Second annual conference explores hallmarks of a "Benedictine" education

Second annual conference explores hallmarks of a "Benedictine" education
May 27, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Br. Dietrich Reinhart, O.S.B, president of Saint John’s University (Minn.), and James Ludema, Ph.D., professor of Organization Development, will be the featured speakers at the second annual Benedictine Pedagogy Conference “How Do We Express Ourselves as Particularly Benedictine?” at Benedictine University May 29-31. The conference is sponsored by the Benedictine University Center for Mission and Identity and brings together religious and academic representatives of Benedictine colleges and universities from throughout the United States. Representatives from (Aurora) Marmion Academy, St. Anselm College (Manchester, N.H.) and St. Vincent College (Latrobe, Pa.) are among those helping to plan the event. “Catholic colleges and universities have been attempting to gain a stronger sense of their unique mission and identity as Catholic institutions of higher learning since 1990, when ‘Ex Corde Ecclesiae’ was issued by Pope John Paul II,” said Alicia Cordoba Tait, director of the Center for Mission and Identity at Benedictine University. “The association of Benedictine colleges and universities has been studying the uniqueness of a Benedictine education by focusing on a common set of hallmarks,” she added. “As Catholic schools rich in the Benedictine tradition, we provide our students with an education that is current and relevant yet reflective of the Benedictine emphasis on service and prayer.” Representatives attending the conference will discuss the significance of the set of values or “hallmarks” common to Benedictine academic institutions, and how those hallmarks – love, prayer, stability, conversation, obedience, discipline, humility, stewardship, hospitality and community – affect teaching, research and personal and institutional spirituality. Speaking at the conference will be Reinhart, 11th president of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. Reinhart joined the Saint John’s faculty in the department of history, and in 1988 was elected dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a post he held until his election to the presidency by the Board of Regents in January 1991. Reinhart’s work as dean was characterized by an acute mastery of detail, commitment to the needs of students, and a strong advocacy of support of the faculty in their teaching, scholarship and research. Ludema is a principal of the Corporation for Positive Change (CPC) and a professor of Organization Development at Benedictine University, an internationally recognized organizational consultant, and a Founding Owner of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, a global firm that includes several of the world’s leading thinkers on appreciative inquiry. Ludema’s areas of expertise include appreciative inquiry, organizational redesign and whole system change, large group interventions, the people side of mergers and acquisitions, human motivation, and organizational storytelling. For more information about the conference, contact Alicia Cordoba Tait, conference coordinator, at (630) 829-6324, e-mail her at atait@ben.edu, or go online to www.ben.edu/cmi.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.