American higher education, by some measures, has never been in better shape. More students are devoting more time and resources to gain more education than ever before. Yet more does not mean better. Measured by other criteria, American higher education faces significant challenges, not the least of which is a loss of the moral direction once part and parcel of the educative process. Scholars across the political spectrum disagree about the causes and possible remedies for this loss. However, they by and large agree that the failure of higher education to provide any kind of coherent moral vision for life constitutes a critical problem for contemporary culture.
The proliferation of applied ethics courses, initiatives for teaching ethics across the curriculum, and service learning programs, as well as the revival of "great texts" curricula have all been identified as responses to the crisis of moral vision within the academy. Are these responses adequate? To what resources might the academy turn for developing serious moral education, and for what aims? What constraints, if any, should exist on moral education within the context of American higher education? What strengths or weaknesses does religious affiliation bring to colleges and universities on behalf of vital moral education? How does an academic institution's religious identity shape its purposes and programs related to character development? In what way ought this task to be taken up within the academic disciplines?
Baylor University invites you to join us for our annual Pruit Memorial Symposium, The Schooled Heart: Moral Formation in American Higher Education, as we explore these and related questions about the nature of and need for moral formation within the context of American higher education.
Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University
David Lyle Jeffrey is Provost and Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University.
Warren Nord has been the Director of the Program in the Humanities and Human Values and Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Joseph O'Hare President Emeritus of Fordham University
Julie Reuben, Professor of Education in the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
David Solomon, Associate Professor of Philosophy and the W.P and H.B. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.