Minor in Catholic Studies

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Catholic Studies refers to the interdisciplinary academic program that allows students to explore the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) as it has contributed to and is manifested in a range of academic fields including theology, philosophy, literature, history, art and music, and the social sciences. Grounded in the guiding principles of the necessary dialogue between faith and reason and the integrative interconnectedness of all knowledge, the minor in Catholic Studies examines the Catholic heritage in its theological, philosophical, historical, literary, artistic and scientific expressions and the influence that tradition of ideas, beliefs and values has exerted on Western and global cultures. Students in the minor are encouraged also 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 their generation today and will continue to do so into the future.

The courses that are available for the Catholic Studies Minor or certificate change every semester; they are listed in the schedule of courses issued by the Registrar’s Office. Students should consult with the director of the program, June-Ann Greeley, to plan their course of study.

Required Course of Study

Seminars in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT Seminars) I & II

Remaining four elective courses must be selected from Theology and Religious Studies and at least one other distinct discipline in consultation with the director of the program, but overall the minor course of study should include no more than two courses in any one discipline.

All students taking a minor in Catholic Studies must complete as a final course either an Independent Study Capstone course with a capstone paper or a Catholic Studies capstone paper based on the final course taken for the Catholic Studies minor. The candidate for the minor in Catholic Studies has full discretion in the selection of department for the Independent Study or the final course that will generate the capstone paper; however, the director of the minor must be able to participate in the criteria for the capstone paper in the latter circumstance. The purpose of the capstone course and paper is to afford the candidate an opportunity to integrate his/her Catholic Studies academic history of the Catholic intellectual tradition in Catholic Studies courses into a systematic and meaningful curriculum of readings and scholarship.

Learning Goals

At the completion of each course in Catholic Studies, including the capstone course, the student seeking a minor in Catholic Studies will be able to:

  • explain in detail one significant Roman Catholic doctrine and evaluate how the contents of the course curriculum variously interpreted and expressed that doctrine within the context of the Catholic Intellectual Traditions.
  • describe and analyze at least two significant themes characteristic of the Catholic Intellectual Traditions as reflected in the course materials, using discipline-specific sources and methods.
  • evaluate critically the role of Catholic institutions, persons, movements and/or ideas in a discrete historical, philosophical, artistic and/or cultural period, according to discipline- specific sources and methodologies.
  • explore, analyze and synthesize connection of at least one of the previous three goals between two or among more than two designated Catholic Studies courses in each student’s specific program of study.

Assessment of Minor Course of Study

The Capstone paper is meant to fulfill two requirements: afford the student a 'place' to assess personal understanding of the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and allow the student a venue to explore critically major themes of the Catholic Intellectual Traditions, inclusive of other courses in the minor. The director of the minor, as well as other identified faculty mentors, can offer assistance and guidance to the student for the latter aspect of the capstone paper, if the instructor so prefers. The director, along with each instructor, will encourage each CaS minor candidate to consider the capstone paper as a potential submission for writing contests as well as for (student) publications.

At the completion of the capstone project for the minor, CaS students will asked to participate in a presentation ceremony that will be held at the end of the academic year, to which all CaS minor candidates, as well as interested faculty and staff will be invited. During the ceremony, CaS students will each present a short talk on their minor course of study and offer a summary of and reflection on their capstone paper, after which each CaS student will be available for Q&A from the audience. At the close of the entire ceremony, each CaS minor will receive a certificate in honor of their accomplishment.

More Information

For more information, contact June-Ann Greeley at 203-371-7713 or email greeleyj@sacredheart.edu