J. Brian Benestad, Ph.D., Director
The Catholic Studies Program seeks to provide every student with the opportunity to engage the Catholic tradition in a deeper and broader way than the typical program of studies can provide. Accordingly, this program casts a wide net over what the Catholic tradition and heritage are and how they interface with human endeavor. Catholic Studies is a specialization built around a multi-disciplinary core that provides a systematic way of integrating the many facets of Catholic tradition with various academic disciplines. Because Catholic tradition is integrally linked to virtually every subject, it can provide a natural integrative coherence for nearly all majors and areas of studies. Thus the CSP provides a good means of organizing many general education requirements into a unified concentration; it is an attractive academic program for rounding out a student’s Catholic higher education.
The Catholic Studies Program consists of both inter- and uni-disciplinary courses that provide opportunities to study the Catholic heritage in the ancient and the contemporary Church alike, and give access to the rich forms in which it has been expressed in literature, art, architecture, music, history, philosophy, science, etc. Catholic Studies welcomes all interested students whether or not they are Catholic. It is compatible with all majors. Ideally, students will enter in their freshman year, but it is possible for students to enter in their sophomore year. Courses in the program will meet either general education, major, minor or cognate requirements. All non-CSP students are welcome in any course(s) in the program, but CSP students are given enrollment preference. Honors tutorials are encouraged. SJLA students are welcome.
All courses taught in the Catholic Studies Program will seek to promote appreciation of the Catholic tradition by being faithful to the Church’s apostolic teaching. Courses will also encourage students (1) to integrate faith and academics; (2) to study the Catholic Tradition in an intellectually rigorous way; (3) to assess human intellectual activity and experience in the light of the Catholic faith; and (4) to examine the experience of Catholics in history, politics, various social groups, philosophical and religious movements, and/or science and technology.
The concentration consists of 18 credits: T/RS 214C is required; the other 15 are electives. Students may build their studies on their majors and interests. Students are invited to petition for readers that meet program standards. Students may likewise seek permission for courses not cross-listed to count for credit, provided they are eligible to do significant Catholic Studies work in them.