This spring the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) completed a successful pilot of its Global Citizenship Curriculum Project. Inspired by Jesuit Superior General Rev. Arturo Sosa’s 2018 call for “education for world citizenship,” the project brings students across the global Jesuit network of 200 colleges and universities into dialogue about the meaning and practice of global citizenship.
During the spring 2023 semester 36 professors from 20 Jesuit institutions incorporated a shared Global Citizenship Course Module (readings and recorded lectures) into diverse courses ranging from Theological Anthropology to Human Rights in Africa and Sociology of the Philippines.
A highlight of the project was a series of 37 online dialogues that brought together 500 students from 12 different countries to share their perspectives on global citizenship with one another. Lively discussions centered on two foundational questions: "What does global citizenship mean to you?” and “How can young people have a positive impact as global citizens?” Steven Judah R. Marak, a student at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India, highlighted how the dialogues empowered students.
"Through the Global Citizenship Dialogues, individuals are empowered to become catalysts for positive change, working together to build societies grounded in the principles of equality, justice, and inclusivity.”
Through the dialogues, students studying a wide variety of subjects, from the humanities to the social and natural sciences, had an opportunity to share their insights and experiences. In one dialogue, students worked together to generate their own definition of global citizenship, defining it as “an ability to recognize and promote the dignity and equality of all people while being aware of diverse social, environmental, and economic conditions.” Another dialogue delved into environmental issues in more detail, addressing the response to the climate crisis at Jesuit institutions worldwide. Jonathan Paul, a student at Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai, India, shared how the dialogues encouraged students to see how small actions on the local level can make a big difference globally.
“When we make a change in our neighborhood, that makes a change in the street, and a change in the street changes the city, and on and on. The effect is global.”
Building on the success of the spring 2023 pilot, outreach to faculty for the fall 2023 semester has begun. Students who participate either in the spring or fall will be eligible to apply for the Global Citizenship Fellows program that will bring a select group of 15 to 20 students to Rome in June 2024 for a week-long study tour and face-to-face dialogue.
The Global Citizenship Curriculum Project is being led by the IAJU Task Force on Global Citizenship and is administered through the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.