The Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs Professionals in Catholic Colleges and Universities : Principle #3

Principle #3: The effective administrator enriches integration of faith and reason through the provision of co-curricular learning opportunities.

The Catholic tradition has always valued and engaged in dialogue about the interconnection and integration of faith and reason. This dialogue and integration is a legitimate and significant part of Catholic higher education. Catholic colleges and universities foster the development of the whole person. In addition to rigorous intellectual development, there is particular emphasis on a student’s faith and spiritual development.

In collaboration with academic colleagues, student affairs professionals provide educational opportunities and learning experiences outside the classroom that complement learning in the classroom, such as living-learning residential communities, volunteer service activities, and service-learning opportunities. Catholic colleges and universities provide opportunities for students to develop a habit of reflection and to value prayer in bringing both faith and reason to the discernment process of how to live out their learning experiences and the values of Catholic higher education in their personal and professional lives. Catholic colleges and universities also provide opportunities for intellectually informed and robust conversations on important issues of faith and culture, including applying relevant Catholic teaching to these issues.

Assessing This Principle

1. What does this principle mean for Boston College?

2. How do I apply this principle through programs, policies & practices?

                       a. How do student affairs staff members exemplify the integration of faith and       reason, the commitment to the spiritual development of students, and to intellectually informed dialogue?

            b. In what ways do student affairs staff, faculty and academic staff, and other key contributors collaborate to complement and enrich classroom learning with respect to the integration of faith and reason?

            c. How do student affairs programs contribute to the faith and spiritual   development of students?

            d. What forums exist to encourage robust, intellectually informed conversations              among staff and/or students about applying Catholic teaching to contemporary issues?

            e. What places and opportunities exist on campus to help students to develop a     habit of reflection and prayer?

3. What evidence do I have to judge the effectiveness of my efforts?

4. What does this evidence tell you about your effectiveness?

5. What will I do with the information I have gathered about my effectiveness?


A Catholic Perspective:

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart the desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that by knowing and loving God, men and women can come to the fullness of the truth about themselves” (n. 1). (Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio [Faith and Reason])


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