Dr. Michael J. Naughton portrait

Dr. Michael J. Naughton

Interim Director, Center for Catholic Studies Director, John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought Professor, Catholic Studies and Ethics and Business Law
302 Sitzmann Hall
(651) 962-5712

Michael Naughton is the holder of the Alan W. Moss Endowed Chair in Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) where he is a full professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Catholic Studies (College of Arts and Sciences) and of Ethics and Business Law (Opus College of Business).  He is currently the interim director of the Center for Catholic Studies, which is the oldest and largest Catholic Studies program in the world.  He is also the director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, at the Center for Catholic Studies. He is the author and editor of nine books and over 30 articles. He helped coordinate and write the Vocation of the Business Leader issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (2012), which will soon be translated into 16 languages. He currently serves as board chair for Reell Precision Manufacturing (for profit) and board member for Seeing Things Whole (non-profit).

Curriculum Vitae


Awards & Honors

  • Julie Hays Teaching Award of the Opus College of Business chosen by faculty, students and alumni at the Opus College of Business. The Award “recognizes faculty members who exemplify an ongoing commitment to teaching and learning.” 2014.
  • Awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley California and inducted into the school’s College of Fellows, 2009.
  • National Outstanding Course Award for "Christian Faith and the Management Professions: An Entrepreneurial Perspective," First Place from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 2002.
  • The University of St. Thomas Business Ethics Award for 2001.

Video & Audio Presentations

 "Beyond Career to Calling: Understanding Work as a Vocation within the Catholic Social Tradition." Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, November 7, 2011.

“Is it Possible to Work This Way?” 2014 New York Encounter-January 18, 2014. A presentation of a new approach to work, business, profit and competition, with Michael Naughton, Director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, University of Saint Thomas, and Bernhard Scholz, President of Compagnia delle Opere, an international network of 35,000 profit and non-profit entities.

“Constructing Business and Familial Relationships” Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, Reflections Series 2012.

(audio) Divided Life: A Bigger Challenge Than We May Know (September 2010) at St. Olaf's Catholic Church, Minneapolis, MN

Selected Publications


Leading Wisely in Difficult Times: Three Cases of Faith and Business, 2011 (Co-author David Specht)

Bringing Your Business to Life: The Four Virtues that Will Help You Build a Better Business-and a Better Life, 2008 (Co-author Jeff Cornwall).

Managing as if Faith Mattered: Christian Social Principles in the Modern Organization, 2001 (co-author Helen Alford-translated into Spanish, Russian and Hungarian with Italian and Chinese in progress)

Rethinking the Purpose of Business: Interdisciplinary Essays in the Catholic Social Tradition, Spring, 2002 (co-editor, S.A. Cortright, translation in Chinese in progress)

Rediscovering Abundance: Interdisciplinary Essays on Wealth, Income and their Distribution in the Catholic Social Tradition, 2005 (co-editors, Helen Alford, Charles Clark, S.A. Cortright).


The Ethical Executive America (May 2012)

Culture as the Basis of The Good Entrepreneur, Journal of Religion and Business Ethics (2009) With Jeff Cornwall.

The Corporation as a Community of Work: Understanding the Firm Within the Catholic Social Tradition, Ave Maria Law Journal (Winter 2006) 33-75.

Bridging the Gap: Catholic Health Care Organizations need Concrete Ways to Connect Catholic Social Principles to Practice, Health Progress, (December 2006) With Bill Brinkman; T. Dean Maines; Michael Stebbins and Arnold Weimerskirch. 

"Catholic Social Tradition: Thought, Teaching and Practice," Health Progress (January 2006).

"Distributors of Justice: A Case for a Just Wage," America, (May 17, 2000).