We are not born for ourselves and the natural gifts and graces we receive are not for ourselves alone, but we have received them for the benefit of all. It pertains to justice that the graces, gifts, knowledge, and skills received as a gift or by one's industry should be used for the common benefit.
-St. Thomas of Villanova
The Center for Church Management has recently added an ethics component to its charge that is designed to focus the attention of VSB on the larger moral responsibilities of business to serve the common good. While ethics is a regular element of business education throughout the world, VSB is charting a unique path in accordance with its Roman Catholic and Augustinian heritage.
This perspective provides a novel set of guidelines for business practice that are grounded in our love for Jesus Christ and His command that we serve others as an extension of that love. Our own founder, St. Augustine, articulated several arguments in order to ensure that we might recognize our obligation to give the totality of who we are to serving others, with an emphasis on those in need. St. Thomas of Villanova also emphasized this obligation to serve the poor with our gifts and graces, as he did throughout his life. His deeds matched his words, and he generously gave to hundreds of individuals and families who made their way to him each day to receive sustenance for their very survival. His legacy lives on in VSB, where our students give their time and talent to serve similar causes.
As a consequence of this powerful and directive history, VSB offers several courses, enters into case competitions, and provides myriad opportunities to serve, demonstrating our enduring commitment to the larger university mission.
Taken together, these foci demonstrate that our Catholic faith within an Augustinian tradition compels us to work for the common good, to employ our abilities so that others benefit from our efforts, and to place an emphasis on serving the most vulnerable people in our society. As a consequence, we will be pursuing four initial avenues during the academic year 2013-2014:
- Development of new trans-disciplinary courses that will start with Philosophy of the Business Enterprise
- Integration of the MBA Nonprofit Consulting Practicum and its affiliated social enterprises into the larger fabric of VSB
- Extension of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program to other impoverished sections of the city.
- Creation of new programming at SCI Graterford, concentrating on personal and professional skills for leading a better life.
Each of these initiatives will engage and enrich various student, staff, and faculty communities both within VSB and across Villanova University. Further, census of ethics-based programming and activities currently underway in VSB will occur and the results chronicled and integrated into the life of the Center.
Please click the links on the left to learn more about each of these exciting initiatives in business ethics.