John Carroll University: A review and an assessment of its Jesuit and Catholic mission

Patrick H Rombalski, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation is a case study of the Catholic, Jesuit mission at John Carroll University, a mid-sized Catholic and Jesuit university located near Cleveland, Ohio. The research includes a review of the literature on Catholic higher education, Jesuit higher education, and the development of John Carroll's current mission statement from 1960 until 1977. The research also includes 29 interviews conducted by the author with three different constituent groups at John Carroll University (board members, faculty members, and administrators). This dissertation addresses the following questions: What do board members, faculty members, and administrators consider the central components of the Catholic mission and the Jesuit mission of John Carroll University? And, how does John Carroll University connect to the national conversation concerning Catholic and Jesuit higher education, if it does indeed connect at all? A commitment to a quality education, the goal of educating service-oriented graduates, a commitment to social justice, and the focused care of the student were the concepts that interviewees associated with the Jesuit mission. There were no universal traits expressed by the interviewees in regards to the Catholic mission; in fact, many of the interviewees had difficulty describing the Catholic mission. Each constituent group assessed its role in perpetuating the mission differently, specifically when it came to: familiarity with Catholic, Jesuit education norms; manifestation of the mission in the day-to-day; and university educational outreach concerning the mission. Formative programs are needed to carry on the tradition of John Carroll as both a Catholic and Jesuit institution. In order for the university to successfully remain and strengthen its Catholic and Jesuit mission, the board of directors will need to lead the effort.

Subject Area

Higher education|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Rombalski, Patrick H, "John Carroll University: A review and an assessment of its Jesuit and Catholic mission" (2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3168043.