USD to Host National Conference on Catholic Social Thought

Catholic educators from across the country will gather at the University of San Diego early next year  for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 10th annual Peace and Justice Meeting.

“Transcending Borders: Catholic Social Thought in Teaching, Research and Action,” takes place from Jan. 15 to 17 and will identify ways to strengthen the teaching of Catholic Social Thought.

“For 10 years, this convening of Catholic higher educators from across the country has given justice-minded colleagues the opportunity to relate Catholic social teaching to course content and curriculum,” said Michael Galligan-Stierle, vice president of ACCU.

“We are excited to host this event to help integrate issues of social justice and ethics into the fabric of university life including teaching, research and service,” said Monsignor Daniel J. Dillabough, USD Vice President of Mission and Ministry.

Along with peace and justice issues, attendees will explore issues of wealth and poverty and how the current economic system contributed to the financial crisis and global poverty.  USD is the only U.S. Catholic  university on the 1,969 mile border with Mexico and the conference also will include a trip to the border, offering participants a history of the barriers between the two nations and their implications for people, security and the environment.

Keynote speakers include Katherine Maas Weigert, executive director of the Center for Social Justice, Teaching and Service at Georgetown University; Charles M.A. Clark, senior fellow at the Vincentian Center for Church and Society and professor of economics at St. John’s University; David T. Abalos, professor emeritus of religious studies and sociology at Seton Hall University; and Orlando Espin, professor of systematic theology at USD and director of USD’s Center for the Study of Latino/a Catholicism.

The ACCU, the USD Council for the Advancement of Catholic Social Thought and the USD Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies are sponsoring the conference.  To learn more go to

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,800 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service.  The fall 2007 establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six.  Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences and Peace. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.