Ethics and Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter Laudato Si: A Teaching Module

This open-source teaching module consists of:

1) This Teaching Note for the instructor provides background on the Encyclical and specific discussion questions which the instructor can use to guide discussion in class.  After each discussion question, this note identifies key points students or the instructor should make during the discussion. The teaching note concludes with “A Summary the Instructor May Use to Conclude Discussion.”

Download: Teaching Module on Encyclical Laudato Si.pdf

2) “Student Handout Readings on Laudato Si”  is a separate document to be read by students before class.  It can be reproduced and handed out, or sent electronically to students.  It consists of a short description of five key themes in the Encyclical, the important question or questions raised by that theme, and selected paragraphs from the Encyclical addressing that theme.  If read thoughtfully in advance, it should provide adequate preparation for the students to participate in the discussion outlined in this teaching note.

Download: Student Handout Readings on Laudato Si.pdf

This teaching module is designed to be used in a single 50 to 60 minute class period, or a shorter period over several days.  It can be used in several different types of courses, including a business ethics course, an environmental studies course, a religious studies course, among others.  The type of course will determine which discussion questions and discussion points the instructor wishes to emphasize.   The authors were particularly focused on providing a way to use the Encyclical in a business ethics class

This module is designed to permit the students to discuss the encyclical by Pope Francis and its major themes, without having to read the entire encyclical.  A link is provided in the “Excerpts” document to the full text of the Encyclical on the Vatican website.  For several of the themes, additional paragraphs from the Encyclical are recommended which further develop the theme.

The authors ask that when you use this module, please send an email to the authors telling: 1) how you used the module, 2) how the students responded to the reading assignment and to the discussion, and 3) what changes you would recommend in this module and future similar modules.  Please email and

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