The Institute for Human Ecology

Human flourishing illuminated by Catholic social doctrine.


The foundation of human flourishing

"The freedom of the individual finds its basis in man's transcendent dignity . . ." - Pope John Paul II, Message for World Day of Peace, 1981


The fundamental social unit of a healthy, functioning society

"The family may be regarded as the cradle of civil society . . . " - Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae


The intersection of free enterprise and ingenuity ordered towards human flourishing

"It is . . . an error to say that the economic and moral orders are so distinct from and alien to each other that the former depends in no way on the latter." - Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno


The driving force behind the way we form human relationships

"Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law." - Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

Learn more about our Master of Arts in Human Rights Program

Highlights of 2019

Join us in reviewing a year of events and initiatives that increased understanding of the conditions necessary for human flourishing.

Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship

Faith, Reason, and the State

The Institute for Human Ecology and the Thomistic Institute
Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship for Graduate Students in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities

The Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship supports rising scholars seeking to better understand the Catholic intellectual tradition. Open to all qualified graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The costs to attend the Civitas Dei Fellowship program (including lodging and reasonable travel expenses) are covered by the sponsors.

Washington, DC
14 – 19 June 2020

Download the Annual Report

2018-19 Academic Report

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Featured Fellows

David Cloutier, Ph.D.

David Cloutier is Associate Professor of moral theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Expertise: Ethics, Economics, Theology

Michael Gorman, Ph.D.

Ordinary Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

Expertise: Metaphysics, Human Nature

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor, The Catholic University of America | Executive Editor of 'The Stream'

Expertise: Political Philosophy, Moral Theology, Economic Theory

Lucia Ann Silecchia, J.D.

Professor of Law, and Director, Summer Law Program in Rome, The Catholic University of America

Expertise: Environmental Law and Ethics; Catholic Social Thought & Law; Catholic Higher Education