Religious Studies Department Mission Statement(adopted November 13, 2014)
As part of Gonzaga University, we are inspired by the humanistic, Catholic, and Jesuit traditions to which the university belongs. We encourage the full potential of the human person within the contexts of spiritual development, intellectual growth, and social transformation. As a department, we are a community of educators committed to academic excellence, the strengthening of local and global communities, and practices of justice.
We strive to be a community of scholars and teachers who inspire students to become lifelong learners, to pursue questions of ultimate concern, and to embrace the cause of creating a more just and peaceful world. As scholars and teachers of theology and religious studies, we seek to educate students in the methods and relevance of those fields. Following the inspiration of Ignatius Loyola we will mentor students in the quest for self-knowledge and offer courses that have an existential impact. Grounded in our Jesuit Catholic mission we will encourage students to appreciate the wisdom of the Christian tradition. At the same time, we endeavor to provide hospitality to the voices of other religious traditions, and to offer courses that encourage students to honor the religious other and to recognize the complexities of our pluralistic world.
Three values, in particular, both animate and sustain the work of our department.
Intellectual Inquiry - As a department we value the full diversity of intellectual inquiry and scholarly methods, and take seriously all questions of ultimate concern and significance.
Dialogue - As a department we are committed to the value of a vibrant ecumenical and religiously diverse community that both cherishes and nurtures the variety of faith commitments embodied by our students and fosters dialogue.
Social Justice - As a department we value those forms of intellectual and theological inquiry that foster, on the one hand, awareness of systemic injustice in the world and, on the other hand, solidarity with victims of oppression and marginalization.