St Anthony Dean’s Research Published in Journal of Catholic Education

February 16, 2024

Dr. Steven Hayward, dean of academics at St. Anthony Catholic High School (SACHS), recently had hisSteven Hayward research published in the Journal of Catholic Education. His article, titled “Moral Formation in a Culture of Relativism: Correlates of Universalism and Relativism in the Moral Outlooks of Emerging Adults,” explores the topic of morality, and how people perceive it, as a culture and within the Catholic faith.  

As a lifelong educator, Hayward has always been interested in teaching young people and aiding in their formation to become good people. His research explored the concept of moral relativism, which explores how individuals can conceptualize their own definition of what morality is. Catholicism as a faith focuses on the teachings of Jesus Christ and uses them as a means of defining the meaning of morality.  

The research displayed in Hayward’s article expanded from the foundation laid within his Ph.D. dissertation. To gain a better understanding of moral relativism, he read widely in the field of sociology and psychology, as well as studying the writing of the church, especially those of the Congregation for Catholic Education and Popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  

“Catholic education is based on the idea that the truth, defined by Christ’s teachings, is knowable and seeks to cultivate within its students the dispositions and skills to seek the truth,” explained Hayward. 

At SACHS, the school community strives to help students develop mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, all needed to make choices consistent with their academic and career goals, and reflective of the spirit of Catholic education. With SACHS as well as other Brainpower Connection schools educating students from grade PreK through the postgraduate level, Hayward feels that these schools help to establish a common understanding of what is “good” and how to live as a good person. 

“The Brainpower Connection assures that there is consistency of message among its member schools. This promotes the growth of students as they graduate from the lower to upper schools in the Connection and leads to a deepening of that message.” 

With years of research exploring the benefits of a Catholic education, as well as his role in enriching Catholic education opportunities in San Antonio through his work with the Brainpower schools, Hayward is excited to officially share his findings with the community.  

“The Journal of Catholic Education is the premier journal in my field, so it is a nice validation of my work,” he remarked. 

Going forward, Hayward will continue to strive to be a good example for the young students he works with, as well as help make the institutions that he is affiliated with the best examples of holistic Catholic education that they can be.