Loyola University Chicago

THEA Institute

Mission, Goals, and Learning Outcomes



The mission of the Theology of Healing Earth in Action (THEA) Institute is to engage high school students in Catholic theology and Ignatian spirituality so that they might act as socially just leaders who care for creation in their local communities and the world.


The THEA Institute has five main goals:

  1. Invite participants to discover and discern their gifts and vocation, drawing on the rich wisdom of sacred scriptures and Ignatian spirituality.
  2. Awaken the imagination of participants through creative forms of prayer as a path towards discernment and leadership development.
  3. Foster the Ignatian value of love for others by critically examining environmental justice.
  4. Honor the multiethnic makeup of the Catholic community.
  5. Develop leaders who will lead integrated lives of faith and justice, empowering them to respond to contemporary challenges.

Learning Outcomes

In light of our goals, we offer the following learning outcomes for our high school participants. At the end of the THEA Institute, participants will be able to:

  • Utilize tools of discernment and sacred scripture to recognize their own gifts and personal call to vocation
  • Express their own growing sense of spirituality through imagination, personal expression, music, and creative forms of prayer
  • Examine environmental justice through a critical lens centered on the Ignatian ethic of love for others
  • Respond to the contemporary challenge of the environmental crisis through an integrated perspective of faith, justice, science, and ethics

We achieve these learning outcomes by challenging participants to understand the relationship between humans and nature through moral discernment of socioenvironmental injustices and faith exploration.