Catholic Studies refers to academic programs that allow students to explore the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as it is manifested in any and every academic field. Catholic Studies programs are broadly interdisciplinary and so distinguished from programs of study that are exclusively theological or religious, although the foundation of the Catholic Studies minor is naturally based in the teaching and history of Catholicism. Catholic Studies embraces the human quest for knowledge, with a particular focus on the role of Catholic thinkers, Catholic ideas and values and Catholic institutions in that quest.
The insight here is that the exploration of the particular gives a deeper appreciation of the universal. Thus, the word “Catholic” in the phrase “Catholic Studies” has two meanings. On the one hand, it conveys a scholarly focus on the Roman and Eastern Catholic heritage in its theological, philosophical, historical, literary, artistic and scientific expressions. On the other hand, it suggests an intellectual quest that is truly catholic—“universal” in the sense of considering how a tradition of ideas, beliefs and values has exerted influence “throughout the whole” of Western culture and, indeed, of global society.
The goal of the minor and certificates is to provide students an interdisciplinary exposure to the ideas that constitute the Catholic intellectual traditions. The courses that are applicable to 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 to plan their course of study.
Required Courses | 18 credits
Required Foundation Course
- TRS 220 Introduction to Catholic Theology (should be taken within first two years of study)
Required Electives (any two from the following core courses)
- at least one course in Ancient or Medieval Philosophy (review with Program Director)
- at least one of the following in Theology/Religious Studies: TRS 240, TRS 327, TRS 332
Remaining three elective courses must be selected from at least two distinct disciplines in consultation with the director of the program, but overall the minor course of study should include no more than three 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 and capstone paper or prepare a 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.
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.
For more information, contact June-Ann Greeley at 203-371-7713 or email email@example.com