AJCU Ecology Educators


Our Goals:

  1. To provide a community of support and stimulation for those of us working interdisciplinarily and toward a courageous way of teaching and learning in the face of unprecedented crises.

  2. To communicate and then implement a more radical way of teaching and learning that matches the crises we and, particularly, our students face.

Introduction: At the conclusion of our initial meeting at the spring 2017 AJCU Climate Change Conference, we decided that a productive way forward was for each of us to prepare reflective narratives, in whatver form the authors deemed fit, that would alert the rest of the group to the individual commitments, intellectual foundations, and moments of inspiration that might bind us together in common purpose. Thus, in ninety-degree September 2017 heat, we gathered in Xavier's Mission and Identity Office joined by our colleagues at Creighton and Loyola and the Provincial office by phone. Having shared reflective narratives electronically, each participant was invited to remark on their submission. The result was a rich discussion of our individual sustainability stories and experiences, accounts and recollections, each moment of which revealed both new ways of thinking and common themes teaching and learning about sustainability because of the rich resources presented in this multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary effort. Since then, we have written a Vision and Themes document that elaborates the five themes that we believe are necessary for an education that provides students with the tools and experiences necessary for a destabilized planet. The themes are based on the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm. In 2018, we will be sharing these themes and this document as broadly as we can, continuing to meet as a group to share best practices and refine the paradigm. We welcome others to join us at any time.

Vision and Themes for Ignatian Pedagogy for Sustainability:

Vision and Themes for Ignatian Pedagogy for Sustainability

Our reflective narratives:

A Call for Global Engagement Beyond Academic Tourism - Víctor D. Carmona and Tizziana V. Carmona


Honesty, Courage, and Resilience: Classical, Jesuit, and Calvinist Conceptions of Virtue and Education for Sustainability - John Fairfield, Xavier


Communication and Sustainability - Jay Leighter, Creighton


Jesuit Education Interreligious Collective Action a Civics for Sustainability - Anas Malik, Xavier

Trip to ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) - Leo Peyronnin, Xavier

Report of the Provincial Assistant - John Sealey, Upper Midwest Province

Educating for Hope: Physical Engagement and a Sense of Place - Kathleen Smythe, Xavier

Ignatian Pedagogy Focusing on Remaining Last Native Places - Patrick Swanson, Creighton

Peace with the Earth - Ben Urmston SJ,, Cincinnati Jesuit Community

IPS March 2018 recap

Past Events:

AJCU Climate Change Confrence, March 2017

Xavier University, September 2017

AJCU Climate Change Conference, March 15-17, 2018,Loyola University Chicago

Creighton University Retreat Center, September 12-15, 2018, Omaha, Nebraska

Zoom video conference, Thursday, March 14, 2019 9-11 am EST

3rd annual workshop, Xavier University, September 15 and 16, 2019

Upcoming Events:

AJCU Climate Change Conference, March 14, 2020

Xavier University, September 2019


Thanks to Xavier University's Office of Mission and Identity, President's Office, and College of Arts and Sciences and Creighton's Global Initiative for funding thus far.

See the list of affiliates
For more information, contact Kathleen Smythe, Professor of History and Sustainability, Xavier University, smythe@xavier.edu or Jay Leighter, Associate Professor Communication Studies
Director Sustainability Studies Creighton University, leighter@creighton.edu