Q&A regarding the MA in Social Justice and Community Development

What is happening with the IPS and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Professional Education (SCUPE) relationship?
At the end of this academic term (Spring 2014), Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Professional Education (SCUPE) will discontinue their academic affiliation on amicable terms. In light of this change, the IPS faculty voted unanimously at its December 11, 2013 meeting to offer the MASJ.

Why the shift away from SCUPE?
Loyola and IPS are looking to re-focus more directly on core social justice issues, as this is the foundation of the University’s Jesuit education. We are shifting the program to better focus on an area of strength for the University and for IPS.

We will continue to be a member seminary with SCUPE.

When was the partnership with SCUPE formed?
In late 2009, a track in community development was added to the IPS curriculum through a formal affiliation with SCUPE. Loyola University Chicago later changed the degree from an MASJ to an MASJCD.

What does this mean for students enrolled in the MASJCD?
Students who are currently enrolled in the MASJCD program will have two years to finish the degree (until June 30, 2016). All courses required for the MASJCD degree will continue to be offered through June 30, 2016. Current MASJCD students may also opt to pursue the MASJ, in which case normal University deadlines for degree completion apply.

Why an MASJ instead of an MASJCD?
The MASJ program is a reflection of Loyola's long-standing commitment to social justice and the strategic role it will have at the University in forthcoming years. The proposed curriculum for the MASJ, which was recently approved by the IPS curriculum committee, is inspired by the late Mary Elsbernd's vision and a desire to incorporate contextual education as an essential component of the degree.

In addition, IPS is working closely with Loyola’s School of Social Work on the dual-degree in Social Justice and Social Work. These programs will be formally announced once they are approved at all levels, according to standard University procedures. When that information is finalized, it will reflect that the IPS faculty, and the University as a whole, have been true to Mary Elsbernd's vision, while also enhancing the degree for new strategic directions. 

I’m an alum with an MASJCD. Does the discontinuation of this partnership lessen my degree in the eyes of employers?
No. MASJCD is a valued and recognized degree earned.

Why is the Institute’s summer 2014 trip to Kenya cancelled?
The University’s suspension of the Kenya trip occurred because of the U.S. State Department’s concerns about safety and security. It has nothing to do with any IPS program.