The University of St. Thomas

Center for Catholic Studies | College of Arts & Sciences | Graduate Program

Online Courses

Online Courses

Welcome to CSMA 593 Online!

Course Title:  Great Catholic Minds: St. Augustine of Hippo
Course No.:   CSMA 593
Term:            Spring 2009
Instructor:      Dr Paul J. Wojda, Ph.D. (Director, CSMA Program) Venue:          Online

Who is eligible to take the online course?

  • Degree and non-degree seeking students in the Master of Arts program in Catholic Studies. Apply to the program.
  • Anyone interested in learning more about the Catholic Intellectual Tradition is eligible to audit the course.

To enroll or to find out more:

Contact Dr. Paul Wojda at or 651-962-5714.



The MA Degree Program in Catholic Studies announces an online course for spring 2009:  CSMA 593: Great Catholic Minds: St. Augustine of Hippo.

What difference does Catholic faith make to how we perceive and interpret our world? Is there such a thing as a “Catholic” intellect? If so, what are its distinguishing marks? This course seeks to answer these questions through a detailed study of one of the classic texts of the Catholic intellectual tradition: St. Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God Against the Pagans.

The City of God was initially composed as a defense of Christianity shortly after the calamitous sacking of Rome by the Western Goths in 410AD, an event that many in the still identifiably pagan culture of late antiquity blamed on the Christian-led abandonment of traditional (pagan) religion. By the time Augustine finished writing, just three short years before his death (430AD), this “great and arduous work” had grown into a comprehensive assault on the entirety of pagan Roman thought and culture, masterfully interweaving Scripture and ancient philosophy, Christian faith and human reason.

The course will be taught entirely on-line and features a variety of tools to assist in understanding The City of God both in its original context and today. Students will become members of an online community of learners, working both independently and in groups to assess Augustine’s achievement and its enduring relevance.  Course requirements include regular participation, weekly short writing exercises, and one seminar/research paper.

Through their engagement with a “Great Catholic Mind,” and with each other, course participants will be able to articulate more clearly the way in which Catholic faith both shapes and is shaped by the human quest for truth and wisdom. 

Dr. Paul Wojda
14 October 2008