The Proposed Vision-Mission Statement of the Ateneo de Davao University

A newly reformulated Vision-Mission Statement for the Ateneo de Davao University is being proposed. ADDU’s Social Research and Training Development Office will consult the University Community to ascertain whether there is substantial agreement on this formulation:

Vision

The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University. As a university it is a community engaged in robust research, excellent instruction and formation, and vibrant community service. As Catholic, it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae – from the heart of the Church. As Jesuit, it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. As Filipino, it prepares students to profit from, contribute to and engage the global world.

Mission

The Ateneo de Davao excels in the formation of leaders for the Philippine Church and society, especially for Mindanao. It excels further in the promotion of the faith that does justice, in cultural sensitivity and transformation, and in inter-religious dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Lumad communities of Mindanao. It promotes communities touched and transformed by the faith, communities of peace and human well-being, culturally resilient yet able to adapt to the modern world. It promotes social justice, gender equality, good governance, the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution. It engages vigorously in environmental protection, the preservation of bio-diversity, and the promotion of renewable energy. It leads in Philippine educational reform, especially for the peoples of Southern Philippines.

Some explanatory comments to aid reflection on this Vision-Mission Statement:

In General:

It is expected that agreement on a Vision-Mission Statement will help our community to come together, plan together and work together. The agreement is not only intellectual, but a matter of heart.

The Vision statement expresses that which is perennial and lasting in an institution.

The Mission statement articulates – always somewhat audaciously! – institutional targets for the next five to ten years.

The Vision states our identity. The Mission states what we want to do based on that identity.  The Vision impels the Mission.

Hence, in the Vision, there is a general statement. This is then succinctly explained.

The ADDU Vision Statement:

The general Vision statement: “The Ateneo de Davao University is a Catholic, Jesuit and Filipino University.” This is the statement that generally defines the identity of the Ateneo de Davao.

It is then explained, first, on the level of the university. Then, on the level of the defining characteristics of the university.

“As a university it is a community engaged in robust research, excellent instruction and formation, and vibrant community service.” In General Congregation 34, the Decree on Universities, explains that the Jesuit University is first a university. The Vision statement is enlightened by this position. ADDU is first a university. As such it is explicitly a “community” of scholars, teachers, administrators, staffers and students. All come together in being “university.” It is as a community that the university engages in the threefold function of all universities: research, instruction, and service to the community. The ADDU is not just about teaching.

It is about “robust research” – the disciplined search for knowledge – even new knowledge – that is rigorous and relevant to our communities.

It is about “excellent instruction and formation.” It engages the mind; it teaches efficiently and well; it prepares students for the professions they choose. But it also engages freedom. It forms students to use their freedom well, to choose to live human and Christian lives, to choose right over wrong.

It is about vibrant community service. Research, professional instruction and human formation necessarily serve the community through the graduates of the university. But also through activities which engage the community – locally, nationally and globally – in service.

Having defined itself in terms of the universally-accepted functions of a university, the Vision statement then comments on its defining characterists: Catholic, Jesuit, and Filipino.

“As Catholic it proceeds ex corde ecclesiae – from the heart of the Church.” In defining itself as Catholic it uses the words of Pope John Paul II’s 1990 encyclical on the Catholic University. The Catholic University proceeds “from the heart of the Church” that is dedicated to truth and cultural transformation in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, the heart of the Church is Jesus Christ.

“As Jesuit it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus and the spirituality of St. Ignatius.” The mission of the Society of Jesus is articulated in its last General Congregations 34 and 35: the service of the faith, the promotion of the justice that that faith implies, sensitivity to cultures, and interreligious dialogue at the frontiers of our contemporary society. The “spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola” is a spirituality invited primarily by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and appropriate not only for Jesuits but for their partners in mission – religious and lay.

“As Filipino it prepares students to profit from, contribute to, and engage the global world.” The perspective of the “Filipino” mission is both local and global, defining a practical symbiosis between local and global realities.

The ADDU Mission Statement:

These should be read as targets that are to be achieved in the next five to ten years. They are statements “already but not yet” true.

“The Ateneo de Davao excels in the formation of leaders for the Philippine Church and society, especially for Mindanao.” This comes out of a consciousness that the most important contribution that the ADDU makes to the Christian community and to human society is its graduate. That graduate is to be a leader imbued with the knowledge, formation and values necessary for him/her to make a positive difference in society, especially in Mindanao.

“It excels further in the promotion of the faith that does justice, in cultural sensitivity and transformation, and in inter-religious dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Lumad communities of Mindanao.” This is a statement that the ADDU community takes to heart the mission of the Society of Jesus that it has appropriated in the Vision statement, especially with reference to the communities of Mindanao. Here is declares its intention to excel.

“It promotes communities touched and transformed by the faith, communities of peace and human well-being, culturally resilient yet able to adapt to the modern world. “ Through its operation as a University, the ADDU promotes human communities that have been enhanced or transformed through contact with the faith. In the context of war and strife in Mindanao, the ADDU commits itself to promote communities of peace and well-being. It is sensitive to the tension within the communities it serves to maintain their identities in resiliency, while adapting to the challenges of the modern world. The latter have the tendency to level local cultures into a sterile global culture.

“It promotes social justice, gender equality, good governance, the creation of wealth and its equitable distribution. “ This statement lists challenges in society which ADDU intends to address.

“It engages vigorously in environmental protection, the preservation of bio-diversity, and the promotion of renewable energy. “ The ADDU is strongly committed to environmental preservation and conservation especially in the context of climate change. It expressly states that it will promote “renewable energy” – solar, wind, hydro, and ocean-sourced energy.

“It leads in Philippine educational reform, especially for the peoples of Southern Philippines.” Especially as the national government engages in educational reform through the K-12 program, the ADDU undertakes to lead in this reform.

Through the SRDTO we hope to ascertain whether we have substantial agreement on our Vision-Mission Statement.

I hope we do – ad majorem Dei gloriam!

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About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
This entry was posted in Ateneo de Davao University and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Proposed Vision-Mission Statement of the Ateneo de Davao University

  1. justiceleague68 says:

    I suggest that the mission include: the promotion of utmost respect for human rights.

  2. Thank you. All suggestions will be collected and considered.

  3. I suggest that the vision includes: It will transform lives and serve society by educating, creating knowledge and putting knowledge to work on a large scale and with excellence, in the context of respect for human rights.

  4. The proposed vision and mission are too verbose. It contains more words than necessary. Some of the statements are too specific, which must be in the university objectives.

  5. leo says:

    “Faith” in the Mission statement is vague, or at least only assumes to the reader that it refers to the “catholic christian” faith. I suggest a qualifier to the word “faith”. While all “faiths” might probably adhere to the mission, the mission statement does not quite precisely identify which “faith”.
    May I share the case last year of an ex-catholic HS student, now of a different denomination, “inviting/recruiting” (during classhours) other catholic HS students for “teach-ins/ bible sharing” or whatever he calls it, after dismissal. I really dont know what comes after this “invitation cum recruitment”. He may argue that he is well within the parameters of the Mission Statement as he promotes his own “faith” among his fellow HS students; or even say he’s promoting inter-faith dialogue, but, is really recruitment, or worst, indoctrination within the campus. It takes only one charismatic HS student to influence the minds of his classmates and friends.
    We recall, HS is still basic education; very much different in a “critical-thinking” college campus. Vagueness in the language for high school is dangerous.

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