Academic Centers and Institutes

Academic centers and institutes are vital parts of the School of Liberal Arts. They are organized around an area of knowledge not traditionally found within an academic discipline or program.

The Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism brings together representatives of various religious orientations (including academics, activists, and practitioners; liberals, conservatives, and moderates) in an effort to bridge sacred boundaries to address specific issues in the public square (for example, religious accommodation in prisons; K-12 educational issues involving religion; the globalization of business and its religio-cultural discontents) and promotes a political culture and public policies informed by religiously pluralistic perspectives.

At the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC), we offer guidance and resources to enhance writing eloquence throughout Saint Mary's College of California. Pursuing the construction and expression of knowledge through shared inquiry, we are guided by minimalist pedagogy and the Burkean Parlor model. Inspired by the Lasallian tradition of service through education, our aim is not simply to produce better papers but to nurture better writers in a safe and productive space. We advise peer students through one-on-one sessions, in person or via live video chat, through small-group Writing Circles, and through collaborative workshops for diverse disciplines. We also award and publish excellent student art and writing. We offer faculty development workshops and guide the sharing of ideas among colleagues, helping professors mentor students to use writing to learn disciplinary content. By supporting faculty and students, we help all writers enter more fully into the scholarly dialogue, sharpening their skills, building their confidence, and connecting writing strategies across contexts.

The Institute for Latino and Latin American Studies (ILaLS) promotes intellectual inquiry and collaborative efforts to raise awareness about issues relevant to Latin America and the U.S. Latino/a populations at Saint Mary's College and its surrounding communities.