Revised June 7, 2010
Spirituality and professionalism form the basis for a greater understanding of life and the inherent responsibilities of humankind with respect to relationships, human interaction, and personal behavior. They reflect on the roots of our past and give us a platform on which future decisions can be built and generation gaps connected.
As part of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) commitment to engendering an atmosphere in which people from various walks of life can practice tolerance and engage in the sharing of worldviews on spirituality and professionalism, the University proposes to establish a Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism. The University desires that its personnel and the Virgin Islands community be aware of the value inherent in the integration of spirituality and learning. In essence, what is the role of ethics and integrity as it relates to personal development, professional practice, good governance, and principled leadership?
The University adheres to the idea of creating and maintaining an environment in which individuals, the University, and other organizations can be sensitized to the importance of integrating spirituality and professionalism within the wider context of its management values, with which CSAP will be compatible.
These values can only be meaningful as individuals commit to making a significant difference within the citizenry of society by being engaged in practices that promote social justice, respect for life and property, and accountability for our actions.
It is within this context that the UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism is being proposed. The Center will highlight the need for a greater understanding and adoption of principles of compassion, caring, service, emotional intelligence, multiple intelligence, responsible judgment, integrity, social intelligence, and honesty as we lead with soul and humility of heart in our various vocations, organizations, and areas of focus.
The University of the Virgin Islands Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP) will be established as an independent non-profit entity to promote the institution’s management values and emphasize the pivotal role of spirituality and professionalism in leadership success and societal well-being. CSAP will offer courses, speakers, symposia, conferences, and continuing education (CE) seminars for the leadership community and others. It will be a center and clearinghouse of knowledge and resources for the study of spirituality and professionalism in the Virgin Islands and around the world.
To promote the study of spirituality and professionalism and disseminate information and resources that inspires ethical and responsible behavior.
CSAP will be an active learning community where spirituality and professionalism are practiced as key essentials to success.
To impact lives and organizations worldwide through the study of spirituality and professionalism.
1. Develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of existing scholarly materials, reports, manuscripts and electronic media on the subject of spirituality and professionalism.
2. Establish a learning community to encourage the benefits of people learning together as they search for knowledge and explore wisdom.
3. Serve as a catalyst and source of support for new empirical and descriptive research in the field of spirituality and professionalism, with specific concentration on the professions of law, education, business, health, and psychology.
4. Publish a Journal which disseminates the scholarship of researchers from UVI and other leading academic and professional organizations.
5. Convene conferences, symposia and workshops which explore the intersections of spirituality and professionalism.
6. Collaborate with professionals who conduct research on linkages between spirituality and concepts such as multiple intelligences, and emotional and social intelligence.
7. Promote, sponsor, and facilitate weekend retreats that discuss issues related to spirituality and professionalism.
8. Train members of the academic community about the importance of spirituality in professional education and the inherent value of integrating spirituality in education.
9. Develop courses on spirituality and professionalism that can be used by different disciplines and re-define ethical training to encompass spiritual dimensions.
10. Serve as a catalyst and resource for the systematic inclusion of spirituality into the core curriculum of UVI at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
11. Work collaboratively with primary and secondary educational institutions for the systematic cultivation of a values-based educational approach.
12. Become a recognized center for the study of spirituality and professionalism.
Summary of Accomplishments
Significant progress has been made on this initiative to date. Some achievements include: Identifying existing centers and organizations that focus on spirituality and professionalism, identifying leading experts in the field, identifying some faculty at UVI who have expertise or interest in the area, identifying possible funding sources, and hosting a symposium on spirituality and professionalism.
The symposium, part of the inaugural events of the University’s fifth President, focused on the integration and practice of spirituality in law, business, nursing, psychology, and the teaching of Mathematics. The UVI Choral Theater also made an awe-inspiring rendition of ‘The Beginning.’ The audience was fully engaged, and students read and sang of their poetic works at the event.
Next Steps and Process
1. Appoint a Director/Administrator for the Center for the Study of Spirituality and professionalism.
2. Develop CSAP Website and post related writings, presentations, and research papers by UVI faculty and staff on the site.
3. Establish a learning community of scholars to encourage idea exchange around topics of spirituality and spiritualism.
4. Seek funding for a CSAP Conference in spring 2011.
5. Host a CSAP Conference in spring 2011 featuring local, regional, national, and international presenters.
CSAP Core Team Members (work group of scholars and advisors)
Ms. Michelle Smitherman
Ms. Sheena Powell
Dr. Cheryl Franklin
Dr. Lonnie Hudspeth
Dr. Rosalie Dance
Dr. Douglas Larche
Dr. Patricia Todman
Dr. David Hall
Dr. Haldane Davies
Mr. Tregenza Roach