Joseph A. DeFeo, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP)


Joseph (Joe) DeFeo, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of AJCU’s Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP). In this role, which he assumed in 2014, Joe is responsible for facilitating an 18-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 and spirituality of their institutions.

Prior to leading ICP, Joe served Fairfield University for 12 years, working in both the academic and student affairs divisions. He led 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 that it shares with other pedagogical strategies in higher education. As an adjunct faculty member at Fairfield, he teaches a course on Ignatian Spirituality, and gives workshops and retreats on topics including Ignatian spirituality, Ignatian pedagogy, discernment and Ignatian advising.

Joe 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 Jesuit High School in Portland, OR, where he taught theology. He is married with two children and lives in Bethel, CT.