Following are resources on ethics and
virtue in the field of
athletics and sports
gleaned from Internet reference searches.
No compensation received for
these listing, except an occasional link exchange.
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For your convenience, following are new
Councils, Institutes and Foundations:
Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics (JIIA): Critically
examining ethical, social, economic, and political issues surrounding
college sport in the United States and providing readers with
thought-provoking editorials, research articles, and reviews.
John Paul II Foundation for Sport – Peace Through Sport. "A sports
foundation inspired by John Paul II’s vision for sport, which has as its
primary focus the building of character through sport skills and
God’s Way: "What it looks like to be a Christian in sports
culture.…to see Christians glorifying God in sports culture rather than
just conforming to it." Click on Topics for articles on various
different topics that are prevalent in sport.
a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches of all ages,
youth through professional, for boys, girls, young men and young women.
Check out the Latest Updates section.
Varsity Catholic: "With a desire to serve the formative needs of
student-athletes,…We offer them an opportunity to learn how to live as
Christian athletes on the college campus."
- International Sports Ministry: Promotes a Christian presence in sport, to take the
teachings of the Bible and to apply them to sport.
Saint John Paul II Speaks to Athletes: Homilies, Messages and
Speeches on Sport
"Sporting Activity in the Thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI" by
Bishop Josef Clemens
The Champions of Character "Five Core Values": help young people – and
those associated with their development – make good choices in all aspects
of their life and reflect the true spirit of competition. 5 Core Values:
Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, Servant Leadership.
Church and Sport - Pontifical Council for the Laity.
"To foster a sports culture, as a means of
bringing about the holistic growth of the person at the service of peace
and brotherhood between peoples."
Association of Church Sports and Recreation Ministers (CSRM): Train,
equip and resource local church staff and volunteers, mobilizing them to
build bridges in their communities using sport, recreation and leisure
activities for the purpose of leading people into a personal
relationship with Christ.
Catholic Athletes for Christ: There are seven core virtues that
Catholic Athletes for Christ consider to be very valuable in the
practice of the faith for athletes and those involved in the world of
sports. They are Charity, Honesty, Humility, Meekness, Moderation,
Purity, and Good-Sportsmanship.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes: challenging coaches and athletes
to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus
Christ through Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.
Foundation for the Study of Sports & the Christian Spiritual Life:
"our hope is that the community of believers might come to view their
participation in sports not as yet another activity on an already busy
schedule, but instead as an intentional and active desire to encounter
the sacredness of Christ amidst even the most seemingly profane
The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development at
Neumann University is rooted in the Catholic Franciscan tradition and
believes that sport possesses an inescapable spiritual and ethical
dimension that merits academic exploration and practical application.
Publications and Resources that help student-athletes, coaches,
administrators, and mentors foster the growth of their communities.
Prayer for the Game of Life
Richard Cardinal Cushing
Press On Toward The Goal - Philippians 3:13
Prayer - Franciscan University, Steubenville OH
"Team Prayer" Coach Lou Holtz
Brian Cavanaugh, TOR
Role of a Sports Chaplain:
Sports Chaplaincy UK - Serving Sport Through Excellence in Chaplaincy - provides ‘holistic pastoral and spiritual
care…all towards the well-being of people in sport.’
The Sports Chaplain – Educator and Pastor (Pontifical Council of the
Laity – Church and Sport).
"Sports Chaplain/Character Coach's Development Plan" Roger Lipe
Sports Chaplains Network: to develop a national network of
gospel-centered sports chaplains who are focused on developing disciples
through relational ministry. Resource Categories (scroll down page).
Sport Chaplaincy: Adding a Game Face to the Many Faces of Chaplaincy
by Anthony Maranise (in "Inside Homeland Security" as well as edited
into a chapter in the textbook, "Sports Chaplaincy: Trends, Issues, &
Debates," edited by Drs. Andrew Parker, Nick Watson, & John White),
2014; 2016, respectively.
