What Is Integral Human Development?


Every human being is complex, with multiple identities that shape our experiences in countless ways. We define ourselves through our work, our cultural identities, our artistic creativity, our religious and spiritual practices, and our relationships with others around the world—our families, our communities, and all of humanity.

Integral human development embraces this complexity. The heart of the Keough School’s mission, this cross-disciplinary approach to human dignity proposes solutions that consider the whole person.

While the term “integral human development” derives from Catholic social teachings, the concept isn’t unique to any one faith tradition, or even to faith at all. It’s a universal way of thinking about, interacting with, and understanding others. And it’s how the most thoughtful and enduring answers to poverty, war, disease, and oppression will be found.