Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education

May 7, 2012

Tim Kloppenborg, Castellini Distinguished Professor of Management
at Xavier University, attended the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) Board Meeting in Rome March 8-9, where he had the opportunity to meet with the current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

Kloppenborg attended in his capacity as president of the global Jesuit faculty group, Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE). CJBE seeks to promote cooperation and excellence among Jesuit business faculty, to explore the distinctiveness of Jesuit business education, and to promote an ongoing exchange of ideas regarding curriculum, teaching, research, and service in the Ignatian, Catholic, and Humanistic traditions. 2010 saw the first volume of the Journal of Jesuit Business Education. Topics include service learning in inner city neighborhoods near our schools to impoverished parts of the world; how to use Jesuit heritage in business; justice with the poor and marginalized; practicing and teaching ethics in wide ranging situations; and hiring and engaging faculty and administrators.

The Rome meeting discussed proposals for new or expanded Jesuit schools in Africa, namely Kinshasa, Nairobi, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, and possibly a new Loyola Jesuit University in Nigeria.

Father Nicolás encouraged the group to use technology to expand its reach. Delighted with the support from IAJBS for the African schools, he said there may be opportunities in Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Latin America. He encouraged networking, especially in sharing library holdings and around ethics education. He would like graduates to change from thinking about work as a job to thinking of it as a calling.

Spanish-born Nicolás is the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He entered the Society in 1953 and studied at the University of Alcalá. After studying Japanese, he entered Sophia University in Tokyo to study Theology. Nicolás was ordained to the priesthood in 1967. After earning a doctorate in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, he returned to teach Theology at Sophia for the next three decades. His talents led to appointments in the Philippines and later in South Korea, where he helped the Jesuits transition from American to indigenous leadership. Nicolás is widely viewed as a leading Jesuit expert on interreligious dialogue. He now presides over more than 19,000 Jesuits worldwide, so it is helpful that, besides his native Spanish, Nicolás is fluent in Catalan, English, French, Italian, and Japanese.