usf lone mountain
USF Saint Ignatius and Golden Gate Bridge

SII and the Jesuit Tradition

  1. Core Learning

    The St. Ignatius Institute (SII) offers a rigorous academic program that begins with studying the “great books.” The SII curriculum is an alternative to the University core curriculum engaging students through academically challenging classes in disciplines like philosophy, theology, and literature. SII students enjoy smaller seminar style classes and close personal attention from the SII faculty. The integration of academics, community based learning and living, and openness to exploring spirituality are hallmarks of the SII curriculum.

    With the exception of math and science, SII courses fulfill the USF core curriculum. Students in the SII may choose any major area of study.

  2. Engaging Reality in the World

    Community-based learning
    SII students engage the world outside of the classroom through community-based learning. Building community with and learning from those most in need foster depth of thought and imagination. Examples of SII outreach include partnerships with local churches and NGOs who provide hospitality and dialogue with those living on the margins of San Francisco society. Students participate in a variety of programs at the St. Vincent de Paul Wellness Center promoting healing and healthy living for underserved people in the city. They also provide tutoring and mentoring for local grammar, middle school and high school students.

    Global Education
    SII is home to three unique study abroad opportunities. Located in Oxford, England, The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Blackfriars Hall are traditional study abroad experiences that offer Oxford tutorial style learning. Casa Bayanihan in Manila, Philippines is an exemplary Jesuit study abroad program focusing on justice, faith, and global education. It is education for transformation broadening students' worldviews. Casa Bayanihan integrates immersion into the reality of the Philippines, especially the reality of the poor, rigorous academics, simple community living, and Ignatian spirituality.

  3. Sharing Community

    SII is a community within the larger USF community. Our students experience cura personalis (care of the person) through the mentorship and support of SII faculty, staff, and fellow students. SII students are invited to live on the SII floor in the USF residence halls and continue building community through various social events on campus and off. Our community gathers for an optional liturgy and community night every Tuesday evening.
    The SII community encourages peer mentoring. Students study together and learn together. SII students who complete four years of the program often credit their SII experience as the highlight of USF.

  4. Exploring Spirituality

    The SII is an inclusive community that welcomes peoples of all faith traditions, including those questioning and challenging their views on God. Seeking to educate not just the mind, but the whole person, SII creates an open environment where students can move beyond the busyness of university life, and more deeply reflect on how they are being touched by what is sacred and holy in their lives.

    The SII offers a holistic formation that gives students that opportunity to experience different types of prayer and reflection, to engage the Catholic tradition in all its richness, and to practice the art of spiritual discernment. Inspired by the Jesuit ideal of being “contemplatives in action,” the SII helps students integrate their spiritual growth and active engagement with the world.

    Weekly liturgies, retreats, and evenings of reflection are offered to the students. There is a retreat in the fall for the senior class and a spring retreat open to all students. Mass is held for the SII students on a weekly basis. Many SII students actively participate in the life of local St. Ignatius Parish. All students are invited, but never required, to take advantage of these and other opportunities for prayer and reflection.

    Students also have the opportunity to complete a minor in Catholic Studies.  They can also complete other minors at USF.