2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Catholic Studies

The Department of Catholic Studies aims to preserve, transmit, develop, and advance the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the Catholic intellectual tradition. It is the University’s only department that intentionally and directly reflects the University’s Mission and Catholic identity and provides students with a solid, interdisciplinary foundation in the Catholic intellectual tradition (CIT) through teaching the University’s academic signature core seminars: The Human Journey Seminars: Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; through the interdisciplinary minor in Catholic Studies, and through the co-curricular programs it offers throughout the University.

Using seminar pedagogy, the two seminars provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the roots and development of the Catholic intellectual tradition as an ongoing, 2,000-year-old conversation between the community of Catholic thinkers, writers, and artists and the cultures in which they have lived, discussing fundamental questions about God, humanity, society, and nature. The two seminars introduce students to fundamental claims of the tradition and framed by the following enduring questions of human existence: What does it mean to be human, to live a life of meaning and purpose, to understand and appreciate the natural world, and to form a more just society for the common good? The seminars engage students to reflect on how these questions relate to them and the world in which they live.

Further, the Department of Catholic Studies offers students a 15 credit interdisciplinary minor, which examines the Catholic intellectual tradition in its theological, philosophical, historical, literary, artistic, scientific, and professional expressions and explores the influence that tradition of ideas, beliefs, and values has exerted on Western and global cultures. Students in the minor are encouraged to explore the potential influence the CIT may have on developing constructive and positive solutions to the social, political, economic, ethical, and environmental issues that confront the contemporary world. Students in any major field of study will find a minor in Catholic Studies a distinctive way to broaden and deepen their understanding of their major discipline as well as to provide them with skills and understanding that will support their professional work in the world after graduation.

Completing a minor in Catholic Studies provides students from any discipline or major with a strong background in the knowledge and skills needed in every professional or career sector. Students gain a broad based interdisciplinary knowledge focused by big questions facing the contemporary world. Students also develop the necessary and practical skills, intercultural awareness, and moral and ethical understanding that employers seek in today’s college graduates.

In addition, the Department of Catholic Studies promotes faculty research, scholarship, and development. Further, through its signature The Human Journey Colloquia Series, the Department offers the University and local community a wide array of colloquia, lectures, and cultural events. The Department also offers conferences and study abroad opportunities that advance understanding and appreciation of the richness and breadth of Catholic intellectual thought.

Joining with the Office of Mission and Catholic Identity, Campus Ministry, and Student Life, the Department of Catholic Studies provides students with a variety of opportunities to explore Catholic intellectual, spiritual, and social thinking and action.








Professor, Department Chair




Associate Lecturer