Learning the Art of Being Many, The Ten-Year Vision of The Sankt Ignatios Foundation
Diversity and Participation
- changes perceptions;
- fostering communities;
- and stimulate dialogues.
The Foundation’s board established the vision of Sankt Ignatios on November 25. It is the result of work that began in the fall of 2023, in which all employees were invited to participate. The vision sets the direction for what we want the Sankt Ignatios Foundation to be with its education in the future. The vision is formulated in three overarching perspectives:
- Diversity and participation as a fundamental perspective
- Community and plurality/diversity in church and society
- Culture and dialogue with many truths
The perspectives describe the responsibility that Sankt Ignatios wants to take for societal challenges, how we want to continue developing research and education, and finally, how we want to position ourselves in the world and strengthen our ability to attract students, employees, partners, and financiers.
The vision is primarily addressed to the school’s staff and students and should be the basis for all operational planning. It applies as long as it is perceived as meaningful and serves as a guide when the organization makes its choices and priorities.
Within the framework of the vision, choices may vary for different parts of the operation depending on conditions and needs. The ongoing work involves collaboratively, at various levels of the organization, devising strategies and activities.
Keywords in the process should be long-term vision, trust, and transparency.
This is Sankt Ignatios
The Sankt Ignatios Foundation is responsible for Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola and Sankt Ignatios College, which offer both folk high school studies, university studies, and research. The activities are based on core values from both adult education and academia.
Sankt Ignatios is characterized by innovation and forward-thinking and is an educational institution in Sweden that constantly seeks development.
The educational institution contributes to new knowledge, meaning-making, and integration in Sweden and Europe.
Our unique and different starting point makes us world leaders in Eastern Christian studies and generates results that benefit society through alternative ways of thinking and deep expertise in the history and development of Eastern churches.
Our perspectives help people to get a second chance, both for those who have fled from oppression, violence, and poverty, and for those who have ended up in unemployment, exclusion, or crime.
This makes the school an attractive partner for both researchers and societal actors.
Our campus promotes scholarly and educational meetings, knowledge exchange, and collaboration across borders where several traditions come together in research, studies, and personal relationships. Proximity creates participation and promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes.
From student-teacher relationships, and with the humility that education contributes to, mutual respect for each other’s traditions is created. In such a community, the art of being many emerges.
Sankt Ignatios in the Future
Diversity and participation as a fundamental perspective
Sankt Ignatios applies a holistic view of the individual and values every person’s right to education. Therefore, we engage in education for refugees with the same commitment as for the doctoral student.
Diversity is not an idea but a reality found in every part of the world today. Diversity without participation leads to exclusion, while diversity combined with participation leads to a stronger civil society and a vibrant democracy.
Diversity and participation require a variety of educational forms and a decentralized structure that broadens recruitment and participation. This, in turn, leads to a broader view of quality and opportunities for both civil society and the church.
The diversity within Sankt Ignatios strengthens our own knowledge development and simultaneously creates added value for our partners.
By participating in the region and municipality, we continue to support Stockholm County and Södertälje as a knowledge region where we contribute to making diversity the strength of the region.
Community and diversity in church and society
Sweden and Europe are undergoing significant changes, not least due to groups of people moving from their homelands due to war and persecution. The school’s geographical location in Södertälje provides unique opportunities to gather Eastern churches.
The Eastern churches have not previously had their own educational institution in Sweden, making the school a unique and different player in theological education. From this, Sankt Ignatios emerges as a new starting point for both education and perspectives on the world.
Within the Orthodox world, Sankt Ignatios is a new starting point for ongoing work towards unity between the Oriental and Byzantine churches.
Sankt Ignatios invests in creativity, innovation, and development. With meaning-making knowledge and research-based knowledge, as well as commitment and an ethical approach, we contribute to preparing our students better to face current and future challenges.
Security, trust, and confidence create conditions for drive and courage and the risk-taking necessary for breakthroughs in knowledge.
Sankt Ignatios is a new starting point that gives voice to more lifeworlds, where more can share responsibility for society and the future.
Culture and dialogue with many truths…
Sankt Ignatios is not a church but a meeting place for many different churches that can meet on equal terms. It is also a meeting place for people with different conditions. This allows freedom in conversation and stimulates dialogue.
Forums of discussions and dialogue are tools that permeate all parts of Sankt Ignatios, including pedagogy, initiatives, view of research, and organization. Education means an increased opportunity to understand the discussion from the other’s perspective, creating trustful dialogue leading to mutual understanding and new opportunities.
Dialogue without education leads to conflict and division, while dialogue with education leads to participation in the other’s conditions.
Dialogue with education makes Sankt Ignatios a safe meeting place where employees and students get to participate in an educational culture where listening is as important as speaking, where understanding the other is as important as making oneself understood, and where mutual understanding is as important as critical scrutiny.
…but with preserved security and courage.
Sankt Ignatios shall work for a sustainable work environment with a good working environment, contributing to making the school an attractive employer where good leadership at all levels inspires employees to develop.
The school is characterized by an inclusive culture where equality, diversity, and equal opportunities are obvious.
Sankt Ignatios’ identity and visibility are jointly created by employees, students, and alumni. We successfully compete for external funding, are in demand, and take our place on the national and international stage.
The school’s employees have good networks and are influential in external bodies where strategic issues are discussed and decisions are made.
Our autonomy makes us bold to make long-term and strategic priorities.
Students and employees together with partners realize our vision by making what we do tomorrow even better than what we do today.