"Sports Clichés to Avoid Using" by Roger Lipe
Sports Team Chaplains: offer a special ministry to student-athletes
and make them aware of God’s presence on the field, court, and rink.
The Institute for Sport, Spirituality and
Character Development – Neumann University.
Sports Team Chaplaincy Guide.
Sports Devotionals: Verité Sport - International Sports Ministry
Athletic Commissioning Mass: Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, President of
Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivers his homily at the annual
Athletic Commissioning Mass. The Mass is offered up for all of the athletes,
coaches, and support staff that participate in Franciscan University's NCAA
Division III athletic programs.
Chapel: an international ministry recognized by Major and Minor League
Baseball and is responsible for the appointment and oversight of all team
chapel leaders. Includes Daily Devotions and resource materials.
Coaching Staff and Sport Chaplain Expectations (FCA Chaplains)
"Collegiate Sport Chaplaincy: Problems and Promise" by Steven
Waller, Ph.D., D. Min., Lars Dzikus, Ph.D., Robin Hardin, Ph.D. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 2008, 1, 107-123
107. © 2008 College Sport Research Institute.
Collegiate Sports Chaplains
- Exploration of an Emerging Profession (ChaplainsConnect)
Epic Spiritual Development Plan for Athletes" by Coach Jay Phillips.
But what on earth is a spiritual development plan? Where do we start
when designing a spiritual development plan?
A Reflection on the Practice of Sports Chaplaincy - Urban Theology
of a Chaplain – Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
Virtues, Ethics and Character Development:
"The Content of Our Character: Ten Essential Virtues" by Tom Lickona
adapted from Character Matters. What is the content of good
character? How a school defines character – what it includes or omits in
its target virtues – will shape the goals and activities of its
character education initiative.
Habits You Can Use To Be Successful (And Some To Avoid): One of the
best ways to improve yourself is through good habits.…it really can make
a difference in how successful you are at accomplishing your goals.
The Life of Virtue - Virtue in Sport? The English Dominican
Studenate, Saturday, September 05, 2009
"Players' Code of Conduct"
The Power of
What is Servant Leadership? (Greenleaf Center for Servant
Leadership): The phrase "Servant Leadership" was coined by Robert K.
Greenleaf in "The Servant as Leader," first published in 1970.
The 52 Virtues: Here are the 52 virtues that have inspired the 52
Virtues Project. They are taken from "The Virtues Project Educator’s
Guide: Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Character."
Cardinal Virtues: A Course of Addresses to Young Men by Joseph Rickaby,
S.J. (University of Notre Dame). Click on a Chapter Title to move to that
section. Or, click on left/right arrow at very bottom of page to move
forward or backward to another section.
Catholic News Agency - Resources - Virtues: Includes
The Nature of Virtue,
Character Action Media: consists of video-based lessons of inspiring
stories of individuals living out the personal and civic virtues in ways
that are relevant to youth. Lessons help students understand the
virtues, inspire them to live out the virtues, and present individual
and group activities relevant to the focused virtues.
Character Education: The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa
Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics
(Baylor University): Helping to think
with a Christian mind about the ethical issues in our society.
"Schooling the Young into Goodness" (Center for Christian Ethics
at Baylor University), © 2009, Darin H. Davis and Paul J. Wadell.
Moral education should provide the young with an understanding of
life worthy of themselves – a
compelling account of goodness and how to achieve it. If we ask the
young only to pursue their desires, should we be surprised if,
instead of being uplifted by the freedom we hold out to them, they
become bored and disenchanted?
Christian Reflection - Ethics Library (Christian Reflection - Baylor
"Virtue and The Art of Living" by Dr. Edward P. Sri. A
10-part series of essays on virtue and the art of living. Lay Witness is a publication of
Catholic United for the Faith, Inc.
Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice,
Fortitude & Temperance
The Art of Living: Agony, Anxiety, and Decisiveness.
The Art of Living: Patience and Perseverance.
