The vision of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin is the same as that of the Second Vatican Council-a vision of a church renewed, a church that mirrors the compassion of Jesus.
In 1997, with the Cardinal's endorsement, Catholic Theological Union established the Bernardin Center to build upon his work and vision. The Center focuses on a range of public programs about issues that were hallmarks of his vision.
An integral part of CTU, the Bernardin Center advances Cardinal Bernardin's vision through an array of initiatives focused on his signature issues of reconciliation and peacemaking, interreligious dialogue, the consistent ethic of life, leadership development for the church, and Catholic Common Ground. Among the Center's distinctive initiatives are:
- The Bernardin Scholarship Program prepares promising students for a life of ministry and leadership.
- Catholic-Jewish and Catholic-Muslim studies offer education and opportunities for interreligious dialogue among the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith communities.
- The Peacebuilders Initiative prepares high school students for lives of service.
- Catholics On Call invites young adults to explore the theology of vocation
- Endowed faculty chairs: the Vatican II Chair in Theology, the Erica and Harry John Family Chair in Ethics, and the Crown Ryan Chair in Jewish Studies.