IAJBS 22nd Annual World Forum Jesuit Province of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

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Andrew Gustafson

Catholic Social Thought at Catholic Business Schools: An Empirical Study

Catholic Business Schools are sometimes perceived to be black sheep at the Catholic colleges and universities of which they are a part. At most Catholic colleges and universities, the business students are educated for most of their first two years in the college of arts and sciences, and only then take the bulk of their business classes. It is not uncommon for business to be perceived as a ‘sellout’ major—giving up classic Catholic Christian values for the sake of making money. At times business students almost feel like second class citizens in their arts and science classes, because of the suspicion cast on their choice to pursue some practice of business as a vocation. It is assumed that the philosophy and theology departments do what they can to teach values until the student is released for their junior and senior year to the ‘dark side’ of business to learn how to develop a singular focus on the pursuit of profit, and self-interest. It is the author’s opinion that this is a substantial tension at many Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.