty Handbook, Section 3.1: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Professor Emeritus or Emerita, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Visiting Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, and Special Appointments.

As an ecclesiastical faculty, the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology is also organized into the following categories (see Statutes, Articles 17-20):

  1. Ordinary
  2. Extraordinary.

This section replaces,– and 3.4.5 in the SCU Faculty Handbook.

A.  Tenure

1.  Procedure:

  1. Initiation of process: The Dean will automatically request a review by the AR&T Committee when the faculty member is eligible, but no later than at the beginning of the sixth year of service and will immediately notify the faculty member in question so that he/she may have time to update their academic file and submit other pertinent documents, etc.
  2. Consultation: The AR&T Committee will seek the widest possible consultation by requesting input from all levels of publics that the faculty member has been involved with, especially from the GTU, UCB, the local Church (diocese), and any public that may have been of special concern to the faculty member. Particularly with regard to the GTU, the Committee will seek input from faculty peers, administration personnel, and students who are representative of the various degree programs, etc. Moreover, the faculty member may submit his/her own list of people to be consulted. The Committee should seek to respect this list as far as possible but is not bound to it and should seek a broader base of consultation.
  3. Notification: The chair of the AR & T Committee will send a letter to the Dean, who will in turn write to the Provost, who makes a recommendation to the President. The President will notify the faculty member of the final decision.

2.  Tenure for clerics and religious:

Tenure for clerics and religious is always limited by their prior commitment to the general apostolate of the Church, to which they may be called by their competent superiors, and tenure is granted to clerics and religious on condition that they maintain their clerical or religious status in good standing according to the laws of the Church.

B.  Promotion in Rank.

1.  Procedure for rank of Associate:

  1. Initiation of process: The faculty member, not earlier than the third year, not later than the fifth year of completed service, may request the Dean to initiate the process and will proceed to update their academic file, submit pertinent documents, etc. The Dean, in turn, will make the same request of the departmental convener who, after consultation with the department, will make the department's recommendation to the AR&T Committee.

The Dean functions in place of the departmental convener in cases involving the departmental convener himself or herself. In turn, the AR&T committee will inaugurate its own review using the same consultation base and criteria employed for tenure considerations.

  1. Concurrence: The review for tenure and rank of Associate may occur at the same time during the sixth year of service. The granting of tenure carries with it an automatic elevation to the rank of Associate.
  2. Notification: The President will notify as above for tenure. If rank does not concur with tenure, there is no prejudice to applying again in a subsequent year if this request for rank is denied.

2.  Procedure for rank of Professor: Advancement to the rank of professor implies that one has exceeded in a significant and ongoing manner the level of achievement required for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor (cf. Article 19.2 of Statutes). Application for full professorship can ordinarily occur no sooner that the completion of five full years of service as an Associate Professor of JST.


This section replaces 3.7.1 through 3.7.2 of the SCU Faculty Handbook.

A.  Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave is an absence from JST-SCU granted by the President for the purpose of research, improvement of effectiveness in teaching or in the other duties of teachers. For the purpose of promotion in rank or advancement to tenure, sabbatical leave is considered as service to JST-SCU. It is granted only to regular teachers, who are eligible for a sabbatical leave of one year after six years of full-time teaching. More frequent sabbatical leaves for shorter periods of time may be arranged, provided that the total sabbatical time during each seven years does not exceed one full year. Adequate financial provision for sabbatical leaves shall be made by JST-SCU. (Statutes Article 22)

A. 1.  General Policy On Sabbatical Leaves

It should be noted that leaves are not granted automatically on request. Because there are other factors besides an individual faculty member's need which must be considered, it may be impossible to grant a particular request, or it may be necessary to change the specific time or length of time requested.

The Board of Directors has stipulated that, generally, no more than three regular faculty members may be on sabbatical or leave of absence at the same time.

The faculty member will be required to sign a statement that he/she will return to the School for one year of fulltime service following the completion of the sabbatical leave. Time spent on sabbatical counts fully for promotion and, if applicable, tenure.

