The Ethics Minor

Why Study Ethics?

Jointly administered by the Religious Studies and Philosophy Departments, the Ethics minor is an interdisciplinary program that encourages students to think critically and constructively about ethics, morality, and character development in a variety of professional, cultural, and social contexts. The course of study will enhance students’ critical thinking and leadership skills so that they can develop creative solutions to ethical questions, problems, and conflicts they’ll encounter in their personal and professional lives. As a multi-departmental program, the Ethics minor complements major programs of study, preparing students for the complexities of the workplace, as well as for graduate studies in numerous fields including medicine, business, communications, and law.

The goals of the minor are to:

  • Promote the importance of ethics and moral leadership in creating a good life, academically, personally, and professionally.
  • Provide students with a solid foundation of ethical principles, values, and norms, as well as the fundamentals of practical moral reasoning.
  • Enhance students’ critical thinking and leadership skills so that they can develop creative solutions to ethical questions, problems, and conflicts they’ll encounter in their personal and professional lives.
  • Offer students opportunities for sustained study of ethical issues in their chosen disciplines.

Ethics and the St. John Fisher College Mission

The Ethics Minor is an integral part of the mission of St. John Fisher College, which is a "collaborative community dedicated to teaching, learning, and scholarship in a student-centered educational environment. The College is guided by its liberal arts tradition and its Catholic heritage, as expressed in the motto of its founders, the Basilian Fathers: “teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge.” Fisher engages individuals in lives of intellectual inquiry, professional integrity, and civic responsibility, where diversity and service to others are valued and practiced."

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.”
—Albert Schweitzer

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
—Aristotle

Peace and Justice Lion

The Peace and Justice Lion is the symbol for the Ethics Minor at St. John Fisher College. The creation of the lion was funded by the Jennifer Patterson Koon Peacemaking Foundation. It was designed and painted by Fisher students. Elizabeth King Durand, who has taught drawing and painting at Fisher for many years, explains the students’ creative process:

When the SJFC students who created the Lion for Peace and Justice began the project they had a number of attributes and symbols in mind. The lion's multi-colored mane represents diversity. Rising from the earth are various shades of green and images of plant life suggesting growth and vitality. These colors meld into shades of blue that symbolize water, sky and clouds. An abstract dove of peace rests on the lion’s forehead, calling forth peaceful thoughts. The golden gleam in his eye represents hope. I believe the student artists achieved the right balance of strength and peace.

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