The vocation of the businessperson is a genuine and human and Christian calling. Its importance in the life of the Church and in the world economy can hardly be overstated.” Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vocation of the Business Leader

BUSINESS (2)In exploring the connection of faith and business, students will explore, ponder, and discuss how the core affirmations of the tradition of Catholic social teaching such as the dignity of the person, the common good, and participation are not only compatible with the principles of business but actually contribute to its effectiveness in the fullest sense on both the systems and individual practitioner level.

Faith and Business Speakers

David Cloutier, PhD

Dr. David Cloutier is associate professor of theology, and joined the STRS faculty in 2016 after spending ten years at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. He teaches moral theology, with particular interests in economic ethics, sexual ethics, and the environment. He is the author of four books, including the award-winning The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age. Dr. Cloutier is published in a variety of traditional and web-based media, as well as serving as editor for the group blog,




Chad Pecknold, PhD

Dr. Chad Pecknold received his PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) and since 2008 he has been a Professor of Historical & Systematic Theology in the School of Theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He teaches in the areas of fundamental theology, Christian anthropology, and political theology. He is the author of several books, a frequent contributor to First Things and National Review magazines.





karen-desantisVictor and Karen DeSantis

Vic and Karen DeSantis have been married for many years. They have two sons and live in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Karen is a partner with Kirkland and Ellis, LLP Washington office. She concentrates on complex, commercial litigation in defense of Fortune 500 companies, with a focus on product liability and mass tort litigation. In her many years as a lawyer, she has represented companies such as BP America, Inc. and General Motors.

Karen is a graduate of Princeton University and the Univeristy of Notre Dame Law School.

Karen sits on the Board of Trustees at the University of Notre Dame and is a visiting professor at
both the vic-desantisNotre Dame Law School and The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.

Vic is a partner with White & Case, LLP in Washington, D.C. He specializes on international project finance and cross-boarder transactions. He has extensive experience with large financial corportions including many international banking institutions.

Vic is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Karen and Vic DeSantis are both devout Catholics who share openly how their faith effects their careers, the charity work they get involved with, and their interactions with colleagues. Both are parishioners at Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown.

In my opinion, the best thing we did at Light the World was visit the law firm as well as the mass on the roof. The law firm provided talks from interesting people that made me think about a career in law and the rooftop mass was an experience that can’t be beat. –Phil, Participant 2016