Faculty learning communities (FLCs) are professional development opportunities for faculty drawn from across Saint Mary’s campuses who are willing to explore how components of character and virtue can enrich their courses, pedagogy, and teaching philosophy. In an FLC, faculty meet and get to know one another better while discussing short thought-provoking readings and exploring together concrete ways of enhancing their teaching and learning. FLCs require a formal commitment to meet over the course of one semester for regular meetings, readings, and events. Participation in an FLC is open to 2-3 interested faculty members per school with the prior approval of their dean.

FLCs are sponsored by the Office for Character, Virtue, and Ethics. If an FLC commitment is not feasible for you right now but you would like to learn what other opportunities may be available that fit your situation, please contact Dr. Matthew Gerlach: mgerlach@smumn.edu or 507-457-8716.

(actual meeting dates and times will be set as a group at the first session of the semester)

  • Orientation and reception
  • 6 sessions total (about 2 hours each)
  • Shorter preparatory readings 
  • Informal presentation of FLC “project”
  • Concluding lunch colloquium
  • Pedagogical reflection paper & post-semester evaluation
Interested faculty members of Saint Mary’s who agree to the above expectations and have received approval from their dean should submit a letter of interest that responds to the following reflection questions:

  1. Where do you see significant intersection(s) between this “character and virtue” focus and a course you teach or some aspect of your pedagogy? (To illustrate the intersection(s), you may want to share a course syllabus or a learning activity description to which the content of the readings and discussion could be applied).
  2. In what ways does your academic discipline engage topics of character, virtue, ethics, and human flourishing? How do you currently engage these topics in a course and/or why do you see a possible need to enhance the engagement with these topics in the course? (500 words maximum)
  3. How do you understand the responsibility of Saint Mary’s to foster the flourishing of our students by engaging in character education and virtue formation (500 words maximum)

Please submit this letter of interest as an attachment to mgerlach@smumn.edu

Susan Manikowski

Antar Salim

Matt Norakowski