Catholic Character

Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors

Notre Dame’s Catholic character serves as the underlying foundation for our aspirations as a community of scholars and administrators, shaping the spirit with which we engage each other and the world; it is also the University’s point of greatest distinction from the academy’s many other fine research institutions.

Several principles have proven integral to our pursuit of Goal I and will remain in place as we move forward.

  • Affirming that this is an intellectual community enriched and enlivened by diversity—one that cannot thrive without faculty and students of different faiths and those of none—we also know the vitality of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission depends on our ability to maintain a predominance of Catholic faculty who draw on their faith as teachers and scholars.
  • In addition, we actively seek faculty who, regardless of their religious affiliation, pursue lines of scholarship and research that specifically inform and advance the Catholic intellectual tradition, and we expect that all of our faculty share a common respect for and appreciation of the University’s distinct mission.
  • The composition of our student body, like that of our faculty, has implications for Notre Dame’s Catholic character. As such, we are committed to maintaining a proportion of undergraduates who are Catholic that is consistent with our history.
  • Notre Dame was founded and is animated to this day by the priests and brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and we will continue to look for ways to utilize the talents of Holy Cross religious wherever appropriate.
  • We will ensure the investment in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology remains consistent with that of a department widely recognized as one of the world’s best among its peers.
  • Thanks in large part to the efforts of Campus Ministry, Notre Dame is home to a rich sacramental life. This work is ongoing, as is our dedication to the Center for Social Concerns and the many initiatives of our students, faculty, and staff designed to build an appreciation for Catholic social teaching and a desire to serve others.
  • Finding ways to contribute to the Catholic Church is also a standing priority. The Institute for Church Life—providing outreach in theological education, research, faith formation, and leadership development—and the Alliance for Catholic Education’s programs to prepare Catholic-school teachers and principals are at the heart of the University’s service in this regard.

In the current strategic plan, we have identified one new area of focus that we believe complements the commitments outlined above:

Convene and lead world-wide dialogue that serves the Church and is relevant to the Catholic intellectual tradition