News Detail
"In the midst of conflict and instability, education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to rebuild their lives." — Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, Jesuit Refugee Service International Director
First Class of 48 Refugees Graduate from Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins

October 3, 2013 — After years of hard work in harsh conditions, the first group of 48 refugees graduated with diplomas in Liberal Studies last week from an innovative online education program sponsored by Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins and Jesuit Refugee Service.

The first graduation ceremony took place in Kakuma camp in northwestern Kenya, where 25 refugees received diplomas accredited by Regis University in Denver. The second ceremony was held in Dzaleka camp in central Malawi, where 23 more students graduated. 

"This is an incredible moment for these refugees, their families and communities. After being forced to flee in search of safety, shelter, food and employment, the idea of university seemed unattainable. It is a journey from survival to rebirth, the transformation in the lives of refugees and their communities," said Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, Jesuit Refugee Service International Director. 

Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins offers refugees an opportunity to obtain higher education and help their communities, combining new technology with Ignatian pedagogy, emphasizing learning through experience, reflection, evaluation and service.

With the assistance of Jesuit universities and Jesuit Refugee Service field staff, Higher Education at the Margins employs the Internet, on-site teachers, mentors and tutors to offer accredited diploma courses and certificates of learning, known as Community Service Learning Track (CSLT), to refugees. More than 1,200 refugees are expected to participate in the pilot phase of the program, ending in August 2014. Hundreds in Jordan, Kenya and Malawi are already enrolled in online higher education courses and diploma programs. The program will soon be expanded to Afghanistan and Chad, with plans to grow to 10 sites by 2018.

"In the midst of conflict and instability, education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to rebuild their lives. Not only does this program prepare participants professionally, it has an impact on whole communities. Higher education builds leaders, imbued with the values of social responsibility and justice. These graduation days are historic events. They mark a beginning in the lives of the individuals and their communities,” said Fr. Balleis. [Jesuit Refugee Service]


Recent News

July 26, 2016 — World Youth Day 2016 kicked off today in Kraków, Poland, with millions of young adults from around the globe gathering to celebrate their Catholic faith.

July 24, 2016 — After six days of Ignatian experiments, pilgrims descended upon the city of Czestochowa in Poland, known for its shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa, or the Black Madonna.

July 19, 2016 — Jesuit Father Bob Fabing, who was close friends with Mother Teresa, will sing at her canonization on September 4.

July 18, 2016 — More than 2,000 MAGIS pilgrims are embarking on “Ignatian experiments” across four countries.

July 17, 2016 — 2,200 pilgrims arrived in Lódz for the opening of MAGIS 2016, a program of service and faith-sharing approximately a week and a half preceding WYD.

July 13, 2016 — Fr. Thomas Stegman, SJ, has been named dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

July 12, 2016 — Five years ago, Fr. Larry Kroker, SJ, was named honorary chief of a native tribe — an honor he received because of what he and the Jesuits have done spiritually for native people.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 8/1/16

America - 7/18/16

America - 7/4/16



Bellarmine Retreat Center
Bellarmine Retreat Center is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains by the Appalachian Trail on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.