Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences


This thesis seeks to contribute to the emerging field of socially responsible investing. The first chapter provides an overview ofthe history of socially responsible investing, including explanations of four essential strategies. The four strategies, specifically, are avoidance screening, affirmative screening, community investing, and shareholder activism. The second chapter examines the 1991 and 2003 editions of the United States bishops’ “Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines.” These Guidelines are a detailed plan for socially responsible investing by the United States bishops. The third and final chapter analyzes and evaluates these Guidelines, and proposes additional policies and recommendations. One of these recommendations calls for the Guidelines to address the strategy of community investing, since this essential strategy is ignored in the extant Guidelines. The overall goals of this thesis are to provide additional assistance to any who base their investment behavior significantly on the United States bishops’ Guidelines, and to positively contribute to this burgeoning field within Catholic social thought.