Catholic School Educator Graduate Opportunities

The Catholic Studies Graduate Program’s Mission and Culture Two-Course Study provides Catholic school educators the principles to develop more mission-driven schools and classrooms and the opportunity to explore how their personal and professional vocations fit into the Catholic Church’s deep educational tradition.

The Mission and Culture Two-Course Study will help you:

Apply your knowledge to address the modern challenges of Catholic education and develop concrete strategies for making your classroom and school more mission-driven. 

Deepen your knowledge of Catholic approaches to education and learn how to ground your teaching in the unity of knowledge and the complementarity of faith and reason.

Continue your studies by applying your Mission and Culture Two-Course Study toward an MA in Catholic studies degree.

Build relationships with other area educators, and with staff from the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, within the rich and supportive learning environment of our hybrid online courses. To balance the need for community with an educator’s busy schedule, our hybrid courses make use of the best in contemporary online teaching tools while providing an opportunity for immersive study and shared worship at the St. Thomas Center for Catholic Studies.

1. CSMA 539: The Heart of Culture: The Story of Catholic Education 

The heart of any culture, as well as its continuity, can be found in its educational tradition, the distillation for the next generation of its highest ideals and most important truths.  For the West this began with the Greeks, who set in place, some five centuries before Christ, the main aspects of a tradition that lasted, with significant developments, up until very recent times.  This course will trace that tradition, using both primary and secondary source material, and will include: its origins in fifth- century BC Greece; its universalization during the Hellenistic period; its encounter with Christianity in the Patristic era; its Christian instantiation under the Carolingian Empire; the great Medieval educational synthesis and the rise of the University; the development of Renaissance humanism and the Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits; Newman’s classic expression of the tradition in The Idea of a University; and the great challenge to that tradition and change that has taken place during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. View in ClassFinder

2. CSMA 593: Mission and Culture Challenges in Catholic PreK-12 Education

This course explores the history, philosophy, and theology of PreK-12 Catholic education in the United States over the past 100 years. The course aims to help students understand the challenges PreK-12 Catholic schools face with respect to their mission and culture. Students will be exposed to the philosophical and theological foundations upon which Catholic schools have been built, the changes within church and society that have affected Catholic PreK-12 education, and the future of Catholic PreK-12 education. Discussions and assignments will focus on creative solutions to mission and culture challenges facing Catholic schools today. View in ClassFinder

Cost and Admission

  • Full cost of sequence of study for 2019-20 is projected to be $3,750 under St. Thomas' new, reduced tuition rate (two courses, six credits).
  • NEW – Thanks to a generous donor, Catholic school educators who enroll for 2019-2020 academic year will receive a scholarship providing a 25% tuition discount. That is $940 off the cost of the two-course study!
  • Need-based scholarships and special school-based cohort funding opportunities available for qualifying individuals and schools.

Applicants requirements:

  • A completed Application for Admission
  • An official copy of the applicant's transcript
    • A transcript is needed for verifying the completion of a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) from an accredited college or university. Applicants may have majored in any academic discipline but must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • A personal statement
    • The personal statement should describe the applicant's interest in Catholic Studies, the Mission and Culture Two-Course Study, and his or her reasons for pursuing study in this area. The statement should be 300 words or less.

The application deadline is August 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission.

For more information or to begin the application process please contact:

Vincent Ruiz-Ponce

The Certificate in Mission & Culture in Catholic Education is a continuation of the Two-Course study and allows participants to dive deeper into the cross-section of culture and our Catholic faith. Participants would complete the Two-Course Study then select 4 elective courses offered through the Department of Catholic Studies to complete their Certificate.

Note: Applicants who wish to receive a certificate must apply to the certificate directly. This application may be completed before or after a student has participated in the Two-Course Study. For more information, contact Vincent:

“Catholic Studies was most influential in shaping my understanding of education, and more specifically, what a distinctly Catholic education looks like. It has well equipped me for teaching religion at a Catholic high school, as well as influenced in innumerable ways, my own views on how I seek to raise and educate my children.” – Kevin

“CSMA was a wonderful, comprehensive program that artfully brought together all elements of the Catholic faith in a rigorous way. The quality of the professors was high and the diversity of the student body was enriching. . . I learned a lot, grew in my faith, and feel qualified to serve in my current position as principal of a Catholic school.” – Alison

“Catholic Studies has given me a vision in which to live and work (teach) by. It also fosters daily discussion on family life. My husband also took a few Catholic studies classes. We keep up with daily discussion and reading on some of the great minds we met while at Sitzmann Hall: Newman, More, Dante, Mauriac, Greene, the Catechism, O’Connor, Aquinas, Benedict XVI, John Paul, Shakespeare…” – Laura