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.
"The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ."
– Gaudium et Spes, 1
"To teach and to spread her social doctrine pertains to the Church's evangelizing mission and is an essential part of the Christian message."
– John Paul II
CST Minor Student Reflections
"Minoring in CST has opened my heart and mind to what it means to put my faith into action. The minor has brought me to the hills of Appalachia, the neighborhoods of downtown Cincinnati, and the hallways of a children’s home in New York. These have been the most important classrooms I’ve stepped into during my time at Notre Dame, and the people I encountered there have been my wisest teachers.
Like most young people, I sometimes struggle to understand abstract doctrines and ideas. The CST minor has given me a solid grounding in the Church’s social teachings, the heart of which—defending human dignity above all else—makes so much sense to me. My Social Entrepreneurship elective and advocacy training with Catholic Relief Services have also given me very concrete tools to put those teachings into action.
I would strongly encourage other students—from English majors to engineers—to consider CST. The coursework is flexible, and most importantly, it will stretch your worldview and plans in ways that will stick with you much longer than any paper or problem-set. We Notre Dame students always say we want to “make a difference”. CST offers a framework and a toolset to do it."
– Christina Mondi '14
"With the Catholic Social Tradition minor, I am able to use my knowledge from the business school and apply it to real-world social issues. In the Mendoza College of Business, you learn about the concepts and theoretical ideas of how business and ethics work. In my CST classes, I am able to take those concepts and ideas and analyze them through the CST perspective, giving me the ability to truly see the companies that are living up to the ideals of Catholic Social Teaching. Through my CST Internship Course, I was able to take the coal company I worked last summer and use my CST knowledge to show how that company is setting high standards and is striving to do good for the environment. The CST Minor has affected me by being able to add significance to my experience in the business school and help me see that I can truly make a difference after graduation.”
– Carl David Jones '13
"The Catholic Social Tradition minor was something I fell into without much thought or intention, and looking back I am so glad that I did. The CST minor has opened me to many experiences that now shape my relationships with people and my relationship with God. It has taken the idea of service from an occasional and superficial “doing your duty” to a continual real and rich relationship with the global community. I have been able to reflect on service projects such as the SSLP, ISSLP, Urban Plunge, and Appalachia in light of Catholic Social Teaching documents and the Gospel, and in doing so, I have gained a better understanding of Christian discipleship and what that means with respect to my life and my vocation. There is a fundamental and undeniable interconnectedness of humanity to which we all have a responsibility to respect and uphold. I believe I have truly grown as a Catholic through the CST minor, and I am so thankful to have had that opportunity."
– Nicole Simon '14
"With the Catholic Social Tradition minor, I have been able to deepen my college experience by viewing my surroundings through the lens of CST--Catholicism's best kept secret. My CST education extends beyond the classroom--from visits to a mosque and synagogue in South Bend to an SSLP in Harlem--and it applies to every other class I take on campus, including the political science classes for my major. The small program allows me to tailor the coursework to my individual interests and passions, and helps me to discern what I want to learn on campus and what I want to accomplish after graduation."
– Katherine Gordon '14