Areas of Focus

Research on Pedagogy and the Impact of Engagement

The Center fosters assessment and research to examine the impacts of the academic programs it offers, including pre-post analyses of the Summer Service Learning Program, Social Concerns Seminars, and international initiatives.

Moral and Civic Responsibility in Higher Education

We explore the role and impact of higher education in promoting moral/ethical development and social responsibility. Our work has been supported by grants from Bringing Theory to Practice and the Teagle Foundation, which helped to build a research collaboration with Dartmouth and Duke universities.

The Study of Moral Purpose

The Center has explored for many years how students develop a sense of purpose in life, in particular a sense of moral or prosocial purpose that points their talents and energy to the common good.

Local and Global Citizenship

We seek to understand how concepts of citizenship, diversity, political engagement, and global perspective develop among the hundreds of students the Center helps to engage in the locally, nationally, and across the world.

Education for Social Justice and Advocacy

The Center examines how students engage in advocacy efforts, respond to questions of social justice, and what educational efforts may enhance development in these areas.

Catholic Social Teaching Research Initiative

The Center helped to begin this national research collaboration, seeking to understand how the principles of Catholic social teaching are learned and applied.

Higher Education and Spirituality

We explore the potentially reciprocal impacts of community engagement and spirituality/faith: how does faith inform students’ work and how do they develop spiritually from encounter with persons of many walks.