Inclusive Language Statement
The Department of Theology, in keeping with stated policy from the Faculty Handbook of the University of Notre Dame, "calls upon" all members of the departmental community - faculty, staff, and students - to adopt "respectful and gender-inclusive language" in "the conduct of their work and their social life both within and outside the Notre Dame community" (University of Notre Dame Faculty Handbook, 2006-2007, p. 106).
Interpreting this university policy in light of their corporate vision of the dignity of the human person and strong belief in the formative and transformative power of language, the Department of Theology commits itself to use respectful and gender-inclusive language for human beings in all its official departmental documents and correspondence, including those put forth by way of Internet communication.
The department further calls upon its faculty, staff, and students, graduate and undergraduate, to adopt respectful and gender-inclusive language for human beings throughout all academic coursework, inclusive of classroom presentations and conversations, course syllabi, and both written and oral student assessment materials. In addition, the department encourages all its members to use such language while participating in all their collegial and social gatherings.
The Department of Theology recognizes the ongoing debate and conflicting views about gender-sensitive language for God. As a result, the department currently adopts no formal policy statement concerning language for God. At the same time, the department is committed to promoting exchange of ideas and sharing of faith relative to the use of language for the divine.
Overall, the department commits itself to common exploration of ways that the uses of language for both God and humanity by all its members foster a culture of inclusion and equity in academy, church, and society.