The Catholic Social Tradition minor is an interdisciplinary minor in the College of Arts and Letters. Since its inception in 1997, the program has been committed to providing undergraduate students with a deeper understanding of the social ramifications of the Catholic faith by drawing on the wealth of resources of the Catholic Social Tradition as found in the official documents of the Church and the experience of the Catholic community.

Catholic Social Tradition offers a long-standing and profound corpus of thought and teaching that draws upon classical texts and tradition in the full range of social spheres--economic, political, religious, cultural, and familial. It does so through a constellation of concepts that, taken as a whole, give articulation to a coherent yet variegated vision of the good society, a vision that serves as a guide for human and institutional behavior. Such concepts include the Common Good, Rights and Responsibilities, Option for the Poor, Subsidiarity, and Peace.

A key thesis of the Catholic Social Tradition is that the pursuit of truth, the life of faith, and the practice of social justice are not limited to those who have made a formal commitment to ministry in the Church but are essential elements of the vocation of every Christian in every state of life and profession (Gaudium et Spes #43). 

We welcome inquiries from students, faculty, and visitors and invite you to explore this site. If you have questions about the CST minor, please contact Co-Director Bill Purcell or Co-Director Todd Whitmore. Visit the CST Minor website

The Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM) is jointly supported by the College of Arts and Letters and the Center for Social Concerns. Through PSIM, you can combine your passion, curiosity, knowledge, and skills to envision and create a more equitable world. 

PSIM explicitly recognizes the interlocking nature of the causes of poverty and the problems of low-income families and individuals, and provides a framework that will assist students in making the links between the contributions of the social sciences, humanities, and the law. In traditional classroom discipline-based courses, students will acquire valuable knowledge of how policies, structures, and systems cause and alleviate poverty in the United States and in the world's poor nations. It will also help students contextualize their personal interactions with low-income populations and the institutions that serve them, and make the connections between classroom lessons and real world experiences. 

A biology major seeking to become a doctor in underserved areas, an engineering student concerned about clean water, a business student wanting to specialize in sustainability for non-profits or microfinance, a psychology major interested in ways that gender intersects with financial resources and culture, an English major eager to use stories to support the voices of people who are poor – you can all find others who care deeply about similar issues, willing to share and enhance the knowledge, questions, and perspectives they bring from their own experiences and study.

For more information about PSIM, please contact Director Jennifer Warlick (College of Arts and Letters) or Co-Director Connie Mick (Center for Social Concerns). 

Visit the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor website.