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Time Off Work: Catholic Jesuit Mission Benefits

SECTION: HR - Time Off Work NEXT REVIEW DATE: July 2017
APPROVED: November 2011 REVIEWER: Director of Campus Ministry
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: September 2016

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As a Catholic, Jesuit, institution of higher education, Wheeling Jesuit University encourages its employees to appropriate the University's mission, to live out that mission as leaders in the service of others and to reflect on values related to the mission - all while building a caring community. The purpose of this policy is to allow employees to participate voluntarily with pay in University sponsored or endorsed retreats or mission-related service activities that occur during regularly scheduled work hours.


2.1 Eligibility
Full-time, benefit-eligible, employees are entitled to use Mission Benefits.

2.2 Scope of Mission Benefit
The University recognizes the following voluntary activities under this leave policy:

2.2.1 University Sponsored Mission Programs
The University offers these programs to provide opportunities for employees to deepen their own understanding of the mission and to live out its values with other employees or with WJU students. These programs include:

  • Retreats or Reflection Experiences conducted or supported by the Office of Mission and Identity, including the Jesuit Identity Team and Campus Ministry.
  • Service Activities conducted or supported by the Office of Mission and Identity, including the Service for Social Action Center and the Appalachian Institute. Other University sponsored service activities may be eligible and are subject to approval by the Director of Mission and Identity.

2.2.2 University Endorsed Structured Mission Programs
Wheeling Jesuit University encourages employees to seek opportunities for spiritual development within their own religious traditions and opportunities for service to the poor in their own communities. Structured mission programs are selected by individual employees who wish to participate. These programs must be identified in a written document from the sponsoring church or agency (specifying days, times, and purpose), allowing the Director of Mission and Identity to assess the program's consistency with our Catholic Jesuit mission. In each calendar year employees may choose from one of the following:

  • Structured Retreats or Reflection Experiences consistent with the University's mission and approved by the Director of Mission and Identity.
  • Structured Service Activities consistent with the University's mission and approved by the Director of Mission and Identity

2.3 Leave Benefit
For University sponsored mission programs, eligible staff and administrators can take a maximum of three (3) scheduled work days as paid leave per calendar year. For University endorsed structured mission programs, eligible staff and administrators can take a maximum of one (1) scheduled work day as paid leave per calendar year for either a structured retreat/ reflection experience or a service activity but not one for each.

2.4 Employees can add their vacation or personal leave time to the Mission Leave Benefits, or take leave without pay, subject to the approval of their department chair or supervisor. With approval from the Director of Mission and Identity, University employees can combine these two leave benefits to participate in a University conducted or supported mission program.

2.5 Faculty may make use of the Mission Benefits according to this policy, the norms in the Faculty Handbook, and subject to approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Chief Academic Officer. This policy is designed for all employees and is meant to work consonant with, but subordinate to, any existing faculty policies described in the Faculty Handbook.

2.6 In all cases when an employee participates in approved Mission Leave, the employee must arrange for her/his responsibilities to be covered during the period he/she is away.

2.7 Mission Leave is not needed for activities that fall within the scope of the employee's job duties and responsibilities. Mission Leave is not needed for mission-related conferences at which the employee is a delegate representing the University. In these cases, the supervisor is responsible for making a determination about the nature of the activity and the eligibility of the employee and activity for Mission Leave.

2.8 Approval Process
Staff and administrator Mission Leave requires written approval from the employee's supervisor and the division vice
president. Faculty Mission Leave should follow the norms of the Faculty Handbook, subject to the approval of the Vice
President of Academic Affairs. Mission Leave Request forms can be obtained in the Human Resource Office or on the Human
Resources website. Requests for Mission Leave will be reviewed with careful consideration of both needs of the department
and the professional development of the employee.


The Human Resources department, in consultation with Mission and Identity, will review this policy periodically to assess its impact on all employees and the University. Any changes will be made with the approval of the President or designee and after discussion with the Executive Committee of the University.


Frequently Asked Questions
Mission/Service Leave Request Form

Approved on November 14, 2011, Feast of St. Joseph Pignatelli, S.J., Patron of Wheeling Jesuit University

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