The University of St. Thomas

College of Arts & Sciences | Department of Catholic Studies | Graduate Program

Program Objectives

Program Objectives

Program Objectives 

As a student pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Catholic Studies, you will find your studies enriched by the emphasis we place on each of the following areas.

1. A Broad Historical Framework.

The program provides students with a basic understanding of the 2,000-year Catholic intellectual tradition.

2. An Opportunity for More Detailed Work.

The program provides students with a detailed and critical appreciation of portions of the Catholic tradition.

3. Attention to the Contemporary World.

The program helps equip students to live with courage and hope in the complex modern world, to understand and examine critically contemporary challenges to Catholicism and internal debates within Catholicism itself, and to develop the intellectual tools necessary to respond to economic, social, cultural and religious injustice.

4. Critical Reflection and Debate.

The program encourages students to examine issues on a variety of subjects related to Catholicism.  Students will be exposed to arguments in favor of and opposed to church teaching.

5. Interdisciplinary and Synthetic Study.

The program seeks to integrate knowledge across disciplines and to promote the dialogue between faith and reason that leads to a higher synthesis of knowledge.

6. Faithful Study.

The program is committed to teaching Catholic theology "in a manner faithful to Scripture, tradition and the church's magisterium," as Ex Corde Ecclesiae prescribes.  All instructors in the program have a profound respect for the church and its teachings.  Likewise, all are committed to the church's view, also affirmed in Ex Corde, that "the freedom of conscience of each person is to be fully respected."

7. Ecumenical and Cross-Cultural Study.

The program recognizes the vast wealth of various religious traditions and cultures, past and present.  Courses are open to frank and constructive ecumenical dialogue and, where appropriate, incorporate cross-cultural perspectives.

8. Worship.

The program provides opportunities for students to participate in communal worship services, including Mass and the celebration of the sacraments.  All students are invited to participate in the building of the community.