• the social teaching of the Catholic Church
  • the relationship between responsible citizenship and Catholic faith
  • the Catholic Church’s teachings on justice and peace
  • using Catholic social doctrine to evaluate current events

You’ll enjoy the Abbey’s Justice and Peace Studies Minor if you

  • have a strong desire to understand the Catholic Church’s social teaching
  • enjoy service through volunteer and missionary work
  • have an interest in cultural, economic, or political issues

A minor in Justice and Peace is an excellent supplement for any bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abbey College.

    The student:

  • takes TH 340 – Catholic Social Teaching
  • chooses three courses from an approved interdisciplinary list
  • completes an internship
  • is encouraged to consider the Benedictine Volunteer Corps

    You will practice better citizenship and be able to pursue a variety of career opportunities, including:

  • Social work
  • Missionary activities
  • Sociology
  • Seminary

The Abbey Difference:

Guided by the tenets of Catholicism and the Benedictine hallmarks, Belmont Abbey College strives to provide its students with a well-rounded education that promotes wise and ethical decisions. The Interdisciplinary minor in Justice and Peace Studies offers students an opportunity to develop knowledge of many of the world’s major problems and a responsible social conscience guided by Catholic social teaching. For additional experience, students may apply for missionary service with the Benedictine Volunteer Corps

Modern Catholic social teaching is a response to social conditions affecting justice and peace that have arisen in the 19th – 21st centuries. It provides a view of society and fundamental principles for a moral evaluation of social conditions. It draws upon centuries-old teachings, such as the just war tradition, and develops new concepts, such as the preferential option for the poor. The Church’s social teaching is part of its theological tradition but relies upon many academic disciplines to understand social problems and propose solutions. This interdisciplinary minor makes Catholic social teaching more widely known and enables the student to enter into the important conversations that this social teaching has nurtured.

Program Requirements:

  • TH 340 – Catholic Social Teaching
  • Three (3) elective courses approved by the Co-Directors of the Justice and Peace Minor (see list below)
  • Internship approved by the Co-Directors of the Justice and Peace Minor

The three elective courses must be in at least one of the following areas:

  • Economics and business courses that evaluate economic conditions affecting justice/peace (e.g., BU 410 Business and Society, SO 351 Social Problems)
  • Political philosophy courses that evaluate political movements and dynamics (e.g. EC/PO 355/356 Political Economy, PO 402 Modern Political Philosophy)
  • Cultural and science courses that explore how individuals and groups relate to society as a whole and to the natural environment (e.g., EN303 20th and 21st Century Women Writers, BI 312 Issues in Natural Sciences, PC 360 Social Psychology)

Elective Courses currently approved for the Minor include:

  • BI – 312 Issues in Natural Sciences
  • BU – 410 Business and Society
  • CJ – 365 Juvenile Justice
  • CJ – 403 Ethics & Criminal Justice
  • CJ/TH 375 – Theological Perspectives on Restorative Justice
  • EC/PO 355/356 – Political Economy
  • ED 308 – Perspectives in Education
  • ED 399 – Diversity in Education
  • EN 303 – 20th & 21st Century Women Writers
  • EN 400 – Special Topics: Love in the Literary Tradition
  • EV 300 – Introduction to Environmental Science
  • ET 401 – Social Ventures (Nonprofits)
  • HI 412 – The History of American Civil Rights Movement
  • PC 360 – Social Psychology
  • PO 401/402 – Classical/Modern Political Philosophy
  • SO 313 – Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SO 351 – Social Problems
  • TH 330 – Introduction to Moral Theology
  • TH 345 – Theology of Sexuality and Marriage

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.


Faculty Advisors:


Dr. Grattan Brown – The Church’s social doctrine is a truly beautiful set of teachings. It inspires us to ask how we can change structures of sin into structures of solidarity. Each academic discipline contributes something to this vision.

Sr. Jane Russell, O.S.F – Associate Professor of Theology, Coordinator of Justice and Peace Studies
B.A., Alverno College
M.A., University of San Francisco
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Dr. Grattan Brown – Associate Professor of Theology
B.A., Washington and Lee University
S.T.B., University of St. Thomas Aquinas
M.A., University of Memphis
S.T.L., Accademia Alfonsiana
Ph.D., Accademia Alfonsiana

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