Based on the four pillars of the Dominican tradition of community, prayer, study, and preaching, and the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas who asserted that faith and reason are compatible, complementary, and point to a single Truth (Veritas), the twelve-week Spring Semester (February-May)* Ethical Leadership International Program of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FASS) at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas ("Angelicum") in the heart of Rome creates an international community of scholars where critical thought and a Thomistic ethical conviction (faith & reason) meet the fundamental ethical questions of the world of global business and politics in a prayerful environment.  The program promotes academic excellence (study) and facilitates the strengthening of conceptual, scholarly, and professional competencies for use in leadership roles that serve others by sharing with them (preaching) the fruits of their contemplation –contemplata aliis tradere.

The Ethical Leadership International Program is a high level, demanding junior year undergraduate study-abroad program. Based on Thomistic ethics, it is profoundly interdisciplinary, since today’s global leaders need to be able to deal not only with business and politics, but also with culture and cultural differences, religions and interreligious dialogue, social psychology, international relations, war and diplomacy, conflict resolution and much more. It also involves extensive contact with some of the key leaders in Rome, especially in the global and international organizations, like the many dicasteries of the Holy See, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the European Union organizations in Rome, as well as business, political and religious leaders in Italy.  The program is dedicated to help the sending institutions prepare future leaders who are committed to social justice as they strive for the common good.

All courses are taught in English.

* The program follows the PUST Spring Semester schedule

Our Mission

The mission of the program is to foster ethical leadership among highly motivated undergraduate juniors students in Business/Management/Economics and/or Political Science/International Relations, Catholic Studies, Ethical Leadership, Philosophy and Theology programs in participating institutions.  The study abroad 15 credit program provides the next generation of Catholic thinkers, innovators, and practitioners in the worlds of international affairs and economics with a deeper appreciation of an interdisciplinary perspective on a variety of ethical issues in present-day international business and politics and its application in various professions. It also offers promising professionals invaluable opportunities to meet Catholic foreign policy experts, social innovators, scholars, and peers from the Holy See, the Dominican Order, the Embassies to the Holy See, and the United Nation's Food & Agricultural Organization based in Rome.

Our Students

Program student-leaders are a diverse and select set of junior candidates from undergraduate programs in business, management, political science and international relations from Dominican & Catholic universities and colleges across the United States who are actively engaged in the dialogue on ethics in international business and political affairs.

Student-leaders receive individual attention from academic mentors who are passionate about their own subjects and committed to excellence in Catholic higher education. 

All courses are seminar style.

Our Experience Shows!

The Order of Preachers (Dominicans) has been international from its beginning in the 13th century. Some historians maintain that the mendicant orders, of which the Dominicans are one, represent the first real international organizations. Furthermore, Dominican education has always been international. Some of the first reflections on international law and universal human rights come from Dominicans. Grotius recognized his debt to Francisco Vittoria, O.P., who was in turn stimulated to reflect by Bartolome de las Casas, O.P. and the Dominican experience in the Americas, beginning 500 years ago. When the friars denounced the abuses of the Spanish conquistadores in the Americas, they turned to their teachers in Salamanca for help. The missionary spirit of the Order has always meant that its members and associates have been formed in one place in order to be “sent” (in imitation of Jesus) to another. Being global is in the DNA of the Dominican Order.

In more modern times, Dominicans have been central in founding the Holy See's Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Dominican sisters are among the leaders in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. Dominique Pire, OP was a Belgian Dominican friar whose work helping refugees in post-World War II Europe saw him receive the Noble Peace Prize in 1958.

Dominique Pire, O.P.

On the basis of the charism and history of the Dominican Order, the “Ethical Leadership International Program” at the Angelicum is aimed at forming ethical leaders and change agents for business and politics, in the global  city of Rome, close to Santa Sabina (international headquarters of the Dominican Order) and the Master and General Curia of the Order, the central office of Dominican Sisters International, the International Justice and Peace Commission of the Order, as well as, of course, the Holy See, hundreds of Embassies, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN system.

The ethical approach is Thomistic, the very same basis used by the Salamancan professors and the friars on Hispaniola to defend the Amerindians.

Effective and ethical leadership is essential, especially in the business and political spheres, so that we can move on from the current crisis. Such leadership needs to be rooted in a strong international and global vision, to promote global solidarity.

This program can help create such leaders by providing formation in ethical leadership for our undergrads in business and political science, based on the Church's social teaching and in an international context as requested by the Holy See itself:

Moreover, it is hoped that those in universities and other institutions who educate tomorrow's leadership will work hard to prepare them for their responsibilities to discern the global public good and serve it in a constantly changing world. The gap between ethical training and technical preparation needs to be filled by highlighting in a particular way the inescapable synergy between the two levels of practical doing (praxis) and of boundless human striving (poièsis).

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,
Vatican City, 2011