Called to Greatness: The Virtue of Magnanimity.
Vainglory: Seeking the Praise of Men.
Temperance and the Art of Eating.
Anger and Virtue.
Don't Impose Your Morality on Me!
The Virtue of Prudence by Douglas McManaman
The Virtue-Driven Life by Mark Lowery, Ph.D. There are four cardinal
moral virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. They are
called "cardinal" from the Latin word for "hinge," (cardo,
the whole life of natural virtue pivots on these four key virtues. Think
of these as "grooves" in your life that keep you headed toward your final
destiny. Every particular virtue
- patience, magnanimity, gratitude,
- belongs to one of these grooves.
Virtue of Sport - St. John Paul II
(PDF) Catholic Register – Canada, 25 July 2012
Virtues for Life: Designed to inspire and coach you in the daily
practice of virtues so that you can achieve your personal best and,
consequently, lead a more extraordinary life.
Virtues For Well-Being: Living With Peacefulness In Any Life Situation
by Rachel Perry.
Virtuous Leadership: A 12-point summary of Alexandre Havard’s model.
Havard states that "Leadership is intrinsically linked to virtue." This
summary includes the virtues of magnanimity and humility, prudence
(practical wisdom), courage, self-control and justice. "By practicing
the virtues, leaders become mature in their judgments, emotions, and
Virtues List: Virtues are the essence of our character and
character does indeed determine destiny. The more we recognize the
potential impact that practicing virtues can have on our lives, the
more our lives open up to new possibilities and to greater joy and
"Are You a Real Team? Jon Gordon (PDF)
Be A Man: Joe Ehrmann at TEDxBaltimore (Feb 20, 2013). Joe Ehrmann
has been an educator, author, activist, pastor and coach for more than
25 years. He was a college All-American athlete who played professional
football for 13 years. Among numerous awards, Joe has been named "The
Most Important Coach in America" for his work to transform the culture
Between Active & Contemplative: The Co-mingling of Sports & Christian
Theology by Anthony Maranise (in "The Church Health Reader"), 2015.
"Clarity is a Virtue" Joe Ehrmann
"Character and Sports" by Dan Roloff. The High Calling, Oct. 10,
"The Christian's Competitive Instinct" by Earl Palmer. "The word for
competition in the New Testament is the Greek word athleo, from
which we have the English word athletic.…[St.] Paul uses the word
athleo. He competes as one of a team of runners united against
hardships, dangers, fears, and time – not against people or one another.
This is the best way to compete, because it focuses not on my
superiority or inadequacy alongside fellow athletes but our work
together in a grand race to God’s glory…"
"The Coach for Our Lives: Role of
the Holy Spirit in the New Millennium." © March 2007, Fr. Brian
"Coaches' Code of Conduct" Joe Ehrmann
"Cooperative Competition" Joe Ehrmann
"Discipline & Knowledge - Proverbs 23:12" Roger Lipes
"Don’t Let Conflict Keep You from Success" by Chris Widener
Emotional Health of Athletes and Coaches in Sport - Part 1:
Interview with Assistant Professor Benjamin Houltberg from Indiana
University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW);
Part 2 of interview with Assistant Professor Houltberg.
Faith and Athletics Blog: Creating the Intersection of Faith and
God is Greater than the Game by Anthony Maranise (in "The West
Tennessee Catholic" newspaper), 2009.
Honoring God through Sports (YouTube): Famous athletes that are not
ashamed of whom they belong 2. Using your talent and winning is not a
problem as long as your heart is on the right place and putting God
"How Not to Determine Your Self-Worth" by Jay Phillips (FaithandAthletics.com).
There is a problem in contemporary athletics that is played out in our
homes, high schools, colleges, with our idols of the game, and in
plenty of movies. Many young men and women derive their self-worth from
their success or failure in sport.
and Redemptive - Theology of Sports" by Richard McGrath, OSA,
Momentum, Nov./Dec.2009, pp. 8-12. When done well and initiated from an
appropriate Gospel perspective, the good experiences in sports spill
over into the lives of players, parents and siblings, into the lives of
their coaches and teachers and to the entire Catholic community.
