Mission and Tradition

Mission and Institutional Goals of DSPT

To engage contemporary scholarship and culture with the wisdom of tradition.

Mission Statement:

DSPT SealThe Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, a member of the Graduate Theological Union, is a community of scholars committed to the pursuit of truth as revealed in the Gospel and discovered by human reason. Inspired by the Dominican practice of disciplined inquiry and learned preaching, the School draws its students into the rich tradition of classical philosophy and Catholic theology, especially as exemplified by St. Thomas Aquinas, and from this tradition engages contemporary scholarship and culture in mutual enrichment.

As a Center of Studies of the Order of Preachers and an apostolate of the Western Dominican Province, the School is committed to preparing women and men for academic and apostolic vocations.

Institutional Goals:

A. Pedagogical Goal: Deep Learning

Motivated by a thirst for truth, the disciplined inquirer is a life-long learner who recognizes fundamental principles in a given field of inquiry and applies them in creative or innovative ways to broader contemporary issues which are of importance to Church, the academy, and/or society. Disciplined inquiry includes the following characteristics:

1. Integrative Thinking: the ability to recognize, understand, retain, integrate, and apply the fundamental principles operative in a field of inquiry, and use them to make synthetic judgments, all the while finding deeper meaning in the interconnection of "old" and "new," unafraid of either and respectful of both.

2. Intellectual Humility: a passion for and adaptability before the Truth, in which one recognizes the principles and the nuances entailed in an intellectual inquiry; such humility before the Truth precludes both rigidity and passivity of mind, fosters collaboration, and is resilient before its demands.

3. Self-Direction: claiming primary responsibility for one's own education, demonstrates a keen intellectual interest in the topic of studies, with the ability to teach oneself through a habit of skilled and responsible research and resilient exploration.

B. Vocational Goal: Effective Leadership

An effective leader is filled with passion, and inspires within others the desire to realize the common good by articulating to academy or society a coherent vision rooted in the mission of the Church, all the while leading by example and compassionate service. Effective leadership includes a

1. Prophetic dimension, which develops a vision of the needs of the present culture and a readiness to speak out with insight and courage to address them, doing so either in the context of a ministerial setting (receiving authority from the Catholic tradition of faith), or in academic or social settings (inspired by the perennial wisdom of the classical philosophical tradition, especially as exemplified by St. Thomas Aquinas);

2. Service dimension, in which one takes the initiative to make a significant contribution to the common good through the exercise of authority as a service to others;

3. Collaborative dimension, in which one uses good listening and communication skills, making decisions which stem from and lead to an open, transparent, and mutually enriching dialog with others in order that the gifts of all can be appropriately acknowledged and utilized.


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