The Center for Community Engagement [CCE/The Center] reflects St. Thomas’ commitment to the academic and professional success of its students as they become ethical leaders in a global community by engaging them in experiential learning with community partners that leverages the research and teaching resources of the University on the region’s most pressing issues and promotes the Catholic Social Teaching principles of human dignity, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity.
As St. Thomas University values transformative relationships as part of its Catholic identity, it is committed to engaging in the contemporary issues of our time, and in a particular way, with those who are poor and marginalized. Ex Corde calls the Catholic university “to seek to discover the roots and causes of the serious problems of our time, paying special attention to their ethical and religious dimensions.”
STU’s Center for Community Engagement offers students opportunities for encounter, greater understanding, and relationship with and within the surrounding community, examining issues of justice and peace through their coursework, research, and co-curricular engagement activities. This brings together academic study and positive social change in Miami-Dade County. The Center builds relationships based in mutuality and for community development with civic, not-for-profit, religious, and private sector partners locally in Miami Gardens, regionally across Miami-Dade County, and globally guided, in part, by the priorities of Catholic Relief Services.
Through a series of engagement activities with community partners, students will be able to do the following:
- Differentiate service from social change, reflecting on how their community-engaged learning experience(s) informs their future academic, vocational, and/or personal pursuits as ethical leaders.
- Analyze root causes of social issues through the ethical lens of Catholic Social Teaching, which values the dignity, rights, and responsibilities of the human person, a special option for the poor and vulnerable, and cooperative community responsibility for the common good.
- Demonstrate civility and promote evidence-based discussions of social issues, practiced through research, community dialogues, and other community learning experiences.