Mission-Related Curriculum Development
The mission of the University of the Incarnate Word includes the following words:
“The University is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. It promotes life-long learning and fosters the development of the whole person. The faculty and students support one another in the search for and the communication of truth. The University is open to thoughtful innovation that serves ever more effectively the spiritual and material needs of people.”
In alignment with the university mission, the Provost initiated the inclusion of elements of Catholic Social Teachings into the university curriculum. The element of Social Justice was initiated first, with the element of Ethics being introduced into the curriculum in Fall 2009.
- Social Justice Initiative. In 2006, the Provost began an initiative to bring issues of Social Justice into the curriculum. Using a series of faculty workshops, the nature of Social Justice and Catholic Social Teachings were discussed, with pragmatic suggestions on how to engage students in order to promote knowledge and awareness of issues in Social Justice, which is a stated university goal. In turn, faculty members amended their classroom curriculum planning to encompass a wide variety of activities to promote Social Justice themes. In 2009, through objective surveys and random faculty interviews, analyses of faculty outcomes data has shown that the initiative has been very successful, bringing a new level of knowledge about Social Justice across the campus.
- Ethics Initiative. Following the Social Justice initiative, the Provost has moved into a second pillar of Catholic Social Teaching: Ethics. In June 2009, the first of what will be a series of faculty workshops was held to introduce the topic, relate it to Social Justice, discuss the different kind of ethical paradigms within societies, and provide concrete suggestions on how faculty can effectively discuss ethical dilemmas in the classroom.