Welcome to the Bernardin Center

Founded in the spirit of the late Cardinal Bernardin, the Bernardin Center supports initiatives that promote the key interests and missions of the Cardinal’s life: Interreligious dialogue, consistent ethic of life, and reconciliation and peacemaking. At the Bernardin Center, our core mission is to find and foster common ground between people who think differently, pray differently, and approach complex issues differently.

Cardinal Bernardin
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Catholic Common Ground Initiative
Catholic-Jewish Studies Program
Catholic-Muslim Studies Program
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (1928-1996) was archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until his death. Shortly before he died, he entrusted his legacy to a Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union. In addition to his work to change processes responding to clergy sex abuse, Cardinal Bernardin gave numerous lectures and wrote often on topics of consistent ethic of life, interreligious dialogue, and peacemaking.
Millies is a member of several learned societies, including the Association for Political Theory, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics. As well, he participates in the International Thomas Merton Society, the Eric Voegelin Society, and he is the secretary for the Edmund Burke Society of America. His book, Joseph Bernardin: Seeking Common Ground (Liturgical Press, 2016), won first place in the biography category for the Catholic Press Association’s 2017 Book Awards, and he has contributed to several periodicals and journals that include America, Commonweal, the National Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic. During the fall 2020 semester, he was the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ Visiting Fellow in Catholic Studies at Loyola University Chicago’s Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.
The Bernardin Center is fortunate to be able to support initiatives that provoke conversations on topics that bring people together from disparate sides of complex issues. Whether it’s a lecture on young people and the Church or a conversation about women and the diaconate, if it’s an issue of concern for the modern Church, the Bernardin Center wants to talk about it.
The Bernardin Scholars program provides a full-tuition scholarship to lay men and women who express interest in the consistent ethic of life, reconciliation and peacemaking, interreligious dialogue, and seeking common ground.
The Bernardin Center is proud to house the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, an independent project that aims to facilitate dialogue within the Church. Most recently, CCGI held a weekend-long conference specifically for young people as a synodal opportunity to hear their concerns and hopes for the Church.
The Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union has been a part of CTU since the very beginning: 1968. The CJSP is designed to support scholarship in Catholic-Jewish dialogue, and promotes greater understanding of the Jewish faith. 
The Catholic-Muslim Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union was founded in 2000 by Dr. Scott C. Alexander to facilitate greater opportunities for interreligious dialogue at CTU.

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Peter Cunningham
Associate Director
Ph: 773.371.5432

Steven P. Millies, Ph.D.
Director, The Bernardin Center
Professor of Public Theology