Our Way of Proceeding: Standards & Benchmarks for Jesuit Schools in the 21st Century

Our Way of Proceeding Cover

Our Way of Proceeding: Standards and Benchmarks for Jesuit Schools in the 21st Century was born from a need expressed by the schools for an instrument better suited to the Sponsorship Review Process. The goal was to draft a new, user-friendly instrument that would articulate what should be present in an excellent Jesuit school, using language and descriptors that would make it easier for schools and reviewers to know what to look for. The new instrument would draw on and reflect current documents used in the Sponsorship Review Process while adding clarity and reducing overlap.

As Jesuit schools we continue “to sustain our Ignatian vision and Jesuit mission of educational excellence in the formation of young men and women of competence, conscience, compassion, and commitment” (JSN Mission Statement). The following Standards and Benchmarks reflect particular ways in which this vision and mission are made manifest. As such, they are comprehensive in addressing five domains: Jesuit and Catholic Mission and Identity, Governance and Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Educational Excellence, and Faith That Does Justice. 

The Standards offer descriptors of programs, policies, structures, and processes that one would expect to be in place in excellent Jesuit schools acting in accord with the core values of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy. The Benchmarks provide observable, measurable descriptors for each Standard. Our Way of Proceeding: Standards and Benchmarks for Jesuit Schools in the 21st Century, while not an accreditation system in itself, can be used as a tool in tandem with regional accreditation processes. In addition, it may serve as the basis for developing rubrics and other assessment-related instruments should the need and interest arise.

These standards and benchmarks are offered as an instrument designed to help schools and review teams focus their efforts to document the Jesuit Catholic identity and excellence of the schools. They are both aspirational and prescriptive, in the way the core values of Jesuit schools have always been. Jesuit schools and Provinces are encouraged to commit to these performance benchmarks and to work toward implementing the principles and practices outlined here within the context of their own culture and community.

-- Our Way of Proceeding, pg 4