Professor Bob Kennedy teaches a Catholic Studies Master of Arts class in Sitzmann Hall on Monday, October 3, 2011.

Courses and Academic Calendar

Online and on-ground graduate courses follow the undergraduate academic calendar during the fall and spring semesters. Online and on-ground graduate courses run for six week intensive sessions in June and early July.

For AY 2018-19, fall classes run September 5 through December 14, 2018, and spring classes run February 4 through May 17, 2019.

Spring 2019 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CSMA 510 - 01 Essentials of Cath Faith - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207

Days of Week:

- - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

22262 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

John F. Boyle

This course will focus on a theological study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its entirety, aimed at helping students develop a broad and comprehensive grasp of the essential claims of the Catholic faith and an understanding of its unity and integrity. Particular attention is given to the scope and integrity of the teachings of the Catholic Church with regard to the inter-relationship of the four sections of the Catechism, namely, the Profession of Faith, the Sacraments, Life in Christ, and Prayer. Explicit attention will be given to ways in which Catholic teachings are manifested in the classic texts and works of art, such as those examined in Catholic Thought and Culture I and II.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 529 - 01 Science & Catholicism M - - - - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207

Days of Week:

M - - - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

22297 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

Peter M. Distelzweig

The rise and dramatic development of the modern natural sciences have shaped our world in varied and prominent ways. How do these natural sciences fit into Catholic intellectual, spiritual, and cultural life? Just what are the natural sciences, really? How are they related to philosophy and theology? How are they integrated into the Christian “social imaginary”? In this course, we seek to understand and answer these important questions through an exploration of important episodes, topics, and texts from the two-thousand-year history of Christianity and science.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 549 - 02 Dante's Divine Comedy - - - - - - - -

Days of Week:

- - - - - - -

Time of Day:

-

Location:

Course Registration Number:

22263 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

William J. Junker

This course is being taught online this semester. In this course we will read Dante's Commedia. We will pay close attention to the language of Dante's poem. By the end of the course, we will have a better understanding of the theological and political vision of the poem.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 593 - 01 Challenges Pre K-12 Education See Details * *

Days of Week:

See Details

Time of Day:

*

Location:

*

Course Registration Number:

22295 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

Emily G. Dahdah

This course explores the history, philosophy, and challenges of PreK-12 education in the United States. With a historical and comparative lens, students will engage the theoretical foundations upon which public, private, and Catholic schools have been built while also investigating how the changes that have happened within U.S. society, public education, and the Catholic Church have impacted Catholic and other religious-based schools in the United States. Discussions and assignments will focus on creative solutions to challenges facing Catholic and other non-public PreK-12 schools today. Students will research a current issue in Catholic or other non-public PreK-12 education and prepare a paper/presentation based on that research. Advanced workshops in the areas of Minnesota relicensure requirements are integrated into the course, allowing the practitioner and non-practitioner alike the opportunity to engage with current theory and practice in critical areas of professional development for educators.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
55S B101200-170022 Feb '19
55S B100830-150023 Feb '19
55S B101200-170012 Apr '19
55S B100830-150013 Apr '19

Summer 2019 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CSMA 501 - 0 Cath Thought & Culture II M - W - - - - 0900 - 1200 55S 207

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

0900 - 1200

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

30474 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

David N. Foote

This interdisciplinary course continues the exploration of the relations between faith and culture begun in Catholic Thought and Culture I, beginning with the medieval period up until the present day. Students will engage areas of artistic expression (literature, music, visual art) in the light of philosophical and theological currents affecting Catholic life in a given era. Upon completion of both Catholic Thought and Culture I and II, students will have some grasp on the fascinating interaction of Gospel and culture marking Catholicism's development, demonstrated skills in the interpretation of literature, music, and visual art, and an appreciation for how the arts can embody Catholic truth and goodness in beauty. Students will also have a broad sense of the contexts of the Catholic tradition, parts of which will then be filled in by other, more specific, courses in the program. NOTE: It is not required (though it is recommended) that students take CSMA 500 prior to taking CSMA 501.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 519 - 0 Virtue - T - R - - - 0900 - 1200 55S 207

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

0900 - 1200

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

30473 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

John F. Boyle

This course will consider virtue as essential for understanding and speaking about the reality of human moral action. The writings of Josef Pieper will serve as a guide to the foundational formulation of the virtues by St. Thomas Aquinas around the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, courage, and temperance. Romano Guardini’s The Virtues will provide a profound theological consideration of a number of allied virtues in the context of the dynamics of the human person. In all of this we will strive to see how the understanding of the virtues provides insights into the fundamental reality of the human person and provides us with a vocabulary for speaking about and analyzing the moral actions of the human person. In conjunction with these speculative works, we shall read Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed. Reported to be Pope Francis’ favorite novel, The Betrothed will provide an opportunity for considering the virtues in the concrete, and the reality of the virtues will, in turn, help us think more substantively and deeply about this classic of world literature.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 549 - 0 The Catholic Novel - - - - - - - -

