Faith-Based Learning Network

The GC-DWC founded the Faith-Based Learning Network (FLN) to support research and dialogue that make the case for faith-based communities addressing the global challenge of children who are not reaching their full potential. The FLN is comprised of experts and mentors in the fields of theology, childhood development, innovation systems, and learning communities who work together to enhance the collective impact of faith-based community programs through the following actions:

  • Articulating a common theory for action based on scientific knowledge and practical experience.
  • Developing shared metrics and evaluation frameworks for interventions.
  • Fostering an ongoing learning community to accelerate innovation through sharing lessons and results.
  • Encouraging policy translation through cross-sectional leadership development.

Through sharing results and discussing lessons learned, the FLN is generating a body of research and practical knowledge on how to develop, refine, and evaluate innovative interventions that build pathways out of adversity for vulnerable children. Currently, projects are being implemented and evaluated in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

If you are interested in participating, please email

Invest in our Youth: Conversations in Science and Theology to Support a Faith-based and Scientific Approach to Creating Change for the World’s Youth

Invest in our Youth book coverIn a world of increasing political turmoil, environmental tumult, and secularization, how do faith and early childhood development science converge to create a world where the most vulnerable not only survive but thrive?

Presented as a conversation between two colleagues at the University of Notre Dame —a priest and a psychologist— Invest in our Youth explores the synergies between early childhood development science and Catholic Social Tradition. For Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC and Neil Boothby, Ed.D., their decades of experience working in high-poverty areas underscore the irreplaceable role faith-based institutions play in the delivery of long-term pathways forward; therefore, finding deeper linkages between the sciences and faith, which are often in short supply in a postmodern context, are more important than ever. Developed for those championing change for children in the most vulnerable parts of our world, Fr. DelFra and Dr. Boothby present the science and theology behind investing in early childhood development and illustrate how Catholic Social Tradition paints a directive to address the needs of those at the margins of society, while science, in turn, shows us how to do so.

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Imagine Tomorrow Today - "What could we do?" 

Neil Boothby, Fr. Lou DelFra, and Danta Bien-Aimé share a conversation exploring the compatibility of faith and science in activating the Church to invest in child development and learning: Thinking globally and acting locally, asking, "What we could do?"