By Dr. Jeffrey Marlett

The School of Pastoral Leadership in collaboration with the Office of Human Life & Dignity is pleased to announce an online course called Immigration: The In-Between Life Issue. 

How is immigration a life issue? Isn’t it simply a matter of political policy–over which Catholics may certainly disagree? The Church’s position on provocative topics like abortion is well-known. However, the spiritual and intellectual sources behind the headlines–the Catholic social tradition (CST)–is less known.  In fact, it has been called “the Church’s best kept secret.” CST provides the foundation for the Church’s consistent life ethic, an understanding of life issues that extends beyond abortion to include physician-assisted suicide and capital punishment. The Church’s view on immigration, and support for immigrants, draws on the same CST resources. This course will examine these sources–ranging from Scripture to papal encyclicals and recent bishops’ statements–to appreciate immigration’s position, particularly in the American context, as another “life issue” worthy of Catholic consideration.

About the Professor

Dr. Jeffrey Marlett

Jeffrey D. Marlett is a professor of religious studies whose primary interests are American studies, all areas of Roman Catholic studies, and religious histories of rural America. “Story, location, and belief—the particularities of these three elements have always animated my research interests,” the author notes in his faculty profile on the College of St. Rose website. Marlett has also taught a wide variety of religious studies and philosophy courses, covering topics such as ethics, mysticism, world religions, Biblical studies, and the history of Christianity.  

5 Principles on Immigration with Archbishop Salvatore

Class 1:


Class 2:

Catholic social justice, 7 principles (USCCB)

Class 3:

Vatican II and American Catholic historical examples

Class 4:

Recent papal statements (St. John Paul II to Francis)

Class 5:

USCCB documents on immigration (and current issues)

Class 6: