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Integral Ecology

What do we mean by "Integral"?


As a Catholic university, Mount St. Mary draws from our Catholic Intellectual Tradition on the meaning of "Integral."

In the encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI starts with these words that summarize the encyclical:

Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32) (CV 1).

Here at the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business, we established the Center for Integral Ecology, Economy and iMpact (CIEEM), working together with our partner Transform Communiversity Associates (TCA) in the UK, in Africa, in Europe, in Asia, and the Americas (South, Central, and North America), we use the integral lens as the truly unique, holistic, and universal approach to transform and to change the world.

cupola with trees at msmu

Values and Beliefs

At CIEEM we believe that only a truly integral approach can produce an authentic development of every person and all humanity in every part of the world.

In partnership with TCA, we have developed an integrated model built on a core foundation, our faith, spirituality and culture. The core of our integral model also includes our values and beliefs that shape our relationships, which are grounded and rooted in our communities and nature of being.

We believe that integral human development is a journey that starts from realizing our personal calling to love, serve and transform our realities with a meaningful purpose that has a sustainable and positive iMpact.

We are an Ecology

In his Encyclical letter: Laudato Si, Pope Francis reminds us that we are spiritually interconnected (LS 70, 92, 111, 138, 240) with the environment. We can call the Earth our Sister, Mother Earth because she sustains and governs us. Because we depend on her, we are interconnected with every other human being, the whole world, and God. We are part of a system of systems. We are an Ecology.

"Praise be to you, my Lord." In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. "Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs." (LS 1)

Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity (LS 240).

…everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others (LS 70).

Answering the Call

At CIEEM we want to answer Pope Francis's call to an ecological and spiritual conversion.

The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an "ecological conversion," whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience (LS 217).

At CIEEM we believe that to produce meaningful, sustainable, and positive iMpact. Our integrated model has to be ecological; that is why we call it our integral ecology approach.

In partnership with TCA, we are witnessing how our integrated model can produce individual integral human development and integral development for different human ecologies: families, communities, nonprofit, for-profit organizations, educational institutions and society.

Research Academy

In partnership with TCA, we are co-creating a research academy to produce innovative research and knowledge from successful integral human development stories worldwide.

In our research academy, we are learning how integral human development that is able to transform the ecologies of people and communities. So, we ask, what does an integral human ecology model look like in Africa, Asia, Europe and America? What does an integral human ecology model look like in your local community?

At CIEEM, in partnership with TCA, we work with international organizations to guide their unique journey to integral human ecology.

Join our Journey

Please join us at the CIEEM in our journey and our calling to implement an Integral Ecology approach that transforms ourselves, our communities, businesses, economy and society.