The Family & Society Minor Program offers a first-class education in family, gender and life issues, as well as in the state of educational and religious institutions in America. Courses are taught within the framework of current research in economics, sociology, psychology as well as cultural and social criticism. Special attention is given to current family and educational policy issues. The inspiration for the program is drawn from John Paul II:
“Since God's plan for marriage and the family touches men and women in the concreteness of their daily existence in specific social and cultural situations, the Church ought to apply herself to understanding the situations within which marriage and the family are lived today, in order to fulfill her task of serving.” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio)
The Family & Society program is a cluster of five courses, the core of which are Family, Gender and Society (Econ 250), Economics of Education and Religion (Econ 350) and Catholic Social Thought (Econ 315). The program is designed to be easily accessible to students in a wide-variety of majors. To date, Family and Society students have majored in the following fields: economics, psychology, politics, business, history, philosophy, literature, classics, biology, and education.
The Family & Society program has been popular at Ave Maria since its inception in 2012, and has consistently drawn talented students from all areas of the university. The first Family & Society Minor students graduated in 2014. In that year, two of the five finalists for the President’s Award were Family and Society Minors.