New Minor Integrates Environmental Science and Catholic Teaching

Ave Maria University is launching a new Agriculture and Catholic Environmental Stewardship (ACES) minor, which will form future agricultural and environmental leaders in authentic Catholic teaching, robust natural science, and practical outdoor skills.

"The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations, and towards humanity as a whole."

— Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, no. 48 (emphasis added)

The ACES minor will form students in the renewal of a way of life that wholeheartedly integrates Catholic teaching on the person, family, ecology, and economy. This integrated approach will help prepare them to become a transformative Catholic presence in local society and in broader public conversation.

Dr. Samuel Shephard


“The environment is at the forefront of public conversation,” said Dr. Samuel Shephard, an associate professor at Ave Maria University and director of the ACES minor. “If you care for the Earth, and you’re interested in science, in business, in theology, in philosophy, this course is for you, because it is interdisciplinary and integrated.”

The ACES minor will launch in the fall 2024 semester. To learn more about course content, please email Dr. Shephard. For details on registration, speak with an admissions counselor at 239-280-2556.

Eager to know what you can expect from our ACES faculty? Explore Dr. Shephard’s short course “Stewarding the Environment” for free on Ave Maria University’s Pursuit of Wisdom series.