In October 2018, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. established two Tasks Forces to inform the University’s response to news of a crisis of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. One of these, the Research and Scholarship Task Force, was charged to consider ways in which Notre Dame’s scholarly and research expertise might presently serve the Church. 

The Task Force also urged for the provision of research grants to address the various aspects of the crisis including, but not limited to, proposals that address maintaining safe environments for minors, maintaining safe environments for adults in asymmetrical power relationships, understanding the history and causes of the crisis, and proposing reforms in the Church and society to which the current crisis gives rise. 

In his statement to the University of Notre Dame campus community on March 4, 2019, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. announced that the University would provide up to $1 million over the next three years to fund research projects that address issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis.

Grant Programs

Sponsored by the President’s Office and administered by Notre Dame Research, Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research (CSAC) Grant Program offers Initiation and Research grants to fund research that addresses issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis.

  • The CSAC Initiation Grant is intended to support early-stage research initiatives that could lead to longer-term, more comprehensive projects. Awards for the Initiation Grant are funded up to $10,000.

  • The CSAC Research Grant is intended to fund projects that are comprehensive in scope, budget and impact, with the Research Grant funding projects up to $50,000.


The current CSAC awardees include:

Initiation Grant

Year Award Recipient Title
2019 Mark Doerries Passion of the Innocents: Engaging the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Through a New Musical Setting of the Passion
2019 Amanda G. McKendree Responsiveness, Reconciliation, and Renewal: Crisis Leadership and Clergy Sexual Abuse

Research Grant

Year Award Recipient Title
2019 David Clairmont Religion, Ethics, and Power: Charting a Catholic Interdisciplinary Response to the Abuse Crisis through Theology, Psychology and Law
2019 Kathleen Cummings Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church
2019 Richard Garnett Consequences of the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Related Legal Issues and Policy Changes
2019 Daniel Hungerman The Abuse Crisis and Social Wellbeing: An Investigation of “Deaths of Despair”
2019 Katy Lichon The Impact of the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis on Parish Life and Catholic Education: Pastor Responses and Recommendations for Practice
2019 Daniel Philpott The Truth Will Make You Free: Do National Truth Commissions Hold Promise for the Catholic Church’s Response to the Sexual Abuse Crisis?
2019 Clemens Sedmak Towards a Social Theology of the Child: Catholic Social Tradition and Child Studies in Dialogue
2019 Kristin Valentino Evaluating the Efficacy of Child Abuse Prevention Programs in Catholic Elementary Schools