Days of Week:

- - - - - - -

Time of Day:

-

Location:

Course Registration Number:

30475 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

Staff

(This course is being offered online this semester.) In this course, we will examine the interrelationships among the novelist, the novelist’s faith, and the audience. What does it mean to be a “Catholic novelist”? At what points are there conflicts between the demands of art and the demands of faith, and how may those conflicts be resolved? We’ll explore these and many related questions as we read the greatest Catholic writers of the modern era, including Georges Bernanos, Shusaku Endo, Graham Greene, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy and J.F. Powers. Students will be encouraged to work out and articulate their own answers to the artistic and religious questions that these works raise.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Fall 2019 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CSMA 501 - 01 Cath Thought & Culture II - - - R - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207

Days of Week:

- - - R - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

43112 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

William B. Stevenson

This interdisciplinary course continues the exploration of the relations between faith and culture begun in Catholic Thought and Culture I, beginning with the medieval period up until the present day. Students will engage areas of artistic expression (literature, music, visual art) in the light of philosophical and theological currents affecting Catholic life in a given era. Upon completion of both Catholic Thought and Culture I and II, students will have some grasp on the fascinating interaction of Gospel and culture marking Catholicism's development, demonstrated skills in the interpretation of literature, music, and visual art, and an appreciation for how the arts can embody Catholic truth and goodness in beauty. Students will also have a broad sense of the contexts of the Catholic tradition, parts of which will then be filled in by other, more specific, courses in the program. NOTE: It is not required (though it is recommended) that students take CSMA 500 prior to taking CSMA 501.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 519 - 02 Newman - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207

Days of Week:

- - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

43114 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

David P. Deavel

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and Theology. Although the topics will vary , the courses will have both a theological foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. These topics courses fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and Theology.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 529 - 01 Confessions - T - - - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207

Days of Week:

- T - - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

55S 207

Course Registration Number:

43113 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

Erika H. Kidd

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and Philosophy. Although the topics will vary, the course will have both a philosophical foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and Philosophy.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 529 - 02 Science & Catholicism - - - - - - - -

Days of Week:

- - - - - - -

Time of Day:

-

Location:

Course Registration Number:

43115 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

Peter M. Distelzweig

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and Philosophy. Although the topics will vary, the course will have both a philosophical foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and Philosophy.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 539 - 02 History of Western Education See Details * *

Days of Week:

See Details

Time of Day:

*

Location:

*

Course Registration Number:

42273 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3

Instructor:

Michael J. Naughton

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and History. Although the topics will vary, the courses will have both historical foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and History.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
55S B101200-170020 Sep '19
55S 2070830-150021 Sep '19
55S B101200-170001 Nov '19
55S 2070830-150002 Nov '19
55S B101700-2000- - - R - - -

J-Term 2020 Courses

Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Regularly Offered Courses

The interdisciplinary study in Catholic Thought and Culture I looks at the period from antiquity to the early Middle Ages. This course will consider some pre-Christian works of intellect and imagination, so that we may glimpse the contributions such works make to the later development of the Catholic tradition. Upon completion of Catholic Thought and Culture I, students will have a sense of the depth, complexity and beauty of the Catholic intellectual tradition, as it has developed up to medieval times.

This course fulfills the CSMA 500 requirement.

This course provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the wisdom of the Catholic tradition expressed through works of intellect and imagination, from the late medieval period up to contemporary times. Classics in literature, art, theology, philosophy, music, the sciences, and/or architecture are discussed. Emphasis is placed on recognizing the integrity of the grounding Catholic vision, and on tracing the unified development and expansion of that vision over time.

This course fulfills the CSMA 501 requirement.

This course will focus on a theological study of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" in its entirety, aimed at helping students develop a broad and comprehensive grasp of the essential claims of the Catholic faith and an understanding of its unity and integrity. Particular attention is given to the scope and integrity of the teachings of the Catholic Church with regard to the inter-relationship of the four sections of the "Catechism", namely, the Profession of Faith, the Sacraments, Life in Christ and Prayer. Explicit attention will be given to ways in which Catholic teachings are manifested in the classic texts and works of art, such as those examined in Catholic Thought and Culture I and II.

This course fulfills the area requirement of Catholic studies and theology.

