The University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA) is an offspring of the former Jesuit institution of UFSIA. It is an independent non-profit organisation founded by the Jesuit Order and members of the former UFSIA with the aim of continuing the Jesuit university project, that is focussed on problems and issues that express the Christian ideology.

The centre wants to contribute to a more just and better society through education, community service and academic research. We are striving to become the centre of reference for the rich intellectual, spiritual and pedagogical heritage of the jesuits in Antwerp.


In 1852 the Jesuit Order founded a college for higher education in commerce and trade in the port city of Antwerp. This Jesuit college was one of the first business schools in Europe that offered formal university degrees. Gradually, the Sint-Ignatius Handelshogeschool  (Saint-Ignatius School for Higher Education in Commerce) enlarged its activities with a Faculty of Literature and Philosophy (including Law) and a Faculty of Political and Social Sciences.

In the late 1960s the college was granted university status by the Belgian government and renamed Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen (UFSIA). UFSIA offered formal degrees in applied economics, language, literature&philosophy,  law, and social & political sciences. From the early 1970s UFSIA and two public institutions – “Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen” (RUCA) and “Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen” (UIA) – formed a confederation.

In 2002  UFSIA, RUCA and UIA decided to merge into the University of Antwerp. University of Antwerp is the first explicitly pluralistic university in Belgium emphasising the importance of philosophical, ethical and spiritual discourse and openness towards religion and intercultural dialogue. It offers degree programmes in social sciences, humanities, law, natural sciences and medicine to about 9000 students.

The University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA) is an offspring of the former Jesuit institution of UFSIA. It is an independent non-profit organisation founded by the Jesuit Order and members of the former UFSIA with the aim of continuing the Jesuit tradition of involvement in university education, research and community service in the Flemish and Antwerp region. The main focus of is on problems and issues that express the Christian ideology thus serving the faith and culture and contributing to a more just society.

The articles of association of UCSIA were deposited in the summer of 2002 and UCSIA became operational by the end of that year.


Prof. dr. Bea Cantillon

Prof. dr. Bea Cantillon

Chair Board of Directors

T | +32 (0) 3 265 53 98
E | bea.cantillon@uantwerpen.be

Dr. Stijn Latré

Dr. Stijn Latré


T | +32 (0) 3 265 45 87
E | stijn.latre@ucsia.be

Erik De Bom

Erik De Bom

Deputy Director

T | +32 (0) 3 265 19 97
E | erik.debom@ucsia.be

Gilke Gunst

Gilke Gunst

Project Coordinator

Religion, Culture & Society
Jesuit heritage
T | +32 (0) 3 265 95 67
E | gilke.gunst@ucsia.be

Barbara Segaert

Barbara Segaert

Project Coordinator

Europe & Solidarity
T | +32 (0) 3 265 45 94
E | barbara.segaert@ucsia.be

Kaat Somers

Kaat Somers

Project Coordinator

T | +32 (0) 3 265 17 73
E | kaat.somers@ucsia.be

Marijke Celis

Marijke Celis

Office Assistant

T | +32 (0) 3 265 49 60
E | marijke.celis@ucsia.be

Christel Van Wonterghem

Christel Van Wonterghem

Office Assistant

T | +32 (0) 3 265 45 80
E | christel.vanwonterghem@ucsia.be

Annick Wilms

Annick Wilms

Office Assistant

T | +32 (0) 3 265 40 15
E | annick.wilms@ucsia.be

Decision Making Bodies

The General Council consists of a maximum of thirty-six members: one third are mandated members of the Society of Jesus, one third are co-opted representatives of the University of Antwerp and one third are external members from civil society (Church, education, press, employees, employers, NGOs, etc.). The General Council is responsible for the general strategy of the centre and it supervises the Board of Directors.

The Centre’s main management body is the Board of Directors, which is chaired by the Managing Director.

An advisory body viz. the Academic Council ensures that initiatives are of the highest academic quality.

