The Center for Catholic Studies is an academic community within the University of St Thomas dedicated to the ongoing renewal of Catholic higher education. Shaped by the Catholic principles of the unity of knowledge and the complementarity of faith and reason, the Center pursues its mission through interdisciplinary teaching and research, service to the community, and cultivation of spiritual life.
–Approved by the Center for Catholic Studies Advisory Board, February 2004
The Center for Catholic Studies was established in 1996 to coordinate programs to enhance the Catholic mission and identity of the University of St. Thomas.
However, Catholic Studies actually became a reality a few years prior to that with the creation of an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program in 1993. The program was designed to engage students and faculty interested in a study of the Catholic intellectual tradition as a whole and how it shapes our understanding of politics, psychology, history, science, literature, theology and other aspects of contemporary culture.
The program was the first of its kind in the nation and continues to be a leader in Catholic education. Today, the program offers an undergraduate major and minor, a master’s degree, a joint-degree with the School of Law and a study-abroad program in Rome.
Throughout the years, the center has grown to include several institutes which address issues important to faculty members and the general public. It houses the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought as well as the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy. In addition, the center has published the quarterly journal, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, since 1997.
With each component of the center, we strive to accomplish the challenge put forth by Pope John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae: to "discover how the strength of the Gospel can penetrate and regenerate the mentalities and dominant values that inspire individual cultures, as well as the opinions and mental attitudes that are derived from it."