Kircher Network

The Canisius Formation – Course on Identity and Mission of Jesuit higher education institutions

Course on Identity and Mission of Jesuit Higher Education Institutions

The Canisius Formation

The Kircher Network’s Formation course on Identity and Mission of Jesuit higher education institutions – The Canisius Formation – is an introductory immersion experience for faculty and staff of the Kircher Network member institutions who want to gain a foundation in Ignatian identity and spirituality and Jesuit higher education mission. 

Through the course, participants obtain a foundation in Ignatian identity, spirituality and mission; gain a foundation in the core characteristics of Jesuit higher education; and develop a sense of belonging to a European and global Ignatian community with a mission beyond the university/centre. 


José García de Castro, SJ.,; John Dardis, SJ.; Gonzalo Villagrán SJ.; Joseph F. Mària, SJ.; Patrick Goujon, SJ.; Joseph Christie, SJ.; Philip Geister, SJ.; and Susana Di Trolio. 


The course seeks to be an integral experience comprising intellectual, interiority and relational approaches.  Through the course, the participants will be invited to rediscover their jobs as a chance to contribute to the mission of Jesuit higher education.

This experiential approach follows the best tradition of Ignatian Pedagogy. The course combines three-day in-person sessions in Vienna with three online meetings. Distinguished experts will give lectures and lead discussions with participants in Ignatian spirituality, Jesuit mission, Jesuit networks and Ignatian Leadership. 

The course will include readings and materials, all of which will be available on the webpage. Participants will have time for reading and in-group discussion during the course. 

Location of the in-person sessions

Kardinal König Haus. Kardinal-König-Platz 3, 1130 Vienna, Austria.




| An invitation to a networking formation experience in Jesuit Higher Education


Author: Bruno Klomfar

Course Elements

Pilot experience and nominating process

The Kircher Network seeks to offer the course every year to the faculty and staff of Jesuit institutions in Europe and Lebanon. The first edition of the course will be a pilot experience with a small cohort of participants nominated by the institutions. The deadline for nominating participants is the 29th of February, 2024Institutions should send their candidates’ names and email addresses to

Who was Peter Canisius?

Peter Canisius (Nijmegen 1521-Friburg 1597) studied at the University of Cologne, where he met Peter Faber, one of St. Ignatius’ first companions. While in Cologne, he did the spiritual exercises with Peter Faber. As a result, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1543, being the first Dutchman to become a Jesuit. He was the first Provincial of the Province of Germany of the Society of Jesus. He was sent to Vienna as superior of the Jesuit community in 1553 following the death of Claud Jay. As the main line of his pastoral strategy, following the demand of King Ferdinand I, Peter Canisius wanted to invigorate the University of Vienna and make it attractive by appointing professors who could apply Jesuit teaching methods and through the good example of successful Jesuit scholars. He was also named a member of the university reform commission. In 1562, he founded an institution that would later become the University of Innsbruck. 


Course Components

Key momentos in the life of life of Ignatius of Loyola as a reference

The Jesuit understanding of the mission and core characteristics of higher education institutions

The Jesuit higher education network ecosystem

Key elements of the Ignatian Leadership approach



Donwload the schedule of the course here.

Course Elements


We are working on the materials.

Practical information

three-day in-person sessions

October 29, 30 and 31

Arrival Oct 28 | Departure Nov 1


Kardinal König Haus. Kardinal-König-Platz 3, 1130 Vienna, Austria.

online sessions

Pre-session – Introductory webinar | SEPT, 2024 (tbc)


Follow-up webinars on Ignatian Leadership:



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Coordinating team

The course has been organized by a team of people working in Jesuit institutions (Gonzalo Villagrán, Lidia Fioravanti, and Josep F. Mària) with the support of the Kircher Network’s Executive Secretary, Susana Di Trolio. The organizers will always accompany participants and moderate the sessions.