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at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“Beautiful exposition of the fundamental principles of Catholic Social Doctrine.”

“Invaluable for development of curriculum.”

“A great framework to pursue my studies.”

When it comes to the intellectual life of the university,  the lamp of Catholic thought is hidden under a bushel. . .in public discussion and debate it is rare to find a Catholic professor addressing the issues in a distinctively Catholic way.”  Although this assessment, by Robert Wilken, refers to non-Catholic institutions, the same could also be said of most nominally Catholic institutions, which remain effectively secularized at the level of academic discourse.

The aim of the Summer Catholic Social Thought (CST) Institute, conducted by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists (SCSS) and The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education of the Cardinal Newman Society (non-profit, tax-exempt Catholic scholarly and professional organizations) is to provide Catholic faculty and graduate students in the social sciences and related disciplines a basic grounding and application of Catholic social thought in order to help them to incorporate the academic social sciences into a Catholic worldview. 

To this end, the Summer CST Institute provides an intensive, stimulating and practical weeklong introduction to Catholic Social Thought, emphasizing both theory and application to specific academic disciplines in the arts and human sciences.  As in the sample of statements above from participant evaluations, participating faculty attest that the Summer CST Institute has been highly successful in achieving this aim, and in providing unique value for their careers in both teaching and research.

The week (Monday through Friday) is organized around four 90-minute sessions a day. Each session is about half lecture and half discussion. In a typical week:

MONDAY'S four sessions are devoted to thematic and historical overviews of CST, including the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

TUESDAY deals with the history, development and exemplars of Catholic social science.

The remainder of the week is devoted to applications to specific social science content areas, each taught by an expert in the respective discipline.

WEDNESDAY: Psychology, Political Science and Law.

THURSDAY:  History, Sociology and Anthropology.

FRIDAY: Economics and Business; closing session, certificates.

The Institute venue is a short walk from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the John Paul II Cultural Center , and over 50 Catholic religious houses, shrines, institutes and apostolates.  Numerous apostolates and agencies related to Catholic social justice issues in Washington , D.C. are a short subway trip away. Participants may also participate in daily Mass at the National Shrine or Lauds or Matins at one of several nearby Franciscan or Dominican monasteries.

The Summer Institute is directed by the Rev. Dr. Paul Sullins, Professor of Sociology at The Catholic University of America, and editor of Catholic Social Thought: American Responses to the Compendium (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008). The tuition fee for an individual participant in the weeklong Summer Institute is $600.  An institution may sponsor up to two individuals for $1,000.   These fees are subsidized through generous donations to this project, and do not represent the full cost of producing the week-long Summer Institute.  A limited number of scholarships are available for individual enrollees as needed. Graduate students who attend the Institute may be eligible, if they write a research paper, to receive 3 credits from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

For more information or with questions, contact us at Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought, Aquinas Hall 116, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC  20064; phone (202) 319-5445; or email to

The next SCSS Summer Catholic Social Thought Institute will take place  at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. For full information please see the brochure linked to this page.

Checks should be made out to: Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought.

Space is limited.  Qualified applicants enrolled in the order application received.








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