Centers and Institutes for the "Resource-Challenged" Catholic University

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Susan M. Sanders, R.S.M., Ph.D.
Joy Clough, R.S.M.


Founded in 2001, the Center for Religion and Public Discourse at Saint Xavier University, Chicago, illustrates how centers and institutes can express Catholic identity and serve the university community and society by providing opportunities for thoughtful and civil discourse. Although the Center does not currently support basic research or fund fellows or scholars in residence, all other activities and accomplishments of the Center differ only in scale from those of larger well-endowed institutes and centers. This article describes activities of the Center that even tuition-driven Catholic colleges and universities can adopt to express and enhance their Catholic identity and academic mission, thus making the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic social teaching accessible, understandable, and meaningful.

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Author Biographies

Susan M. Sanders, R.S.M., Ph.D., Saint Xavier University

Susan M. Sanders, the founding director of Saint Xavier University’s Center for Religion and Public Discourse, is Vice President for Administration and Planning, Secretary of the Corporation, and Professor of Public Policy, Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL.

Joy Clough, R.S.M., Saint Xavier University

Joy Clough is the director of the Center for Religion and Public Discourse and of Saint Xavier’s Office for University Mission and Heritage.