Thayne McCulloh

Ignatius, what happened? The Atlantic looks at 'rebranding' of Jesuit colleges

Ignatius, what happened? The Atlantic looks at 'rebranding' of Jesuit colleges

A new article in The Atlantic looks at how many Jesuit colleges are rebranding themselves to project an image of fidelity to so-called "Catholic values" without proclaiming fidelity to actual Catholic teachings.

There is a lot to chew on in Autumn Jones' "The New Brand of Catholic Universities," and more than a few religion ghosts -- that is, hints of valuable religion angles that are left unexplored. Key words? Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

Two points especially call out for clarification. The first is that of what happened to the Jesuits. Jones writes:

A fourth of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities currently have lay presidents, and the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was.

That is putting it mildly. Here's how the Washington Post reported the decline in local Jesuit vocations in 2011, which reflects a global trend:

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