Moments of Challenge


Living abroad in a place like South Africa truly tests a person’s ability to adapt to significant societal changes and his or her tenacity to make the best of given situations. I frequently experienced tests of my faith, and having received the foundation to respond to them accordingly, I found myself able to have a successful experience abroad. The wealth of resources given to me from Loras in the forms of knowledge and spiritual growth allowed me to be able to adapt to a variety of situations and thus gave me the best experience possible.”

—John Mitchell   

Loras College strives to connect the mysteries engaged by Catholic thought with the challenges of the world today. As a community, we commit ourselves to stand up for the overlooked and powerless, regardless of their religion, and to use the arts and sciences to advance within the political sphere a message of social justice. “We invite all members of the community to enter serious conversations and ask hard questions that together we might promote the core values of Loras College.”

  • In the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching, students become part of the “working poor” in several May term experiential learning courses when they participate in a poverty simulation. This experience and the reflection discussion following strive to deepen students’ solidarity with the working poor.
  • Loras achieved status as a Fair Trade College in 2012 through an educational grant process with Catholic Relief Service. Results of this status have challenged the community to produce an educational video, provide fair trade coffee and tea, develop an awareness-raising interactive session with our intercollegiate athletics teams, and lead efforts to move the College into adopting a fair trade procurement policy.
  • In pursuit of the College’s core value of Ethical Decision-Making, student teams have participated in mock trial, mediation, ethics bowl, and business case study competitions at the local and national levels. These competitions challenge students to research simulated and real-world cases and propose solutions based on Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Rooted in Catholic Social Teaching’s Commitment to the Family, each year hundreds of Loras volunteers raise over a hundred thousand dollars for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network through Dance Marathon. Planned and organized by student volunteers, year-round events celebrate children and their families served by the hospital and prepare for the crowning event—a dance marathon in their honor.
  • Students, faculty, staff and community members are Connected to the City of Dubuque’s Bridges Out of Poverty/Circles initiative designed to offer a “circle of support” and mentoring to individuals and families working to move out of poverty and develop skills that help them achieve their goals.
  • Students, faculty and staff have been partnering with the Jonah House Faith and Resistance Community in Baltimore and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker community in Washington, D.C., since 1985 for a Holy Week journey of service, urban immersion, and social advocacy and action.
  • Students are challenged to achieve a global perspective by Studying Away in such countries as Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Portugal, Costa Rica and China.

“Do not conform yourselveto thiage but be transformeby the renewaof your mind, that you may discern what ithe will of God, what igooand pleasing and perfect.” Roman12:2