Building on and complementing Briel, Goodpastor and Naughton’s recent book What We Hold in Trust: Rediscovering the Purpose of Catholic Higher Education, I argue that Catholic universities might be assisted in the rediscovery and fulfillment of their core mission, or “telos,” by adopting and implementing an expanded version of the Jubilee Centre’s Character Education Framework for universities. After addressing an objection to Catholic universities using such a secular educational framework, I demonstrate that the primary educational purpose of a Catholic university is intellectual, not moral, and thus the contemplative “wisdom” should be added to the university framework. To illustrate how the distinctively religious character of Catholic universities would require further modifications, I briefly describe how a Catholic vision of the human person and grace must lead to the inclusion of supernatural virtues and gifts. I conclude by suggesting possible practical applications of an enriched framework in several types of university activities.
Catholic university, mission drift, Jubilee Centre, character education, virtues, Christian anthropology
Gerlach, Matthew, Ph.D.
Matthew Gerlach, who earned his doctorate in religious studies at Marquette University, serves as the vice president for character, virtue, and ethics and core professor of ethics and leadership at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.