Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Center Activities

Annual Symposium Series

Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education symposium series examines the influences of religious, legal, medical, philosophical, and social science traditions on moral thought and action.  The idea of the “dignity of human persons” has found expression in a multitude of traditions—secular, humanistic, and religious.  These symposia highlight those aspects of religious and secular thought that oblige a community of scholars to respect and to protect the dignity and freedom of persons.  The goals of these symposia are: first, to open discussions among different religious groups and communities (e.g., Christian, Jewish, Muslim); second, to identify methods of inquiry among scientists that seek to insure that scientific research and experimentation reflect the values of communities and their vulnerable participants and caregivers. To meet these goals, the Center has sponsored numerous conferences and symposia, including:
A Crisis of Conscience: What Do We Owe Immigrant Youth and Families (September 16, 2014)
The Value of Liberal Arts Education and America's Future (April 28, 2014)
Jailing for Dollars: The Moral Costs of Privatizing Justice(April 23, 2013)
Money, Media, and the Battle for Democracy's Soul (April 24, 2012)
Moral Outrage and Moral Repair: Reflections on 9/11 and its Afterlife (April 12, 2011)
Moral Heat: Ethical Dimensions of Environmental Regulation and Economics in the 21st Century (April 20, 2010)
Privacy Rights and Wrongs: Balancing Moral Priorities for the 21st Century (April 21, 2009)
Pulpit Politics: Gender, Religion & Social Justice in 2008 (April 22, 2008)
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Moral Questions for the 21st Century (April, 2007)  
Reflections on the End of Life: Schiavo Plus One (pdf flyer) (April, 2006)  
"Minimal Risk" in Behavioral Science Research: A Decisional Framework for Investigators and IRBs (April, 2005)  
Bio-Pharmaceuticals for the 21st Century: Responsibility, Sustainability and Public Trust (January, 2005)  
Research Ethics for Mental Health Science Involving Ethnic Minority Children and Youth (Co-sponsored with the National Institute for Mental Health and the American Psychological Association)
Religious and Legal Values in Bioethics (Co-sponsored with Fordham Law School) 
Fordham University Transcending Tragedy Series: Fordham University’s Scholarly Response to September 11 and its Aftermath (Co-sponsored with Fordham University’s Office for Academic Affairs and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) 
Changing Challenges for the Ethics of War (with Father Bryan Hehir)
On Ethics re: Stem Cells Dr. David Novak (part of the continuing Natural Law Colloquium, co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Law School)

Academic Programs

The Center’s interdisciplinary academic programs and courses affirm the complementary roles of faith and reason drawing upon courses in theology, philosophy, social and physical science, law, economics, political science, business and other fields to provide multidisciplinary education to advance the common good.  Center-affiliated faculty members are noted scholars in the area of ethics and contribute both to the Center's academic programs as well as to ethics seminars and other center-sponsored activities.

Graduate Programs:

Master of Arts in Ethics and Society     |     
Certificate in Health Care Ethics

Graduate Courses:

CEED 5100  Theories and Applications in Contemporary Ethics
CEED 5050  Ethics & Society: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives
CEED 5900  Ethics Field Practicum Experience
CEED 6100  Health Care Certificate Capstone Course

CEED 6290  Health Disparities and Social Inequalities (cross-listed with psychology)

Undergraduate Programs:

Interdisciplinary Minor in Bioethics

Undergraduate Courses:
CEED 3856 Introduction to Bioethics (cross-listed with Theology)
CEED 3245 Research Ethics Across Disciplines (cross-listed with Psychology and Sociology)
e Series
Student Ethics Prizes

Dr. K. York and M. Noelle Chynn Prize in Ethics and Morality
The Dr. K. York and M. Noelle Chynn recognizes outstanding undergraduate essays in topics related to ethics and morality.  The  purpose of the prize is to stimulate undergraduate student self-examination about concepts of ethics and morality encountered personally or as a concerned member of society. Click here for more information about the prize and to read winning essays.

