Welcome from the Executive Director

Welcome to the Center for Social Concerns, Notre Dame’s academic institute for engaged Catholic social teaching.

Each year over 1,000 students participate in our credit-bearing courses, including our two academic minors. An equal number attend our diverse lectures, workshops, and trainings on topics ranging from active citizenship to labor rights, from Appalachia to restorative justice. And there is more, for the Center serves as a gateway for service learning, community-based research, and other community-engaged courses in the local South Bend-Elkhart area and increasingly through Notre Dame’s global gateways. 

Communities, then, are at the heart of our research, teaching, and learning. Our aim is to accompany them in their pursuit of social justice and to collaborate with them as together we test and refine our understandings of human dignity, solidarity, and the common good. Only then can we assume the responsibilities inherent in these core principles embodied by the Catholic social tradition in which the Center has participated since 1983.

I invite you to join us in service, social analysis, and theological reflection on the signs of the times so that together we might “foster a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many,” as the University describes an important part of its mission. Join us at the Center for Social Concerns, where classroom learning meets lived experience, where research responds to real world challenges, where understanding becomes responsibility.

Rev. Kevin J. Sandberg, C.S.C., Ph.D.
Leo and Arlene Hawk Executive Director