The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at the University of California, Santa Barbara, promotes discussion of how ethical teachings and values relate to civic life -- at the local, national, and global levels. We are committed to the fundamental belief that public dialogue and an informed and engaged citizenry are vital to democratic society. Non-partisan and non-sectarian, the Center seeks to strengthen and extend the principles on which such diverse, modern society rests, namely, tolerance and respect for the views of others, the practice of civility, and efforts to achieve the common good.
To advance its broad goals, the Center sponsors a diverse set of programs and activities including:
Public lectures and conversations within the Santa Barbara community and at UC Santa Barbara, bringing well-known speakers on a range of topics each year;
Forum discussions within the community and at UC Santa Barbara;
A service-learning internship program that sends students to nonprofit organizations within Santa Barbara;
Ethics courses on issues related to the Environment, Diversity and Justice, Medicine, and Enterprise and Leadership;
Graduate fellowships in support of student research on cultural literacy and related ethical themes.
We serve as a center where students, faculty, and visiting scholars can engage in conversations on a variety of ethical topics.