Building an Intentional Culture of Social Justice: Increasing Understanding and Competence in the Curriculum

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This article describes one Catholic university’s efforts to strengthen its mission commitment to social justice by providing quality faculty development to a large cross-section of the full-time faculty. The purpose of this initiative is to provide faculty with the tools and knowledge necessary to embed Catholic Social Teaching in their course syllabi. We describe an initial study of syllabi that stimulated plans for a three-year initiative that would increase social justice outcomes in courses taught by one third of the full-time faculty. The story of implementation outlines the process we followed and some of the lessons we learned along the way. Assessment strategies and future directions are summarized. The story offers perspectives for other institutions with similar values and mission statements that are creatively and diligently seeking fresh and effective ways of transmitting their Catholic values to their students.

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