Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Mike Vetter

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Maletwitz


This study set out to understand how the doctoral alumni from the School of Education of an independent Catholic university experience embodiments of Catholic Social Teaching in their everyday lived experiences. The conceptual framework of seven Catholic teaching embodiments allowed the researcher to explore the perspectives of the doctoral alumni about their experiences with their values and beliefs about family, community, solidarity, human dignity, different responsibilities in their lives, care for creation, and their current engagement with various social justice activities. This research was a phenomenological qualitative study using interviews and artifacts review. Twelve participants were interviewed to explore their experience qualitatively. Participants interviewed represented a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds. Three major themes found through data analysis were Motivation, Support, and Meaning. The findings disclose that the Catholic higher education is preparing students to remain committed to CST principles throughout their lives. Participants generally understand how they fulfill their passions or purpose in life after graduation.