The Mission of the Center for Ethics and Leadership at St. Edward's University is to provide an organizing focus for curricular studies and co-curricular activities stemming from our Holy Cross and Catholic heritage and from our University Mission Statement's commitment to the dignity of all individuals.

The Center provides assistance for initiating new programs in ethics and will provide support and training for continuing the development of faculty, staff, and student understanding and commitment to these goals in their work at St. Edward's and in their lives. The Center will also initiate cooperative efforts to reach beyond our campus and support the development of ethical integrity and leadership in our communities.


The Center for Ethics and Leadership is the result of an ongoing reexamination of the university's educational mission and objectives. The university has sought to build on its historical mission as a liberal arts institution founded by the order of Holy Cross in identifying future directions and objectives.

In its 1995 report, Strategic Self-Study: Redesigning the University, St. Edward's began this examination process. A subsequent Arts and Science Study in 1997 propelled the creation of an internal University committee. After the committee met with a representative selection of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, alumni and community leaders, it decided upon two "signature initiatives" (Ethics/Leadership and Experiential Learning) that were approved by the university. The signature initiatives represent an institutional commitment to reinforcing and extending certain critical elements of an education at St. Edward's University. An Ethics/Leadership task force was formed and first convened in the summer of 1998. The mission statement, objectives and many of the initiatives of the Center stem from their hard work and dedication. A hiring committee in the Spring of 1999 interviewed and then hired Phillip M. Thompson as Director. In the fall of 2006, Dr. Thompson was succeeded by Dr. Jack Green Musselman.


  1. Promote and nurture effective commitment to the common good based on a realistic understanding of the shared needs of all human beings among students, faculty, staff, and administrators at St. Edward's.
  2. Foster a realistic basis for hope by focusing not just on the problems in our world and immediate communities, but upon positive examples of individuals, communities, and institutions which have facilitated the peaceful resolution of conflict and have responded effectively in morally exemplary ways to human needs.
  3. Teach and develop methods of ethical analysis which take into account human diversity, yet facilitate a rational consensus on the clear identification and just resolution of moral issues that includes - but is not limited to - personal and familial relationships, the workplace, educational institutions, healthcare, politics, the environment, and the appropriate development and use of technology.
  4. Be a resource for better understanding of the social and moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
  5. Stimulate and support research and pedagogical development in ethics education and applied ethics.
  6. Be a resource for personal reflection and foster a higher level of dialogue and contemplation about ethical issues faced by faculty, students, staff, and administrators as they fulfill their roles with the university and the community.
  7. Develop leadership and problem solving skills through curricular, co-curricular, and community activities in conjunction with careful inquiry into moral decision-making and the ethical implications of leadership.
  8. Develop honest, intelligent, and caring leaders.
  9. Promote an educational experience that integrates mission and community, theory and practice, values and applications.