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Leader Guidelines (Virtue Ethics)

Allocate time to prepare for each workshop, including time to do the Spiritual Preparation exercise, perhaps with your co-leader. Remember, this curriculum is primarily about the young people. The Spiritual Preparation exercise guides you to process your own feelings, so you will be ready and able to focus on the participants' needs.

Adapt the workshops to fit the space and time available and your group's culture, interests, and range of learning styles. Plan tight—yet be ready to execute loosely. The real-life ethical dilemmas participants bring to the group are a crucial part of this program. Leaders should always be ready to make adjustments to support youth as they work through ethical decision-making. At times, you may need to let go of a planned activity so the group can complete an important discussion. Your willingness to do so will build trust and group cohesion. The greatest gift you can give youth is your time.

Each workshop invites participants to pay attention to the difference between how a virtue is commonly perceived and how it is really lived. Leaders should do this, too. Some virtues—such as humility and forgiveness—can have negative connotations. Others—such as fairness and courage—can be hard to absolutely define. It is important for leaders to provide a safe space for youth to honestly unpack their feelings about virtues. Try to approach each virtue with an open mind and open heart and invite youth to do the same.

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Last updated on Thursday, March 15, 2012.

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