Mission and Identity Programs

Manresa for New Faculty and Staff

New faculty and staff members participating in Manresa.The term "Manresa" refers to the orientation programs specially designed to acquaint new faculty and staff with Xavier's Jesuit heritage and educational tradition.

For information on this year’s Manresa, see Manresa for New Faculty and Staff program information


Assuring the Future Mission and Identity of Xavier (AFMIX) is a two-year educational process offering a comprehensive understanding of the Ignatian vision and how it can permeate learning environments inside and outside the classroom. Readings, lectures, and reflection are enhanced by weekly group discussions.

AFMIX program information
AFMIX participants

AFMIX is supported by a generous gift from Phil '68 and Beth '74 Gasiewicz.

Ignatian Mentoring Program

With a 2004 grant from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts and subsequently endowed by the XU Jesuit Community, the Program fosters a profound understanding of Jesuit education and Ignatian pedagogy through guidance by senior faculty. The learning outcomes are clearly evident within the classroom setting and showcased, by discipline, in Teaching to the Mission. 

Ignatian Mentoring Program program information
Ignatian Mentoring Program participants

Bible Study 

The Center for Mission and Identity hosts a Bible Study during Advent and Lent for staff and faculty. Joe Shadle leads this brown bag lunch program for Bible study beginners and avid readers alike. Feel free to bring your Bible (or borrow one of ours).

Bible Study  program information

Ignatian Retreats

Periodically the Center offers a day of retreat:

Mission Animators

The Center for Mission and Identity actively supports the work of other people and offices in animating the Jesuit tradition. See a list of semester events open to the campus and regional community.

Annual Pope Francis Presentation

Elected the 266th Pope on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis is annually honored at Xavier with a community presentation on a theme relevant to his papacy.

Present and Previous Presentations

  • 9 th A Look At His Leadership Through Thick and Thin, 2022, Fr. Jim McCann SJ
  • 8 th Whole Earth Living: Reconnecting Earth, History, Body & Mind, 2021, Dr. Kathleen Smythe
  • 7th  How We Build the Culture of Encounter, 2020, Dr. Marcus Mescher
  • 6th  Womens' Ignatian Leadership, 2019, Dr. Debra Mooney
  • 5th  Reflections on the Pope, 2018, Fr. Dan Hartnett SJ
  • 4th  An Ignatian Discussion on Immigration 2017, Dr. Christine Anderson
  • 3rd  The 'Culture of Encounter' at Xavier, 2016, Drs. Crable, Ariyachandra & Zascavage
  • 2nd  His Commitment to the Environment, 2015, Dan Misleh '82
  • 1st   The Jesuit and Franciscan Legacy, 2014, Drs. Gillian Algren & Chris Pramuk


In Fall 2017 we were pleased to offer a brief, engaging, in-depth program for faculty and staff who have completed a major professional development program in Xavier's Jesuit mission and identity: AFMIX, the Ignatian Colleagues Program, or the AJCU Summer Leadership Seminar.  The goal is to provide a "next level" reflection on how we live out Xavier's six core values in our work. 

Supporting the President's Leadership Team 

Discernment Groups

Through communal discernment, education, immersion and spirituality, groups consider ways to deepen the Jesuit identity across the campus.

  • Discernment Group IV - as part of the strategic plan a group of 24 across the University have drafted ways to deepen the Universal Apostolic Preferences on campus.
  • Discernment Group III was charged by President Graham in Spring 2010 and serves as an advisory board to the Conway Institute for Jesuit Education.
  • Discernment Group II was charged by President Graham in Spring 2010 and is a council of associate vice presidents and associate deans working to deepen the Jesuit identity within the campus culture.
  • Discernment Group I (2007-2009). Xavier's first Discernment Group, comprised of 14 faculty and administrators, were charged by President Michael Graham, S.J. to outline a plan for the future of the Division of Mission & Identity.

Women's Ignatian Leadership Salon

Strengthening capacities and confidence of women leaders through personal reflection, small group conversation, and peer support. Participant groups have included:  Xavier  faculty and staff and  graduate students, local entrepreneurs, mission officers of the AJCU, and administrators of the  Upper Midwest Province (read the  Jesuit News Brief).  See the companion Salon booklet,  Mastery and Moxie in 31 Days: A Guide and Journal for Career Women .

The Spiritual Exercises / Direction

Opportunity is available to engage in Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercise and guidance. 
Contact Fr. Jim McCann, S.J. for information. 

Wisdom and Integration through the Spiritual Exercises (WISE), a year-long group experience of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, is offered periodically for faculty.  For more information, click below:

Special Events

Mass of the Holy Spirit

At the beginning of each new academic year, the Xavier community gathers for this annual Mass and campus-wide celebration. For more information, Mass of the Holy Spirit program information.

Celebration of Mission Excellence

An event held every April offering a Presidential recognition of participants in the Center's major educational programs. For more information,  Celebration of Mission Excellence program information.

Special Events/Masses

The Center assists the President's Office and Special Events in coordinating various mission-oriented events, such as the Advent Blessing, Baccalaureate Mass, and Family Weekend.

Specialty Seminars and Speaking Engagements

A variety of mission-related seminars are offered periodically, for instance,

  1. EntreLeadership Mastery and Moxie (2017), Xavier as a Community Engages University (2013), Sustainability and the Mission (2012), and the Jesuit Commons (2011).
  2. Understanding Our Heritage, Living the Mission provides a brief overview about Jesuit heritage and education. Each section includes a two-minute video, selected readings and reflection questions. It is useful for helping to orient Xavier staff and students,  faculty, and  Board of Trustees members.
  3. Mission Mentoring Program for Senior Administration: Affirming excellence in teaching scholarship and mission consciousness.
  4. 2020 UAP Mission Seminar for Campus Leaders
In addition, the Center's staff provide mission-related presentations as requested. Such presentations can help divisions, departments, or student groups better understand and reflect upon Xavier's mission.

National and Regional Mission Programs