Teaching to Catholic Mission in Professional Education: A Comprehensive Model for the Integration of Catholic Social Teaching

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Mary Ann Brenden, M.S.W.

Abstract

Professional education programs have the dual challenge of fulfi lling the mission of two entities: their sponsoring institution and their profession. This may appear to be an inconvenient and even daunting burden. But, upon consideration, it becomes evident that the two missions are compatible and present rich and strategic opportunities to enhance the other. This article describes how one school of professional education creatively met this dual call to mission to pursue excellence in its educational program. Through a comprehensive model using the rich resource of Catholic Social Teaching, this school discovered new ways to enrich and distinguish how it educates and prepares a cadre of professionals to serve and lead in their profession and their community. The model, focused on social justice, holistically addresses faculty development, curriculum development, and student engagement. This case study presents rationale, strategies, and outcomes to inform and inspire other Catholic-sponsored professional education programs.

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Author Biography

Mary Ann Brenden, M.S.W., University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN

Mary Ann Brenden is a faculty member and director of the baccalaureate program at the School of Social Work, College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN.