The Center for Ethics

Perhaps the most significant – and practical – ways that religious and spiritual organizations can influence science, business and other areas of society are through the discussion, education and application of ethics.

We apply ethics in our own organization

At The Ecumenical Center, we consider it an ethical mandate from our original founders to bring disparate factions together to find common ground and strengthen our community. Frankly, ethics can often be that common ground. Realizing this, and with our founders’ vision to guide us, we pioneered many of the community-based ethics programs now in use around the country.  We are proud of our history in this area and continue to implement new and relevant ethics programs.

We urge ethical considerations in all areas of life

Ethical concerns can play a part in pragmatic decisions and actions that take place every day in the realms of medicine, research, business, education, the treatment of employees, co-workers, clients and customers, and so on. Such considerations can often be key elements in successful interaction with people – and by extension, the long-term reputation and success of the organization.

We promote ethics with all of our community partners

Our ethics programs are designed to have special impact with medical practitioners, administrators and researchers, university professors and students, local and regional business owners and corporate executives, as well as our own counselors, local clergy, and others. Currently, these programs include:

Conversations About Ethics

Our Conversations About Ethics Series is presented in collaboration with The Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics. It is an annual series of lectures and workshops, generously underwritten by Methodist Healthcare Ministries, designed to foster useful community dialogue around the ethics of issues impacting the treatment of individuals in the delivery of healthcare throughout the various phases of life. We’ve had topics as diverse as the worth of a child, the mind-body connection, stem cell ethics and faith-based perspectives on suffering and healing. We hope you will join us as together we seek to better understand the issues. All of our workshops and lectures are free and open to the public. Find out more at

Business Ethics

While past corporate scandals (Enron, WorldCom, the subprime mortgage crisis) begin to fade, our responsibility to instill ethics into the next generation of business leaders becomes more urgent. At The Center, our Ethics in Business program acts as the cornerstone of the business ethics curriculum at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), University of the Incarnate Word, Trinity University, and St. Mary’s University. UTSA students are offered unprecedented access to San Antonio business leaders. They participate in on-site visits and numerous interviews. They not only get to see that success and ethics go hand in hand, but just how it’s done. Their final reports are submitted to the Ethics in Business committee who, in turn, select the recipients of up to ten Ethics in Business Awards to San Antonio organizations and individuals. All are celebrated in an annual dinner in April. (To nominate an individual or organization, start here.)