Executive Director


Joseph (Joe) DeFeo is the Executive Director of AJCU’s Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP). In this role, starting in 2014, Joe is responsible for facilitating an eighteen month, in-depth program that engages senior-level administrators and faculty from across Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States in learning about the Jesuit and Catholic mission, charism, history, pedagogy, spirituality, and more of their institutions.

Prior to ICP, Joe had served Fairfield University for 12 years working in both the academic and student affairs divisions in the creation of sophomore residential colleges centered on the theological exploration of vocation, as well as other living and learning initiatives and mission-centered programming for staff, faculty, and students.  Joe is a certified spiritual director and supervisor for spiritual directors with the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Fairfield University. 

Joe received his Ph.D. from Fordham University where his dissertation research centered on the viability of Ignatian pedagogy in Jesuit higher education and points of commonality it shares with other higher education pedagogical strategies. As an adjunct faculty, he teaches a course on Ignatian Spirituality, and gives workshops and retreats in areas including Ignatian spirituality, Ignatian pedagogy, discernment, and Ignatian advising. He earned his undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in Systematic Theology from Boston College.

A long-time companion to the Society of Jesus, Joe has also served in other Jesuit ministries including Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Northwest and teaching theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon.  He is married with two children and lives in Bethel, Connecticut.   

Email:     jdefeo@ajcunet.edu


Immersion Coordinator

Tom Kel.jpg

Thomas Kelly is a Professor of Theology and Director of Academic Service Learning at Creighton University. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame (’91) and his Ph.D. from Boston College (’99). From 1998-2002 he taught in the department of theology at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H and has been at Creighton University since 2002. Dr. Kelly has held various administrative positions at Creighton including being the founding director of the M.A. in Lay Ministry, the Academic Director of Encuentro Dominicano, Creighton University’s study abroad program in the Dominican Republic, Campus Director of Encuentro Dominicano, the M.A. in Theology and director of undergraduate majors. Dr. Kelly has taught immersion courses in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Peru over the past ten years. He has utilized immersion education, especially in reference to Fair Trade practices, to educate first world university students about the reality of global poverty and suffering, the response to this by the Catholic Church as well as their own obligation to use their privilege to make a concrete difference in the world.         

Email:  thomaskelly@creighton.edu       

administrative Assistant


Sue Rush is the Administrative Assistant of the Ignatian Colleagues Program.  Sue helps coordinate the logistics of the 18 month program that represent colleagues from all 28 of the Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Sue brings excellent organizational skills and will be a contact for participants and campus coordinators throughout the program. In addition to her duties as an assistant, Sue is also active in many organizations in her community.  She is part of Fairfield Grace Staff Parish Relations Board, which is responsible for the well-being of our staff and liaison between church member and staff.  Additionally, she is an active member in her church and continues to participate in their outreach and community events. Sue has been married for 20 years to her husband, Matt.  They have four children, which have been her greatest joy in life.

Email:  srush@ajcunet.edu

Online Education Coordinator


Joe Shadle serves as the Director of the Center for Mission and Identity at Xavier University where he works with the University’s advisory boards, faculty, staff, and administrators helping them apply principles of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education to their positions within the University.  In addition, he oversees the development of print and digital resources, like www.jesuitresource.org, that support the educational mission of Xavier and the broader Jesuit educational network.  As an adjunct faculty member in Xavier’s Williams College of Business, Joe teaches the course Spirituality and Leadership for MBA students both on-ground and online.   He is also the Online Workshop Coordinator for the Ignatian Colleagues Program.  Prior coming to Xavier, Joe served as Pastoral Associate for St. John Fisher Catholic Church and taught at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He continues to be an adjunct faculty member at Thomas More University where he teaches courses in scripture and world religions.  In 2016, Thomas More University named him “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year”.  He is a popular speaker specializing in scripture, leadership, and spirituality.  Joe has received his MBA from Xavier University and his Master of Divinity and M.A. in Biblical Studies from the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary.  Additionally, he chairs the Clinical Pastoral Education Advisory Committee at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.                                 

 Email:  shadlej@xavier.edu