Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

UNIV 102 Loyola Seminar: Ignatian Discernment

Fall 2013

Loyola Seminar: Ignatian Discernment

Fall 2013                              

 John Chandler, S.J.

Cell phone:  39.333.1356.125

e-mail:  jchandl@luc.edu

Office - daily 

Course Description


This course explores the theory and practice of Christian discernment grounded in the life, writings and experience of Ignatius of Loyola.  Students investigate the personal and apostolic applications of Ignatian discernment through readings, discussions, a retreat, case studies, short papers and a final paper of greater length.


Learning Objectives

● To introduce students to Ignatian discernment

● To explore personal and apostolic applications of Ignatian Discernment and decision making through commentaries, case studies, classroom discussions and private reflection.


Grading format

40% Class and Retreat participation.                                                                                 Pass= 100-70 points

30% Occasional Short papers and Original Case Studies                                                   No pass=69 points or below

30% Final Paper

                Note:  This class is dependent on active participation. Students are expected to come to class with assignments and readings completed and a readiness and willingness to participate.  If an absence is unavoidable because of illness, please contact the instructor prior to class via e-mail.  Even a single absence will result in a lower grade.

                The short paper is a reflection on the material covered in class as well as in the readings to indicate that a student has an understanding of the subject.  This is due prior to the beginning of the class as noted.

                The student will present a case study in the classes noted to indicate that the student has a working knowledge of the subject.  Case studies should be written and handed in at the end of the class as noted. They may be used as points for discussion during that same class.

                In the Final Paper, the student will place him/herself in the role of counselor and/or friend to a person who is struggling to choose between “two goods.” Using the Ignatian method of discernment, the student will show from the exposition of the case to the resolution how he/she would guide that person. 


Required Texts

The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola,

Thibodeau, Mark, God’s Voice within: the Ignatian Way to Discover God’s Will



Suggested Reading

Brackley, Dean, The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times:  New Perspectives on the Transformative Wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola (New York: Crossroad, 2004)

Lonsdale, David.  Eyes to See, Ears to Hear:  An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality.

Traditions of Christian Spirituality, ed. Philip Sheldrake.  Maryknoll, (New York: Orbis Books, 2000)

Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass:  An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality

Toner, Jules J.  Spirit of Light or Darkness?-A Casebook for Studying Discernment of Spirits

 (St. Louis, Missouri:  The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995)






Week 1                

Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality

Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola and other writings

Making Decisions

 Conflicted Heart/Trusting in Feelings


Week 2                


Consolation and Desolation

Ignatius and “Spirits”


Week 3                

Reflection short paper due

Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment:  First Week

Case studies


Week 4                

Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment:  Second Week

Making a good discernment and Final Decisions

 Case studies


Final Paper is welcome at the beginning of the last class but must be submitted before noon on December 12th by e-mail to the instructor.  The instructor will immediately notify the student that it has been received.