To serve with love — the new leader of mission and ministry, Rev. John Thiede, S.J.

Marquette’s leader of mission and ministry is a priest, scholar and coach who finds lessons everywhere — from the lives of saints and martyrs to clashes on the hockey rink.


“En Todo Amar y Servir” — to love and serve in everything — is the university’s mission theme this year. Rev. John Thiede, S.J., Marquette’s vice president for mission and ministry since December, encourages you to say it aloud.

A fluent Spanish speaker, Father Thiede and the mission team found the theme in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and introduced it earlier this year when he began as acting vice president.

This beckoning to move with love and in service to others is one Father Thiede answers himself, with help from periods of discernment. He considers himself a scholar and professor at heart — “You can take the professor out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the professor,” he says.

Yet, while continuing to teach and guide students, he has warmed to roles in university leadership, most recently as associate vice provost for student success and Jesuit enrollment initiatives.

He finds light in each role that he can then offer in return to others. “I ask, how can we flourish? As with our mission theme, sometimes translating a phrase from a different language gives deeper meaning,” he says.

“You can take the professor out of the classroom, but you can’t take the classroom out of the professor.”

In guiding the Marquette community in faith matters, he is grounding himself in leadership lessons from many experiences — studying in Santiago, Chile; publishing and teaching on the Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador who gave their lives standing up to oppression; even coaching hockey at Marquette University High School as a Jesuit regent during his priestly formation.

“Some of my most memorable and toughest learning experiences in team dynamics were from coaching hockey,” the native Minnesotan says. “I learned how to help others deal with adversity and find their motivation.

And hopefully through sport, we realize community can be built. As we learned at the recent Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference at Marquette, ‘Blessed are those who play.’”

Father Thiede, Jesuits, John Theide, Mission Week 2024, Student, luncheon, students
Rev. John Thiede, vice president for Mission and Ministry, hands out a shirt to a student at the Global Jesuit Luncheon.