Religious Studies Mission Statement
As part of Gonzaga University, we are motivated by the humanistic, Catholic, and Jesuit tradition to which the University belongs. We stress the full development of human potential within a context of faith development and human transformation. In the effort to enrich both faith and culture, we work with other disciplines and departments to achieve the University's mission.
As humanistic, our religious search is most authentic when it awakens the intellectual, relational, and creative abilities of our students. We commit ourselves to stimulating these capacities.
As Catholic, we cherish our religious heritage and strive, with our students, to articulate it in an informed, reflective, and critical manner. While our teaching reflects this Catholic vision, we also recognize God’s presence and action in other traditions and seek to embody this respect in our work.
As Jesuit, we see our discipline as central to education in the style of Ignatius. Jesus’ vision of the reign of God inspires us to develop an understanding of faith which strives to create a just, compassionate, and peaceful global community.
As a Department, we are a community of educators and scholars committed to a faith that seeks understanding, builds community, and does justice.
Faith seeks understanding. Committed to academic excellence, we make scholarly contributions to academy, Church, and society.
Faith builds community. Committed to community, we integrate our life and work through prayer and worship, an ecclesial spirituality which is collegial and collaborative, and an interaction which is mutually supportive and challenging.
Faith does justice. Committed to justice, we see solidarity with the oppressed as integral to everything we do. We are especially concerned to promote a discipleship of equals which includes women and men on every level.
As theologians and religious educators, we are rooted in the biblical and theological heritage of Christian faith and seek a mutually enriching dialogue with the contemporary world.
Although our work also includes graduate studies and continuing-education and renewal programs, we share this with our students primarily through the core curriculum of the University on three levels:
Through the study of scripture we strive to deepen understanding of the faith-vision of Judaism and Christianity.
Through the systematic study of theology, we strive to develop that vision in relation to the contemporary world by reading the signs of the times.
Through attention to the needs and hopes of people today, we strive to realize that vision in both theory and practice by proclaiming the good news of justice, peace, and compassionate love and forming leaders who will generously themselves to sharing their gifts through service to others.