Loyola University Chicago


What is Magis?

A program of Loyola University Chicago and an initiative of the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education is for persons:


  • Seeking to earn their master’s degree in social work, divinity, social justice, pastoral studies, Christian spirituality
  • Interested in completing their field experiences in a Catholic Agency in the city of Chicago.
  • Wishing to participate in a formation program grounded in the Jesuit tradition that includes these five areas:
    • Spirituality
    • Community
    • Social justice
    • Sustainable living
    • Anti-racism

Distinguishing characteristics of Magis candidates:

·         Persons seeking to earn their master’s degree in one of the above areas.  All members will be enrolled in the desired master’s degree program at Loyola University Chicago.

·         Persons interested in receiving their field experiences in a Catholic Agency in the city of Chicago.

·         Persons interested in being a part of a formation program, grounded in the Jesuit tradition. The formation program consists of days of reflection, retreats and seminars.

·         Persons currently working in Catholic Agencies in the city of Chicago desiring to receive one of the above degrees.

·         Persons interested in making a two/three -year commitment to the degree program as well as field experiences in a Catholic agency.

·         Any person interested in this type of formation and program is welcome to apply.


A few goals of the program:

·         Keep persons already in Catholic Agencies  at the agency

·         Keep persons from the community in the community.

·         Provide a pathway to a degree for people already working in Catholic agency or persons not working in a Catholic Agency but desiring one of the above degrees. All necessary fieldwork is completed in a Catholic Agency.

·         Create a pipeline of well-trained persons.

·         Form the whole person, mind and spirit.




·         This opportunity provides a full scholarship, which includes tuition, fees and books necessary to obtain the desired degree.

·         Some paid internship opportunities are available.

Some opportunities to live in an intentional community are available.


Learn more about requirements through our application.

The term Magis is a key element of Jesuit Spirituality, inviting us to do more and to become more. This opportunity is open to any college graduate. 

Magis provides a unique opportunity to live out Jesuit ideals. Participants are able to put these ideals into action in both the agencies in which they work and the communities in which they live. Magis participants embody the Jesuit ideal of being people with others through dedication to their agency and community. 

The essence of Magis can be found in its five values: sustainable living, social justice, community, spirituality, and anti-racism.  Participants of Magis work in various professions, at Catholic agencies and attend classes through a graduate program at Loyola University Chicago. Upon successful completion of the course work, participants earn a master’s degree from Loyola. The program provides an excellent opportunity for professional development through the master degrees offered and the work done at the various placement sites.


  • A master's degree in one of the following areas is offered by Loyola University Chicago while participating in the JVC Magis program: The following graduate degrees are offered through JVC Magis: social workdivinitypastoral studiesspirituality and social justice. Dual degrees are not offered through  Magis, and these are the only degrees offered through the JVC Magis Program.


The formation is intended to be a holistic process - encouraging intellectual, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, ethical, and moral growth.


Being intentional about what it means to be community is an essential element of community  in the Magis Program. While community may involve the myriad details and practical matters that come with sharing a home, there is more to building community than "sharing a roof and a refrigerator."  Building community requires time, effort, compromise, and a willingness to communicate.  Magis Communities are places to share and to grow, to support and to be supported. Participants have an opportunity to live in a shared living community, but that is not a requirement to be in the program.

The Magis experience is an opportunity for participants to deepen their spiritual lives, both individually and communally, building upon their prior experiences. 


Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), believed that spirituality involves people's human experience of God and their response to God's calling.  In his own response to that call, Ignatius moved prayer and contemplation out of the monastery and into everyday life.  Thus, in the tradition of Ignatius, Magis participants live as contemplatives in action - People who are committed to integrating their faith and spirituality with their work for justice.


As contemplatives in action, Magis participants are invited to change the attitudes and structures that create poverty, racism, perpetuate injustice, white supremacy, and waste of the earth’s resources. The participants take time to reflect on the pain, the brokenness, and the joy they find in the people they work with as well as in themselves.  This journey is part of a lifelong process that is comforting and unsettling, joyful and painful.


Magis invites each participant to live a sustainable, reflective lifestyle and to be intentional about the use of money, time, and material possessions.  Sustainable living can be seen as  opportunity to practice presence to others in our lives, a means of reducing our impact on the globe, and counteracting prevailing narratives of overconsumption.  By living sustainably we strive to remove those obstacles that inhibit our closeness to God and others.


A commitment to live a sustainable lifestyle involves focusing on people - others as well as ourselves - and on basic needs. By working with people who may have different immediate needs, participants become more aware of the basic needs that are not met for many and of over-consumption by others.  A sustainable lifestyle is a living expression of a commitment to a just world where all people's needs are met.


Living sustainably is an individual, communal, and global challenge that continues long after Magis.

Magis participants commit to taking an active part in the exploration of issues of social justice. This invitation to justice finds its roots in the dignity of all people and the awareness of intersecting privileges and identities. 


Magis participants work with others who are dedicated to providing for the physical and spiritual needs basic to human dignity.  Participants also work for peace and justice by critically examining the root causes of injustice and by becoming aware of how our privileges, attitudes, and behaviors impact others.  We are invited to challenge and actively combat the attitudes and structures that create and perpetuate poverty, racism, injustice, white supremacy, and waste of the earth’s resources. This work is begun through continued self-examination, and intentional conversations.

The Magis program and its participants are committed to analyzing policies, structures, and procedures that maintain and encourage white privilege. This work begins with the individuals in the program which then helps us to extend to our program, the university and the agencies in which we work.


  • The program has committed to the following as a beginning on the work of Anti - Racism:
    • All new members attend a two and half day anti-racism training.
    • All members include a section on their own personal commitment to anti-racism in their personal statement.
    • The fall retreat includes a personal, communal and program evaluation on our anti-racism work.
    • In the spring a day of reflection is offered to further our exploration and training in anti-racism.


This work is ongoing, and is ever evolving.