A. 2  Eligibility

A permanent tenured full-time faculty member or Senior Lecturer is eligible to apply for one year of sabbatical leave to follow six-years of full-time teaching. Remuneration for sabbaticals is determined by the formula in Section A.2.3.

Three semesters prior to a faculty member's eligibility, the Dean shall give notification in writing. Generally, the faculty member is expected to apply for the sabbatical as scheduled, and no more than two postponements will be granted.

A. 2. 1 Application Policy and Procedure

By mid-October one year prior to the projected sabbatical, faculty members requesting sabbatical leave shall submit a written proposal with an updated curriculum vitae to the committee on Appointment, Rank and Tenure. The Committee shall recommend the sabbatical or not on the merits of this proposal as well as on the basis of length of service, quality of previous scholarly work, previous sabbatical report, etc.

The recommendation of this committee shall be communicated to the Provost by the chair of the Appointment, Rank and Tenure Committee. The Dean will make a separate recommendation. Final approval (or disapproval for stated causes) shall be given in writing by the Provost.

If the sabbatical request is deemed meritorious, the School will ordinarily make every effort to grant the sabbatical for the period requested, or within the following one or two years. Moreover, if a faculty member postpones a sabbatical at the request of the School, the clock for the next sabbatical begins from the time he or she was eligible for the sabbatical which was postponed.

During the sabbatical, the faculty member may not accept a teaching position elsewhere, except under unusual circumstances and with prior approval of the Dean.

A. 2. 3  Remuneration

For each semester of full-time employment, up to a maximum of two semesters per academic year, an eligible faculty member accrues 1/18 of her/his base pay for sabbatical leave. For example, after nine semesters or four and one-half years of regular service, a tenured faculty member is eligible for one semester of sabbatical leave at 100% of base annual salary; after 18 semesters or 9 years of regular service, a tenured faculty member or Senior Lecturer is eligible for two semesters of sabbatical leave at 100% of base annual salary.

After 9 semesters and up to 18 semesters of full-time service, a faculty member eligible for sabbatical may take a two-semester sabbatical leave at a reduced salary if the accrued service is insufficient to permit a sabbatical leave at full pay. For example, after 12 semesters or six years of regular service, a full year of sabbatical leave will be remunerated at 12/18 or 66.7% of base annual salary; after 16 semesters of regular service, a full year of sabbatical leave will be remunerated at 16/18 or 88.9% of base annual salary.

Any semesters of accrued service that are not utilized for a sabbatical leave may be credited to a subsequent sabbatical leave. There will be no additional accrual of sabbatical time after 18 semesters of service unless the faculty member has had to delay a sabbatical leave in the interest of the department, college, or University. In such cases, with the written approval of the Provost, any additional quarters will be credited to a subsequent sabbatical leave. Sabbatical salary may not exceed 100% of the faculty member's regular salary.

If a salary increase is granted to all faculty members, faculty on sabbatical when the increase is granted shall be eligible for the same increase.

A. 2. 4  Reports on Sabbaticals

Upon return from sabbatical, a detailed report of the actual results of the project must be filed with the Dean's office no later than April 1 for those on sabbatical during the fall semester, and October 1 for those on sabbatical during the spring semester or the full academic year. The Dean will then forward a copy of the report to the Committee on Appointment, Rank and Tenure for its review and comments. These comments will be submitted to the Provost for final approval.

B.  Junior Faculty Development Leaves

Junior faculty will be encouraged to develop a research proposal towards publication and are eligible to apply for one of the following to take place during their fourth or fifth year of service at JST.

  1. a semester of leave for research;
  2. a semester of unpaid leave for research funded by outside sources;
  3. a semester of reduced teaching load which needs to be arranged with the dean.

The first and second options, for research or unpaid leave, are handled through proposals evaluated by the Appointment, Rank and Tenure Committee after a mid-probationary review resulting in a recommendation for continuation through the probationary period. The third option is negotiated with the Dean.

Section VI.B revised by a vote of the JST Academic Council, Fall 2021
Revisions approved by the JST Board of Directors, January 21, 2022
Revisions approved by SCU Board of Trustees, June 3, 2022

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