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St. Xavier's College of Education is one of the three educational Institutions owned by the Society of St. Francis Xavier, a body registered under the Societies Registration Act, (S.No.3 of 1920-21) having its office at Palayamkottai. The College was started in 1950 as St. Xavier's Teachers' Training College at St. Xavier's (Autonomous) College Campus by Rev. Fr. Bonhoure S.J. as its first Principal. The college has been able to establish its mark of excellence on the educational map of India by hard and strenuous efforts of Rev. Fathers, Rev. Brothers and lay collaborators. It offers B.Ed., M.Ed., M.Phil., and Ph.D. Programmes in Education. In recognition of its quality service offered in the field of teacher education and research, the college has been accredited with ‘A’ Grade by NAAC (3rd Cycle) with CGPA:3.67 and Autonomy Status by UGC.
St.Xavier's College of Education envisages a new society based on brotherhood, social justice and dignity of the downtrodden, which would be possible on earth only by future citizen of India. This inturn presupposes the presence of potential and committed teachers, who would form and mould the little ones of our country.
St.Xavier’s College of Education is run by the Society of Jesus. The Society of Jesus (members called as the Jesuits) is a worldwide organization of religious men, numbering about 24,400 who work out of 1825 houses in 112 countries, of whom over 3747 are working in the provinces of India. The Founder of the Society of Jesus was St. Ignatius of Loyola who was born in 1491 in Spain. At the age of 31, he spent a year of severe penance and intense prayer in a solitary cave on the banks of the river Cardoner near the town of Manresa. Reflecting on the crisis in the Church of his time, he felt that the need of the hour was for learned and holy priests, free of greed and ambition and ready to serve the poor and to give witness to the love of Christ for men. To achieve this objective, he set himself in right earnest to study from grammar school to college and University in the various Spanish centres of learning and finally took his Master's Degree from the Sorborne University, Paris. After his studies he was ordained a priest in 1537. He won over a group of brilliant and like-minded University men (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier), moulded them by the Spiritual Exercises and welded them into a religious fraternity which became the Society of Jesus or Jesuits, as they popularly came to be known in course of time.
Today in Madurai Province, there are more than 500 Jesuits, spilled all over the Tamil Nadu , in Nine university colleges, nine higher secondary schools, two technical institutes, three community colleges, five social action centers and other sectors like communication, formation, pastoral, spiritual and inter-faith dialogue.