Education is a cornerstone of the Society of Jesus, and has been since 1548 when the first Jesuit school opened in Messina, Sicily. Today, more than 3,700 schools carry on this tradition all around the world, caring for 2.5 million students in places ranging from Egypt and Kenya to Nepal and Belize. The Jesuits have 27 colleges and universities in the United States as well as over 50 high schools and 17 pre-secondary schools. One distinctive aspect of Jesuit education at all levels is the emphasis on cura personalis — caring for the whole person in mind, body, and spirit. The schools foster not only intellectual development, but also moral and spiritual growth.
The USA East Province is the home of 11 Jesuit colleges and universities, 20 high schools, and 8 pre-secondary schools.