Saint Joseph's University was founded by the Jesuits — visionary Catholic priests and educators who prioritized social justice, the pursuit of excellence, service to others, and the development of the whole person, or, cura personalis.

The founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola, discovered in his own life a way toward greater intimacy with God. Born in 1491, the young Ignatius loved his care-free life in the court of the king. As a soldier, he was wounded in a battle, and while convalescing, Ignatius had a "conversion experience" which resulted in a desire to devote his life to Christ.  He later spent nine months living in a cave, learning how to converse with God and how to determine what God's will was for him.  The happenings and fruits of that experience Ignatius wrote down and called the "Spiritual Exercises."

His spirituality has been handed down through the centuries and has been an incredibly valuable tool to help countless others grow deeper in prayer and to follow more closely in the footsteps of Christ.  Ignatian spirituality invites us to understand that God is present and active in our everyday lives.  Rather than withdrawing from the world to find God, we can find God’s sacred presence within our relationships, activities and encounters of daily life.  Ignatian spirituality can lead us to a deeper way of praying and can assist in making decisions through the process of discernment while inviting us to use our time and talents toward the service of others.