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Programs & Projects

Events relating to Woodstock's Interreligious Dialogue on Education; Theology of Migration; Global Economy & Cultures; and Public Education programs

Through its array of programs and projects, Woodstock works to advance four strategic goals: Seeking the Global Good in Different Cultures; Practicing Authentic Personal Values in Public Life; Passing the Catholic and Jesuit Intellectual Tradition to a New Generation; and Educating the Public to Reflect Theologically and Ethically.

Seeking the Global Good in Different Cultures

  • Global Economy & Cultures. This project is a collaborative research effort involving more than 30 Jesuit Social Research and Action Centers around the world, using the “raw materials” of narrative stories of specific, mostly poor, individuals and their communities as they have been touched by economic globalization in recent decades.
  • Theology of Migration. The project brings together immigrants, academics from different disciplines, migrant service providers, theologians, and Church leaders to consider many issues related to the spirituality of migrants and the emerging theology of migration, including root causes of migration, integration of immigrants into society, and the ways in which the Church addresses the needs of migrants.
  • Interreligious Dialogue. Since 2002, educators and students from the faith traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism have engaged in Woodstock's Interreligious Dialogue on Education. Drawing on their personal and professional experience, the participants have explored how each religion educates its children and forms them in faith.
  • International Visiting Fellows. Each year, this program brings to Woodstock several lay or Jesuit scholars from around the world, and gives them an opportunity to carry out a research project of their own design. Candidates are selected on the basis of their academic accomplishments, the value that they bring to Woodstock, the compatibility of their research project with Woodstock’s mission, and the extent to which a fellowship at Woodstock would benefit them in their scholarly lives and support the life of the Church and academia in their home country.
  • Preaching the Just Word. This program travels the nation to offer multi-day retreats and workshops that aid priests and other ministers of the Gospel to be more effective in preaching about Biblical and social justice, through cultivating the spiritual lives of those who preach.

Practicing Authentic Personal Values in Public Life

  • Arrupe Program in Social Ethics for Business. This endowed program assembles business leaders, theologians and ethics scholars who collaborate to develop, continually refine, and make available to others an empirically based Christian social ethics for use by the business community that is faithful to the experience of business professionals and the teachings of Christ. One component of the Arrupe Program is the Woodstock Business Conference, an international network of sixteen local chapters, whose members gather monthly to reflect on current topics of ethical concern.  The Conference encourages these business leaders to integrate faith, family, and business by incorporating their religious values into the policies and practices of their corporations.
  • Religion and Public Policy. This project explores how faith and politics influence and shape one another on both individual and institutional levels. It aims to bring Jesuit and Catholic theological perspectives to broader audience, and in so doing, to advocate more just public policies.
  • Health Care: Ethical Foundations & Framework. This project seeks to explore, analyze, and promote the role of faith communities and religious traditions in shaping the new movement for personalized medicine within the medical, scientific, and public policy communities.

Passing the Catholic and Jesuit Intellectual Tradition to a New Generation

  • Catholic Higher Education. This program explores how a contemporary university can remain faithful to its Catholic tradition, even as it becomes more "catholic" (or "universal") in the academic disciplines that it embraces and the backgrounds of faculty and students that find a home on campus.
  • Faith in the City. Inspired by the vision of St. Ignatius “to find God in all things,” this project discerns and communicates the presence of the living God amidst the many challenges found in contemporary urban environments. The project applies Woodstock’s method of theological reflection to those pressing human problems commonly encountered in urban centers like Washington.
  • John & Pat Figge Woodstock Student Fellowship Program. Each year, this Program gives several Georgetown University undergraduates an opportunity to design and carry out a research project of "theological reflection on the human problems of today", participate in field trips, and contribute to a blog, with the guidance of Woodstock's Senior Research Fellows. It strives to help students integrate their academic studies, career goals, and personal faith tradition and spirituality.
  • Science and Religion. This program studies the fascinating and sometimes contentious relationship between these two critical fields. In recent years, Woodstock fellows have reflected on the theological aspects of transhumanism and contemporary cosmology, explored the relationship between theology and evolutionary theory, and investigated the innovative thought of renowned Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
  • Women in Theology. Through publications and events, the Center is exploring the unique role and perspective of female theologians in contemporary Catholic thought. A major focus is promoting the vibrant intellectual and spiritual legacy work of pioneering Catholic female theologian, Monika K. Hellwig.

Educating the Public to Reflect Theologically and Ethically

  • Woodstock Forums. Woodstock regularly presents public events on the most pressing contemporary topics of social, religious, and political importance, at which a panel of expert speakers offer their insights and address questions from the audience. Woodstock Forums have been held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC; at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in New York City, and at other locations.
  • The Woodstock Report. The Woodstock Report is the Center's primary means of keeping the public engaged with the work of our Programs and Research Fellows. It includes stories about recent Woodstock Forums and other events, reflections by the Research Fellows and guest contributors on topics of current interest, and a letter from the Center's Director. The Woodstock Report is published several times each year, and has a circulation of around 10,000 in its printed and electronic editions.
  • Web & Multimedia. Woodstock's utilizes its web site, YouTube Channel, Vimeo Channel, DVD series, audio and video podcast series, and other online and multimedia venues to make the Center's theological resources available free of charge to people around the world, and allow Woodstock's programs and Research Fellows to share their insights and reflections in the most contemporary, accessible, and interactive forms.