Jesuit Mission, the Heart of RU

St. Ignatius Statue
As Kansas City’s Jesuit university, Rockhurst exemplifies all that Jesuit education has to offer. The highest caliber of academia, leadership and service to others is the foundation in which RU, along with the other 27 Jesuit institutions nationwide, builds its experience.

It’s an academic tradition that dates back nearly 500 years. A life-altering, transformative experience packed into a quaint, 55-acre campus outside a thriving metropolis.

Perhaps the best way to describe our Jesuit mission is by reading the inscription on our campus bell tower: “You are called by the Society of Jesus to be men and women who reflect upon the reality of the world around you with all its ambiguities, opportunities, and challenges, to discern what is really happening in your life and in the lives of others, to find God there and to discover where God is calling you, to employ criteria for significant choices that reflect Godly values rather than narrow, exclusive self-interest, to make decisions in the light of what is truly for the greater glory of God and the service of those in need, and then to act accordingly.”  Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 1997

Get ready to compassionately change the world. Our Jesuit tradition is where it all begins.

Our Mission
Student Graduating

Rockhurst University exists to transform lives by creating a learning community centered on excellence in undergraduate liberal education and graduate education. Rockhurst is Catholic and Jesuit, involved in the life and growth of the city and the region, and committed to the service of the contemporary world.

Our Vision
Students holding candles

Rockhurst will be nationally recognized for transforming lives and forming leaders in the Jesuit tradition. Inspired by the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola, this Catholic university community seeks to make God’s good world better through learning, leadership, service, and the pursuit of justice. 

Our Core Values
Half of our students are not Catholic, but throughout their RU experience, they discover these values relate to their lives no matter what their beliefs are. Whether you’re on Rockhurst’s campus, Georgetown’s, Xavier’s or any of the other Jesuit campuses in the U.S., these values are visible.

  • Finding God in All Things
    We believe that God is actively working in our lives and world; therefore, we strive: To search for and find God in every circumstance in life, not just in explicitly religious situations. To grow in love—love of God, of our neighbor, and of the world. To deepen our relationships with God and our own religious traditions. To model that all aspects of learning and teaching are relevant ways of encountering and responding to God.
  • Reflection and Discernment
    We are committed to the examined life; therefore, we strive: To seek for a greater knowledge of all creation. To reflect on our own lived experience of the world. To discern the movements of our heart and reason. To listen to the experience of other people. 
  • Magis  – “More”
    We are committed to excellence; therefore, we strive: To understand better ourselves and others as people loved by God. To seek greater knowledge of the academic, spiritual, and social disciplines. To give greater love, care, and compassion for our neighbor. To find more purposeful and effective ways to carry out our work.
  • Cura Personalis – “Care for the Whole Person”
    We are committed to caring for others in and outside the classroom; therefore, we strive to help people: To understand their inherent human dignity. To reach their greatest human potential. To share their experience and knowledge with others. To act in a way that reflects this growth.
  • Contemplation in Action
    We are committed to just action through leadership and service; therefore, we strive: To take responsibility for our gifts and talents and to help build up the gifts and talents of others. To be agents of transformation especially in the areas of social justice and equality. To bring our best resources to bear on creative responses to problems and challenges. To foster openness and curiosity about all things new and different. To foster a spirit of trust, hopefulness, collegiality, and dialogue. To value different points of view and experiences.
  • Wisdom – Sapientia Aedificavit Sibi Domum – “Wisdom Has Built Herself a Home”
    We are committed to learning; therefore, we strive: To learn about all aspects of this God-charged world. To create an environment that values and champions the search for and communication of knowledge. To examine the moral and ethical implications present in each discipline and program. To view religious experience and religious questions as integral to the understanding of human existence and human culture. To foster love of the world that leads to the desire to create a better and more just existence.


Our Learning Themes
Through our mission of learning, leadership, and service in the Jesuit tradition, Rockhurst  cultivates a learning and living environment that encourages cura personalis, care and development of the whole person, through reflection and discernment. Within this environment, RU creates an integrative experience where you will develop skills, competencies, and values in these seven areas:

  • Leadership
    The commitment to develop the gifts and talents of yourself and others to make a positive difference in the world.
  • Communication
    The ability to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and with awareness of purpose and audience.
  • International and Cultural Understanding
    The appreciation of cultural differences and commonalities, and the ability to interact with sensitivity and alertness as citizens of the world.
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
    The ability to search for knowledge, investigate questions, and apply information in a systematic, discerning, and innovative manner.
  • Ethics and Social Justice
    The commitment to create a more just world and to live with integrity, humility, tolerance, and empathy.
  • Academic Knowledge
    The capacity to assimilate and apply a broad range of skills, knowledge, and abilities to a chosen field of study.
  • Self Formation
    The discovery and cultivation of spiritual, physical, social, and emotional well-being.