Group Interview

Thank you for your participation in our university-wide Examen on LMU’s institutional priorities around mission. Since we have limited time in our Group Interviews for discussion, please familiarize yourself with the resources on this page prior to attending a Group Interview session.

Take a moment to reacquaint yourself with LMU's Mission Statement.

An Individual Examen

As preparation for the Group Interview, we invite all participants to spend a few minutes in reflection following the method of prayer known as the Examen outlined by Saint Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises. While Ignatian spirituality is a Christian spirituality centered on the person of Jesus Christ as the Incarnate Word of God, the particular movements of the Examen can be—and frequently have been—adapted to different circumstances by people of all faiths or no faith.

This Examen invites us to reflect on our own individual engagements with Loyola Marymount University and is adapted from "How Busy Persons Find God in All Things—in Less Than 15 Minutes" by Randy Roche, S.J., Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality. If overtly Christian terms like "pray" or "God" are distractions, substitute language that enables you to enter more fully into the Examen. Plan to spend about 15 minutes on this spiritual exercise.

We carve out a few moments of solitude in the day so that we can reflect on what is going on and where our actions and choices are taking us as staff, faculty, and students of Loyola Marymount University.

Pray in gratitude for all the gifts that we have received at LMU. With a grateful heart, we glance back at the experiences of the past twenty-four hours and thank God for every gift we can recall that has come to us through our affiliation with LMU.

Pray for enlightenment so that the Spirit will help us see ourselves more clearly, freed from defensiveness and blind spots. We are praying for a Spirit-guided insight into our actions and our hearts.

Survey the period since last engaging in reflective prayer, paying attention to our feelings, moods, thoughts, and desires as a way of getting a sense of what is going on in our lives at LMU. Usually, our feelings—whether painful or pleasant, negative or positive—are the best indicators of what is happening in our lives and where we need to listen to the voice of God. As we attend to the more intense feelings that surface, we ask ourselves: What is the nudging of God in this experience? We try to let our prayer be a spontaneous conversation with God about what we notice in our day.

Pray for forgiveness for the ways we have not lived up to the requirements of love in our relationship to God, ourselves, and to other members of the LMU community. The goal here is to glean the lessons of love embedded in yesterday's experiences, so to be better able to love in the present.

Ask God's help to live with renewed hope and increased love of God and other members of our LMU community. As we let our minds consider briefly the immediate future, we pay attention to the feelings that spontaneously arise and share them with God in prayer, like one friend speaking with another.

Format of the Interview

The goal of the Mission Priority Examen is to identify two or three mission priorities that will guide LMU in the years to come. Those priorities may build on existing strengths and/or address institutional gaps related to mission.

The goal of the Group Interview is to solicit the community's feedback on priorities that the Institutional Examen Steering Committee have identified through thoughtful reflection on the questions posed in Some Characteristics of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and a careful analysis of data about mission activity at LMU.

Group interviews will be facilitated by two representatives of the Institutional Examen Steering Committee.

Group Interviews will take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the group.

Participants in Group Interviews are encouraged to keep their responses to the questions posed by the facilitators brief and focused, to respect other participants' viewpoints, and to allow for everyone to contribute.

Responses may be quoted or paraphrased without attribution in the self-study document to be produced by the Steering Committee, but while the committee will keep respondents’ identities confidential, absolute anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Emerging Priorities

The interview will focus on three areas identified by the Steering Committee as having potential for mission enhancement. These are:

Formation

Jesuits describe their training as a process of “formation,” whereby they are shaped in accord with the principles of Ignatian spirituality and the values and traditions of the Society of Jesus. What can we do to form faculty, staff, students, administrators, and trustees in these traditions so that in partnership with our religious communities they may be guarantors of LMU’s Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity for generations to come? What steps can we take to ensure that every faculty and staff member can articulate how their work takes inspiration from and fulfills LMU’s mission? How do we prepare students at both the undergraduate and graduate level to understand LMU’s mission and apply this understanding to their personal and professional lives?

Faith and Justice

How does the LMU community understand the relationship between the imperatives to service faith and promote justice? Is there a common conception of what these concepts—faith and justice—mean within the context of our mission and Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity? Can members of the LMU community serve a faith that does justice whether or not they are personally motivated by any particular faith tradition or commitment? Is Catholic Social Teaching well understood across campus, and does it animate our curricula and co-curricula, our scholarship, and our community engagement?

Institutional Integrity

How can we operate as an increasingly complex institution of higher education in fidelity to and support of our mission and in dynamic and creative tension with the fiscal, legal, political, and cultural contexts in which LMU operates? Do our institutional principles consistently drive our actions? How can we bear witness to our institutional values both internally (e.g., compensation and benefits, governance structures and policies) and externally (e.g., public advocacy, resource investments, community engagement)?

Questions

For each of the above priority areas, participants in Group Interviews will be asked simply to offer a response to the question:

What are our needs and opportunities in this area, and what can we be doing that we aren't already?

Time will be available at the conclusion of the interview for participants to suggest other areas not covered by these three mission topics for consideration as part of the Examen process.