Helen and Norman Burg Ethics Prize
The Helen and Norman Burg Ethics Prize is awarded to the best graduate student papers on an ethics-related topic produced within the previous 12 months. Winning prizes are posted on the Center website.
  Click here for more information about the prize and to read winning essays.


The Center for Ethics Education serves as a hub for ethics-related activity at Fordham through a regularly-updated calendar of events, webpages featuring ethics-related faculty scholarship, annual lecture series (see below) and a weekly newsletter.


Since its inception, the Center has sponsored workshops on how to conduct ethically responsible research for Fordham administrators, faculty, institutional review board members, graduate and undergraduate students. The Center has also conducted national workshops for physicians and mental health practitioners who are involved in the conduct of experimental treatments to improve physical and mental health. The Fordham University Ethics Education workshops can help universities and research institutions meet the new PHS Policy on Instructionin the Responsible Conduct of Research. Investigators and administrators who are interested in a Fordham sponsored half-day or full-day ethics workshop for their institution should contact the Center.

Workshops cover a large range of issues, including: "HIPAA and Research", "The New APA Ethics Code: What You Need to Know" "Ethically Responsible Research with Multicultural Populations," "Social Research from a Child's Perspective," "Mentoring Faculty-Student Research Collaborations in the Social & Physical Sciences," and "Ethical Issues in Medical Emergency Room Research." A valuable aspect of the workshops is a focus on engaging community members and prospective participants and their families in designing informed consent, confidentiality, and other ethical procedures in medical and mental health research.

The curricula developed for these workshops have become models for universities around the country and are featured on several websites sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. A unique component of the Center's ethics workshop curricula is its original case studies designed to provide in-depth understanding of important ethical concerns. Ethically challenging situations described in case studies include "Medical research on women with suspected ectopic pregnancy," "The use of Hispanic and African Folktales to teach children grammar," "Treating anxiety in chronically ill elders," "Evaluating an outpatient group therapy treatment for suicidal adults," "Studying advanced life support as a treatment for cardiac arrest," "Studying post-traumatic stress disorder in adolescent rape victims," and "Evaluating prevention programs for teens whose siblings have been the victim of community violence."

Fordham Ethics Seminar Series

The Center sponsors the Fordham University Faculty Seminar composed of faculty from departments of psychology, sociology, philosophy, theology, physics, history, and African American studies. This seminar has achieved great success over the past decade in sparking interdisciplinary debate on moral values, fosteringinter-departmental faculty collaborations in ethics teaching and scholarship, and bringing to the Fordham community nationally recognized scholars who have given master lectures and seminars on issues of ethical concern to faculty and students. The Center and the Fordham Faculty on Ethics has a history of sponsoring outstanding conferences and workshops on ethics as a global problematic featuring guest lecturers such as Stephanie Bird, Sissila Bok, Karen Lebazq, Richard Shweder, Ross Thompson, Manual Casas, Kai Erikson, and Hans Kung.  Click here for more information about the current Fordham Faculty Seminar Series.


The Center for Ethics Education (through its director Celia Fisher, Ph.D.) has been awarded several federal research and training program grants over the past 10 years that serves to generate empirical data to inform the responsible conduct of research practice and policy.  Descriptions of current and past studies are below.  A selection of research measures developed from Fordham projects is available on our "Downloadable Measures" webpage.

» Fordham HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute

»  Ethical Challenges for Research Extenders Responsible for the Integrity of Community Addiction Research

»  Participant Perspectives on Drug Use/HIV Testing Research Ethics

»  Fordham Resident Alcohol Prevention Program

»  Fordham Athlete Alcohol Prevention Initiative

»  Mentoring the Responsible Conduct of Research

Support Center for Ethics Education activities. Make your gift online today at and write "Center for Ethics Education Special Fund" in Special Instructions or Designation Details.

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