Catholic Studies is a unique program in the university. Where most departments seek to introduce students to a special academic discipline, Catholic Studies seeks to give students a coherent vision of a larger whole. It deliberately integrates multiple disciplines—theology, philosophy, history, literature, art and even the sciences—to help students understand their lives and their faith within the Catholic intellectual tradition.
In the Catholic tradition, faith and reason are not opposed to one another, they complement one another. Faith without reason and reason without faith both distort our understanding of reality. Catholic Studies engages the student in the broad Catholic intellectual tradition, which brings faith and reason together to explore the complexity of life and creation.
Pope Francis, like Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict before him, has spoken eloquently of the need of the Church and its members to evangelize the world around us. In some parts of the world, the Gospel has never been received, while in other parts the Christian message and Christian culture have been received but diluted or even abandoned. The age in which we live calls therefore for a New Evangelization. A first step in this New Evangelization is the preparation of Christians themselves, who must commit themselves as disciples before they can be apostles. The Catholic Studies program seeks to engage students in a mature consideration of their faith, both as an object of study and as a way of life.
The Catholic way of life is not private but deeply communal. The Catholic Studies program recognizes and reflects this. With more than 250 majors and minors participating, the program offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to belong to the community, from retreats and other spiritual activities, residential options, the annual Talent Show and Monte Casino Night, the Leadership Interns program, to the semester in Rome. Students experience a community of faith and friendship that will shape them for a lifetime.