Mary Elizabeth Ann McCullough, RSM


The place and value of character and virtue education in institutions of higher education has been questioned by many people. Is it the role of universities to develop character and is it not too late to do this by the time students reach the level of tertiary education? In this article, I identify some of the challenges offered by those opposed to forming university students in character and virtue. I also present research that supports not only the importance of character and virtue education for universities but some effective strategies for doing so. This article claims benefits of character formation in higher education including the ability of adults to reflect which, in addition to being freely chosen, is an essential component of growing in true virtue. As universities recognize their role in educating and training students for various occupations, preparing students to carry out their professional duties in an ethical manner also falls to the university. Hence, as this paper concludes, character and virtue education is fittingly and appropriately placed at the university level.

Full Text

The Place of Character Education in the University: Early Lessons from an Explicit Course on Virtue


virtue, character education, higher education, value, strategies

About the Author

Mary Elizabeth Ann McCullough, RSM, serves as the director of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is completing her MA in character education from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Sister Mary Elizabeth Ann earned her doctorate in educational leadership from George Fox University in Oregon.

ISSN: 2151-2515
© Christian Brothers Conference 2023.