Society of Jesus

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The Society of Jesus is a Catholic religious order founded in 1534 by St Ignatius of Loyola, and given papal approval in 1540 by Pope Paul III. Members of the order are called Jesuits. The Jesuits practice a form of spirituality based on the writings of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises:

"to conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment"

The process of formation for a Jesuit is a long one, requiring significant academic study in philosophy, theology and other disciplines, and taking around ten years[1]. Having completed the formation process, Jesuits often become teachers or lecturers in universities or schools.

Education is a significant part of the Jesuit tradition: many schools and universities around the world are operated by the Jesuits. In addition, many work in the field of social justice and human rights.


  1. Society of Jesus in the United States, Steps in our Formation