Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



University of San Francisco Press


The three Cs, competence, conscience, and compassion, are fundamental to Santa Clara University's distinctive identity as a Jesuit and Catholic university. However, a fourth C, community-and communities within communities-provides a context for conscience formation through dialogue and critical engagement not only with the academic subject matter of course work but also outside the classroom with the wicked problems facing humanity. This chapter will explore ways individuals and programs at Santa Clara University (SCU) invite students to experience communities in classroom and co-curricular settings that encourage dialogue, critical engagement, and social consciousness aimed at fostering the greater good. This engagement is not limited to Catholic social consciousness and most often does not result in formation in the usual religious sense. Rather it is central to SCU's goal of "a community that is enriched by people of different backgrounds, respectful of the dignity of all its members, enlivened by open communication, and caring and just toward others." 2 However, cultivation of respect and caring in a diverse community is not easy, and it requires awareness of the complexity of identity formation as well as attention to individuals' intellectual and social growth.

Chapter of

Catholic Identity in Context: Vision and Formation for the Common Good


Stephen K. Black
Erin M. Brigham



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