As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown is built on the centuries-old commitment to academic excellence, spiritual growth, and the development of leaders devoted to public service. At the heart of Jesuit education is a commitment to “educate the whole person” by attending to the intellectual, personal, and spiritual formation of students while nurturing their growth as members of a single, human family. Georgetown’s vibrant and diverse Campus Ministry
programs extend to almost every part of university life and provide ways for young people to actively engage issues of faith.
“At Georgetown we are creating an environment which reflects our Catholic and Jesuit identity and which honors the values that identity promotes: interreligious understanding, the service of Faith and the promotion of justice, educating the whole person, discerned decision-making, and respect for the individuality and gifts of each member of our community,” says Philip L. Boroughs
, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry.
Georgetown’s students have the chance to grow in their faith through retreat programs, special lectures, seminars, discussion groups, and service and travel opportunities as well as in daily worship and prayer services. From its inception in 1789, Georgetown has welcomed students of, in the words of founder Archbishop John Carroll, “every religious profession.”
On any given week, more than 50 different religious services take place, including Catholic Masses, Muslim prayer services, Shabbat services, and Protestant services and Bible study. Members of the Jesuit community and 25 chaplains and staff representing faith traditions, including Roman Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim, serve students through sacramental and pastoral ministry and teaching and scholarship. Interfaith opportunities are also an integral part of campus life at Georgetown with activities such as Hallelujah Shabbat, Interfaith Seder and interfaith prayer services, dialogue, meditation, and art exhibits regularly taking place. Chaplains-In-Residence
, including members of the Catholic community as well as representatives from other faith traditions, live in student residence halls and serve as a pastoral resource, coordinating programming and outreach for students on campus.
An integral part of Campus Ministry involves efforts to support students through programs that invite reflection and renewal apart from daily life. Georgetown’s nationally recognized retreat programs offer a broad range of options for all students, with specific retreats available to students of Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, and Jewish faiths. In addition to retreat offerings in these traditions, the popular ESCAPE
program offers new undergraduates an opportunity for personal reflection to engage a deeper understanding of themselves and the wider Georgetown community that they have joined. Approximately 800 students participate in Campus-ministry sponsored retreat programs each year.
A central goal of Campus Ministry is to foster dialogue to expand our understanding of each other’s religious cultures and spiritual values. In doing this, we seek to translate dialogue into action.
In all, Campus Ministry offers members of the University community the opportunity to exercise their mind, body and spirit. By participating in these programs, students, faculty and staff integrate faith, service and learning in ways that let them better appreciate one another and share their gifts with the larger world.
By Timothy S. Godfrey
, S.J., Director of Campus Ministry