Favorites ()
Apply
Cornell West and Ross Douthat talk during a panel discussion.

Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy

Terrence J. Murphy Institute

About the Institute

As a partnership between the Center for Catholic Studies and the School of Law, the Murphy Institute works to engage the church, the academic community and the public in rigorous discussions that bring historical and contemporary Catholic perspectives to bear on debates about law and public policy.

From Augustine and Aquinas, to Galileo and Thomas More, on to Montesquieu, St. Teresa of Calcutta, Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis, the Murphy Institute plumbs the integrated thought and interdisciplinary riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition to create vibrant programming to engage the Church and community. We draw upon a range of academic disciplines and faith traditions to facilitate scholarship, provide public policy analysis, and support our graduate scholars.

Supporting Students

Supporting academic scholarship and the intellectual and spiritual development of graduate students is foundational. We recognize the crucial interplay between law and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Photo of a female law student talking with a presenter in School of Law Atrium on Minneapolis campus.

Murphy Scholars

Murphy Scholars is a graduate assistantship program for full-time, in-residence students in the Master of Arts in Catholic Studies or Law (JD) programs.

Learn More About Murphy Scholars
Judges listen to a presentation in the Frey Moot Court Room.

Moot Court Team

We are a proud sponsor of the School of Law's participation in the Notre Dame National Appellate Advocacy Tournament for Religious Freedom.

Learn More About the Moot Court Team

Institute Focus Areas

  • Public Events
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Research Papers
  • Public Events

    We offer public lectures from prominent speakers, interdisciplinary panel discussions on topical issues, workshops, seminars and other events of interest to a wide audience. Recordings of our public programming can be found in our video archive.

    Public Policy Analysis

    The Institute serves as a resource to the civic community and universal church by providing nonpartisan analysis of public policy challenges at local, national and international levels. We provide analytical and research support to promote conversation and dialogue amidst recent challenges facing the Catholic Church and discuss paths forward. We also have supported the work of the Missions of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York and Geneva through student interns and fellows.

    In 2013 the following reports were drafted in response to documents released for Session 22 of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva:

    • Child Trafficking, Mary Leary, Prof. of Law, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, Washington DC
    • Securing the Human Right to Food Within and Across Borders, Barrett Brenton, Ph.D., Prof. Of Anthropology, St. John's University, New York and Ellen Messer, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
    • Patentability of Genetic Material, O. Carter Snead, Prof. of Law, and Joseph R. Ganahl, Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN
    • Urban Poor, Charles Clark, Ph.D., Prof. of Economics, St. John's University, New York
    • Religious Freedom report available by request. (Please send a request to MurphyInstit@stthomas.edu).

    Links are included for the reports for which we have received author permission to make publicly available.

    Research Papers

    The Murphy Institute encourages and supports research of the Catholic intellectual tradition and its relevance to law and public policy by organizing conferences for national and international scholars. Papers, reports and other publications from conferences, roundtables and symposiums are available on this site whenever possible.

    Public Events

    We offer public lectures from prominent speakers, interdisciplinary panel discussions on topical issues, workshops, seminars and other events of interest to a wide audience. Recordings of our public programming can be found in our video archive.

    Public Policy Analysis

    The Institute serves as a resource to the civic community and universal church by providing nonpartisan analysis of public policy challenges at local, national and international levels. We provide analytical and research support to promote conversation and dialogue amidst recent challenges facing the Catholic Church and discuss paths forward. We also have supported the work of the Missions of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York and Geneva through student interns and fellows.

    In 2013 the following reports were drafted in response to documents released for Session 22 of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva:

    • Child Trafficking, Mary Leary, Prof. of Law, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, Washington DC
    • Securing the Human Right to Food Within and Across Borders, Barrett Brenton, Ph.D., Prof. Of Anthropology, St. John's University, New York and Ellen Messer, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
    • Patentability of Genetic Material, O. Carter Snead, Prof. of Law, and Joseph R. Ganahl, Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN
    • Urban Poor, Charles Clark, Ph.D., Prof. of Economics, St. John's University, New York
    • Religious Freedom report available by request. (Please send a request to MurphyInstit@stthomas.edu).

    Links are included for the reports for which we have received author permission to make publicly available.

    Research Papers

    The Murphy Institute encourages and supports research of the Catholic intellectual tradition and its relevance to law and public policy by organizing conferences for national and international scholars. Papers, reports and other publications from conferences, roundtables and symposiums are available on this site whenever possible.

    CLE Credit Opportunities

    Murphy Institute is a sponsor agency with the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education. Various Murphy Institute events throughout the year may be approved for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. An online event listing and promotional material will indicate if CLE is applicable.

    Teaching Guide for Women, Sex, and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching

    The Teaching Guide's contributors collectively make the case that Catholic teaching provides a compelling, pro-woman alternative to secular feminist views on abortion, sex, marriage, contraception and reproductive technologies.

    Our Leadership Team

    Co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute, Gregory Sisk

    Gregory Sisk

    Co-Director

    Co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute, David Deavel

    David Deavel

    Co-Director

    Father Daniel Griffith headshot

    Fr. Daniel Griffin

    Murphy Institute Chaplain

    Murphy Institute Program Manager Michelle Rash headshot

    Michelle Rash

    Program Manager

    Contact Us

    Phone: 651-962-5882 

    Email: murphyinstit@stthomas.edu  

    Mailing Address

    MSL 400
    1000 LaSalle Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Campus Location

    Campus Location