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Core Competency 2

Teaching with a Mission

This competency situates the pedagogical training PFF participants receive in the context of a university mission, and specifically in the context of Fordham University’s mission.

PFF participants will:

  • Examine key components of Fordham University’s mission, and compare that mission with the missions of other institutions.
  • Recognize ways in which the University mission can play a role in pedagogical practice.
  • Integrate the University’s mission into your own pedagogical practice.
  • Reflect on what it means to teach in terms of a university mission generally.

Core Competency 2 can be fulfilled by one of the following modules:

  • Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar: the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar is a year-long interdisciplinary seminar that offers advanced graduate student teachers the chance to look in depth at the 500-year-old traditions of Jesuit pedagogy. The Jesuit pedagogy seminar also includes a mentorship experience, in which participants are mentored by a faculty member outside their own discipline.
  • Online Jesuit Pedagogy Module: PFF participants can fulfill Core Competency 2 by completing Xavier University’s Understanding Our Heritage, Living the Mission online seminar, preparing a reflection statement, and meeting twice with a mission mentor (once before and once after completing the seminar). To complete Core Competency 2 through this route, PFF participants should adhere to the following steps:
  1. Meet with one of the approved University Mission Mentors (below). This brief meeting should focus on what you hope to get out of completing the module and leave space for the mentor to provide some guidance from experience on how to make the most of the module.
    1. Father Michael McCarthy (
    2. Father Patrick Ryan (
    3. Michael Baur (
    4. Jim McCarten (
    5. Current PFF Coordinator (
  2. Access the Xavier online seminar, “Understanding Our Heritage, Living the Mission
  3. There are ten modules in the seminar. Each module has a short (3–5 minute) video, some links to additional readings, and reflection questions.  Watch the videos and read the linked material. While not required, answering the reflection questions can help keep you engaged and provide some measure of progress. Complete all the modules, with the following changes:
    1. In place of “Seeking Integration and Wisdom: The Ignatian Way,” read and reflect on Fordham’s mission statement.
    2. Skip over “Our Hope and Joys for Xavier University: Gaudium et Spes”
  4. Answer the following three questions in a reflection statement (to be submitted online through the competency completion form):
    1. How do you embody Fordham’s mission in your teaching as a graduate teaching fellow?
    2. If you could design your own mission statement that best matches your values as an educator, what would that be?
    3. What values do you look for in an institution of higher education?
  5. Complete a follow-up meeting with your Mission Mentor. This brief meeting should focus on what you learned from the process, how the seminar met (or didn’t meet) your expectations, and any changes or shifts in emphasis you plan on making in your future teaching as a result of reflecting on the importance of mission.
  6. Submit your reflection statement online through the competency completion form and have your Mission Mentor email to verify your meetings.