Augustine’s "City of God"

Augustine began writing "City of God" in A.D. 413. His original intention was to defend the Christian Church against its pagan critics, who held Christianity responsible for bringing about the sack of Rome in 410. However, by the time he had finished (426), Augustine’s work had grown into a comprehensive assault on the entirety of pagan Roman thought and culture through a masterful interweaving of Scripture and ancient Greek (Platonic) philosophy. This course will consist of a close reading of the entirety of "City of God", with special emphasis on the political, historical and theological themes that have made Augustine’s work second only to the Bible in the shaping of Western Christianity.

The Catholic Social Tradition

This course provides an investigation into the ways in which Catholicism is inherently social and ecclesial. Its specific focus is on the Christian engagement with the world. The course’s framework will be taken from the analysis of society into three spheres of action (culture, economics and politics) as described in Centesimus Annus. We will examine the ways that Revelation, the sacramental life, and the teachings of the Church call Catholics to seek holiness and to witness to their faith in the world. Specific topics will include social and economic justice, politics and public policy, lay and religious apostolates, and marriage and family.

The Church and the Biomedical Revolution

What difference does Catholic faith make to the asking and answering of the questions – moral, philosophical and political – raised by contemporary research in the life sciences and in medical practice? This course will identify and evaluate the origins, development and contemporary state of Catholic contributions – both Magisterial and theological – to the current global debate over such topics as embryo research, artificial reproductive technologies, cloning, genetic therapy and enhancement, organ replacement, life-prolonging technologies, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Of primary concern will be the interpretation of official Catholic interventions in contemporary bioethical debate, both as a means for considering specific questions related to the relationship between faith and reason, as well as more general questions regarding the nature of the Church’s engagement with culture.

John Henry Newman

Called “the most important theological thinker of modern times” by the Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan, Cardinal Newman is perhaps best known for his work on university education, but his most significant intellectual work was in the area of development of doctrine, the relations of faith and reason, and the role of authority and conscience in the life of the Church. The course will focus on the contemporary relevance of Newman’s thought in each of these areas but will also involve a consideration of his sermons and devotional writings – works which led T. S. Eliot to refer to Newman as one of the two greatest homilists in the English language.

Thomas Aquinas

An examination of some major topics in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Possible topics include Aquinas's conception of philiosophy and its relation to faith, God and the destiny of the human being.

Since Christianity encountered the secular philosophies of the ancient world, theology has been shaped and influenced by philosophy. Christian theologians have had to respond to challenges to their doctrines brought by philosophers, and they have often adopted the conceptual frameworks and technical language of philosophy. As a result, even though theology and philosophy are distinct disciplines, a knowledge of philosophy is really necessary in order to understand theology. This course aims to provide a basic understanding of the philosophical concepts that constitute much of the foundation of Catholic theology, especially in the areas of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Special attention will be given to Platonic and Aristotelian schools of thought.

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic studies and philosophy.  Although the topics will vary, the courses will have both a philosophical foundation and an interdisciplinary focus.

These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic studies and philosophy.

Recent courses taught under CSMA 529:

Augustine’s "Confessions"

St. Augustine’s "Confessions" is one of the most enduring and influential works of Christian literature – one that speaks about the relation between God and man in an unprecedented way. Augustine makes his confession to God by telling the story of his life, and he casts the mysteries of theology in terms of his own experience. As we explore the philosophical, theological, and literary dimensions of this remarkable work, we will consider the particulars of Augustine’s story and the way those particulars set the stage for Augustine’s reflection on creatures and their Creator, alienation and intimacy, memory and time, and sin and grace.

Virtue

This course will consider virtue as essential for understanding and speaking about the reality of human moral action. The writings of Josef Pieper will serve as a guide to the foundational formulation of the virtues by St. Thomas Aquinas around the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, courage and temperance. Romano Guardini’s "The Virtues" will provide a profound theological consideration of a number of allied virtues in the context of the dynamics of the human person. In all of this, we will strive to see how the understanding of the virtues provides insights into the fundamental reality of the human person and provides us with a vocabulary for speaking about and analyzing the moral actions of the human person. In conjunction with these speculative works, we shall read Alessandro Manzoni’s "The Betrothed". Reported to be Pope Francis’ favorite novel, "The Betrothed" will provide an opportunity for considering the virtues in the concrete, and the reality of the virtues will, in turn, help us think more substantively and deeply about this classic of world literature.

 

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic studies and history.  Although the topics will vary, the courses will have both an historical foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. 

These topics courses will fulfil the area requirement of Catholic studies and history.