The General Council is constituted as follows:

chair: Mieke Van Hecke

for the Society of Jesus :

  • Jacques Haers sj, professor of theology, Catholic University of Leuven
  • Özcan Hidir, dean, Faculty of Islamic Theology, IUR – Islamic University of Rotterdam
  • Eduard Kimman sj, professor emeritus of business ethics, Radboud University of Nijmegen
  • Ludwig Van Heucke sj, missieprocuur
  • Erwin Van Wassenhove
  • Guy Vanheeswijck, professor of philosophy, University of Antwerp
  • Cecilia Vanneste, member steering committee, IgnAN
  • Johan Verschueren sj, Provincial of the Flemish and Dutch Jesuits

for the University of Antwerp :

  • Bea Cantillon, managing director, UCSIA vzw | professor of sociology, University of Antwerp
  • Flora Carrijn, executive director, KU Leuven Antwerp Campuses
  • Veerle Hendrickx, general director, Karel de Grote University College Antwerp
  • Willem Lemmens, professor of ethics and modern philosophy, University of Antwerp
  • Rudy Martens, dean, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerpen
  • Johan Meeusen, professor of law, University of Antwerp
  • Christiane Timmerman †, director CeMIS
  • Gerlinde Verbist, dr. assistent, University of Antwerp

external members  :

  • Lieven Boeve, general manager, VSKO
  • Mgr. Johan Bonny, bishop of Antwerp
  • Eddy Bruyninckx, former managing director, Port of Antwerp
  • Alain de Crombrugghe, professor of economics, University of Namur
  • Mia De Schamphelaere, former senator
  • Jan De Volder, professor, KU Leuven
  • Ilse Dielen, president, ACV Antwerp
  • Geert Janssens, chief economist, ETION
  • Willem Staes, policy officer, Pax Christi

The members of the Board of Directors are:

  • Bea Cantillon, director Center for Social Policy, University of Antwerp – chairperson of the board
  • Bart De Moor, professor STADIUS, Catholic University of Leuven
  • Ann De Schepper, vice-rector education, University of Antwerp
  • Martin Decancq, director of financial affairs, University of Antwerp
  • Jacques Haers sj, professor of theology, Catholic University of Leuven
  • Nicolas Standaert sj, professor Sinologie Catholic University of Leuven
  • Annemie Verhoeven, secretary general, Beweging.net

The meetings are also attended by:

  • Stijn Latré, director

The Academic Council gives advice to the Board of Directors. Its members can be appointed to co-direct one or more thematic courses that correspond with their area of expertise.

The Board of Director will soon appoint the Academic Council according to the main thematic courses.


Universities, colleges and academic centres
KVHU: Catholic Flemish College Expansion
Pastoral Service University of Antwerp
Thomas: Theology, Education and Multimedia: Active Cooperation (Catholic University of Leuven)
Universiteit Antwerpen

European Jesuits
Ignatiushuis: Ignatian centre for faith and culture in Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Igniswebmagazine: Online magazine by the Dutch Jesuits
Jesuit European Office – OCIPE
Jesuits in Flanders and the Netherlands
Oude Abdij: Ignatian centre for spirituality in Drongen (Belgium)
Scribani network

IICT: International Institute Canon Triest
Spes-Forum:Spirituality in Economics and Society
Tijdschrift Recht, Religie en Samenleving


Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies

Chair for European Values

joint project between the UCLouvain and the University of Antwerp dedicated to the study of European values in their diversity

logo CSB - University of Antwerp

Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy

studies social inequality and wealth distribution in the welfare state


financial house of knowledge specialised in asset management, investment adviece, economic and strategic studies and wealth coaching


Forum for engaged entrepreneurship


European Federation of Catholic Universities

Institute of Jewish Studies

interdisciplinary research centre for the scientific study of Judaism


institute of development policy


Documentation and Research Centre on Religion, Culture and Society at KU Leuven

Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen

network organisation of catholic schools, educational centres, colleges and universities in Flanders in Brussels

KU Leuven

Catholic University of Louvain

Pax Christi Flanders

Flemish devision of this international peace movement

Ruusbroec Institute

interdisciplinary research centre for the academic study of the history of spirituality in the Low Countries


global christian community devoted to the poor

SCRIBANI network

network of European Jesuit research centres on the theme Europe and European integration in a social context


socio-cultural magazine for the critical reflection on socio-cultural developments


Forum for spirituality in economics and society


Christian newsmagazine

Tijdschrift Geestelijk Leven

Journal for spirituality in Flanders and the Netherlands

Trends Economy of Hope Chair

Chair at the University of Antwerp that promotes a social, ecological and meaningful economy.

Uitgeverij Halewijn

publisher of religious books

Uitgeverij Polis


university foundation for development cooperation


association for catholic and christian education in the Netherlands


peace and remembrance education for both adolescents and adults


Flemish University and College Pastorate


coalition of NGOs, unions, movements and various solidarity groups in Flanders


Koningstraat 2
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
Blindestraat 14, 2000 Antwerpen