The University of St. Thomas

Center for Catholic Studies | About the Center

From the Director

From the Director

Message from the Director, Dr. Don J. Briel

Welcome to the Center for Catholic Studies website, which will give you an overview of the wide variety of programs coordinated by the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

The Center for Catholic Studies, established in 1996, provides a wide range of activities and programs designed to enhance the Catholic mission and identity of the University and to contribute to national and international developments in Catholic higher education. We offer both undergraduate and graduate programs within the department of Catholic Studies; sustained opportunities to engage the implications of the Catholic intellectual tradition's relations to pre-professional and professional studies through the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought and the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy; campus wide opportunities to engage Catholic thought and culture through the Joseph and Edith Habiger lectureship and artist/scholar-in-residence programs in Catholic Studies; expressions of the rich and comprehensive Catholic intellectual tradition in the Center's quarterly journal, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture;  the possibility to spend a semester or a year in the Catholic Studies/Angelicum Program in Rome; and a wide variety of lecture series and faculty development seminars and activities throughout the academic year and summer terms.

St. Thomas' program in Catholic Studies is the oldest and largest in the United States.  Prospective students will find a wide variety of courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs which will provide opportunities for a sustained encounter with the claims and contemporary relevance of Catholic thought and culture. Most undergraduates combine their work in Catholic Studies with a major in another field. Within the graduate program, there are many opportunities for students to concentrate in a specific area as well as to examine the Catholic intellectual tradition as a whole. The graduate program also offers the opportunity to complete a joint degree program with the University's School of Law.

Through the Center's two research institutes, there are a number of national and international conferences available to scholars both within the University and from around the world. Recent conferences include the Ryan Institute's conference on the 40th anniversary of Gaudium et spes at the Vatican Synod Hall in March 2005 and the Murphy Institute's conference at the St. Thomas School of Law on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Common Good in April 2005. In addition, the Center is collaborating with three other Catholic universities: Santo Tomas in Manila, the Angelicum in Rome, and the Catholic University of Ukraine in Lviv in a series of international programs and activities focusing on the relations of Catholicism and culture.

The Center provides multiple opportunities in academic programs, scholarship and interdisciplinary reflection as well as participation in Catholic prayer, life and culture. We look forward to conversations with you about opportunities in each of these areas for your own work and development.

Don J. Briel, Ph.D.
Koch Chair in Catholic Studies
Director, Center for Catholic Studies