"Inspiration Evokes the Vision - Motivation Empowers the Mission"
"Lessons From the Racquetball Court"
"The Man Who Is Not Afraid of Failure Seldom Has to Face It"
"Perfectionism Doesn’t Look Like We Think it Does": Most of us
associate perfectionism with achievement, but they are not the same.
Aleteia | Calah Alexander | Jul 20, 2017.
Philosophic Reflections in Sport ~ A Collection of Essays.
Jerzy Kosiewicz, Academy of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland,
Philosophy of Sport: news and views related to the philosophical
dimensions of sport.
Practice Makes Perfect: Growing Spiritually through Sports Participation
by Anthony Maranise (in "The Catholic World: A Journal at the
Intersection of Faith & Culture"), 2009.
Press On Toward The Goal - Philippians 3:13
"Proverbs 13:4 - Lazy of Diligent?"
"The Pursuit of Excellence and the Scourge of Doping: Ethics in Sport as
a Social Paradigm" by Fr. Kevin Lixey, LC, International Sport
Forum, June 2, 2010, Brussels.
"A Reason To Win – The Only Disability in Life is a Bad Attitude":
Matthew Jeffers, a senior acting major at Towson University in Maryland
wrote a letter to the Baltimore Ravens, his favorite NFL team. It was a
perspective of his struggles with Skeletal Dysplasia, in relation to the
struggles of winning a Super Bowl, with the ultimate lesson that, "Life
is not fair," it doesn't care about feeling sorry for yourself or
"Self-Talk of Persistence & Perseverance" Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
"The Spirit in Competition" by Tim Stafford. The High Calling, Jan.
"The Spirituality of Sports in Catholic Schools" by Chad Evans,
Momentum, Nov./Dec.2009, pp. 36-38.
"Sports and Character: Five Question! Five Answers" by Edward
DeRoche, Momentum, Nov./Dec.2009.
Sports and Christianity Bulletin: Essays on issues and topics in
Christianity and Sports.
"Sports and God" – Remarks by Ray McKenna, Catholic Athletes for
Christ, Presented to the International Seminar on Sports at the Service
of Humanity, Vatican Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican City,
September 2, 2014.
"Sports and Spirituality in Jesuit Higher Education" by Mark
Bandsuch, S.J. Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Volume 21
Article 6, 4-1-2002.
Sports Are Not Only Play, But Are a Way to Sainthood. July
23, 2018 | ZENIT interview with Fr. Patrick Kelly, SJ, Ph.D., associate
professor, Seattle University: "…sports has a significant impact on
human beings and relationships between cultures, nations and religious
"Sport in Light of the Year of St. Paul and in Response to the
‘Educational Emergency’" by Fr. Kevin Lixey, LC. Sports Symposium in
conjunction with the XX Parafiada Games, John Paul II Olympic Center,
Warsaw, July 7, 2008.
Superstition & Religious Ritual: An Examination of their Effects &
Utilization in Sports from a Judeo-Christian Perspective by Anthony
Maranise (in "The Sport Psychologist"), 2013.
"Timeless Lessons From John Wooden, the Greatest Coach of All Time"
– SUCCESS March 13, 2016. Four essays from those influenced by the
leadership icon and legendary basketball coach
Toward a Theology of Competition and Sport by Dr. Greg Linville.
"What Do Sports and Prayer Have in Common?" by Charles Bouvier –
Aleteia, March 4, 2017.
What Makes a Team Strong?
"Whether God Has a Rooting Interest" by Marek Fuchs (NY Times)
Wooden Wednesday: Try to Help Others Every Day (PDF)
"Work & Play: What is the Spirit of the Game?" by Dan Roloff. The
High Calling, Sept. 14, 2009.
Quotations on Sports:
Books on Sports: