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.
“Never tire of working for a more just world, marked by great solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world!”
– Pope Francis, Varginha, July 25, 2013
"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
Congratulations 2014 CST Minor Graduates
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, Psychology
"Most people are rather surprised when I tell them that I am both a Chemical Engineering major and a Catholic Social Tradition minor, due to the popular conception that the two fields do not exactly go hand-in-hand. In reality, this dual course of study is a reflection of my love for both science and religion, as well as my belief that each is fulfilled by the other. Choosing to declare a CST minor has easily been one of my best choices as a student here at Notre Dame. While I admittedly came into ND with a limited view of Catholic Social Teaching, I have since been presented with many opportunities to explore the richness of my Catholic faith and its emphasis on upholding the dignity of every human person. It has helped me grow in my understanding of my duties as a member of my local as well as global communities and has taught me to always approach my world with a sense of solidarity toward the less fortunate and marginalized of society. I hope to use my education and skills in engineering in some way for the benefit of society as a whole, but especially those that need help the most. I have yet to figure out exactly what that is going to look like, but I trust in God's plan; if my experience to date has been any indication, then whatever it is, while it will be challenging at times, is going to be incredible."
-Sean Driscoll '15, Chemical Engineering
"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, Mechanical Engineering
"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, Political Science