Recent courses taught under CSMA 539:

Christopher Dawson

In this course, we will examine the life and thought of the Catholic convert historian Christopher Dawson, whose work on the foundational role of religion in culture had such an important impact on Catholic thought in the 20th century. T. S. Eliot, who had been deeply influenced by Dawson’s "Progress and Religion", urged Dawson to take up a Catholic account of sexuality in response to the Church of England’s decision to alter its teaching on artificial birth control. Dawson’s “Christianity and Sex,” was published in 1930 and remains relevant in our own day. Eliot later called him the most powerful intellectual influence in England. We will read a variety of books and essays on subjects ranging from a Catholic view of history, to Islamic mysticism, to the special character of Europe and to the crisis of modern education.

The History of Western 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 the following: its origins in fifth century B.C. 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 19th and 20th centuries.

St. Francis and His World

St. Francis was born into a world in the throes of radical transformation, arguably one of the most decisive periods of change in European history. It was a period that witnessed the birth of the modern state, the revival of urban life, and the early formation of market economies, which with the help of crusaders, became international in scope. The birth of the first European universities and the recovery of the corpus of Aristotle’s writings revolutionized the study of the liberal arts, theology, and law.  For the first time in almost a millennium, the lay urban classes became a center of energy and creativity in all spheres of life, especially in St. Francis’ Italy. Feeding off of the spiritual energy of a century of papal, monastic, and clerical reform, lay piety was in ferment, drawn simultaneously to the Church and to heretical sects like the Cathars. In short, it was a world in need of a saint who could channel its wild energy without dampening it. This was the occupation given to St. Francis, whose piety was as radically innovative as it was radically traditional.  

After a brief survey of the political, economic, and religious transformations of Europe from the 11th to 13th centuries, we will map out and explore the world of St. Francis as three concentric spheres, beginning with St. Francis’ own writings. We will then turn to the writings of fellow Franciscans, especially Thomas of Celano and St. Bonaventure – the two principal biographers of St. Francis – to examine the ways in which the members of his order sought to translate the saint’s charisma for the order and for the world at large. Finally, we will read excerpts from contemporary historians, both Franciscan and non-Franciscan for yet another perspective on the way in which Franciscan charisma encountered the world.

Secularization

The development of modern Western culture is often described as a steady process of “secularization” in which, a distinctively Christian vision of reality inexorably recedes and leaves in its wake a “disenchanted” but presumptively real world best described by the natural sciences, or an exclusively naturalistic philosophy with no place for God or the transcendent. Drawing on the recent work of Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor ("A Secular Age", 2007) and others, this course examines recent challenges to this “master narrative” of a secularized modernity. How did this narrative come to achieve the status of unquestioned truth? How might we tell the story of modernity in a way that does not foreclose the reality of God and transcendence, but is also more than nostalgia for an imagined past? Recent debates over the coherence of “secularization” narratives provide the occasion for rediscovering the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition as a vantage point from which to engage and critique modern culture.

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic studies and the arts.  Although the topics will vary, the courses will have both an aesthetic foundation and an interdisciplinary focus. 

These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic studies and the arts.

Recent courses taught under CSMA 549:

The Catholic Novel

In this course, we will examine the interrelationships among the novelist, the novelist’s faith, and the audience.  What does it mean to be a “Catholic novelist”? At what points are there conflicts between the demands of art and the demands of faith, and how may those conflicts be resolved?  We’ll explore these and many related questions as we read the greatest Catholic writers of the modern era, including Dostoevsky, Mauriac, Greene, Waugh and O’Connor.  We will also take some time to see how these issues play out in the other major narrative medium of our time, film, by investigating some work by the Catholic filmmaker Robert Bresson.  Students will be encouraged to work out and articulate their own answers to the artistic and religious questions that these works raise for us.

Dante’s Divine Comedy

In this class we will read and discuss Dante's masterpiece, "The Divine Comedy". While we will situate the poem in history, and will pay close attention to the poem's engagement with political and theological controversies, our main task will be to attend to the language, structure and imagery of Dante's poem itself.

Topics courses examine in detail a small, focused set of questions arising from one or more of the disciplines within the Catholic Studies Graduate Program. Topics and instructors will vary.

Recent courses taught under CSMA 593:

Contemporary Challenges of Catholic, K-12 Education

The decline in Catholic school enrollment by approximately 50% over the past fifty years and the continued closing of K-8 parochial and/or secondary Catholic schools has led many to question the viability of Catholic, K-12 education in the 21st century. Much of this crisis has been precipitated by a battle over what it means to be Catholic today – a battle over what many call “Catholic identity.” This course explores the history, philosophy/theology and challenges of K-12 Catholic education in the United States over the past 100 years. Students will be exposed to the theoretical foundations upon which Catholic schools have been built, the changes that have happened within the Catholic Church that have impacted Catholic schooling, and the future of Catholic education. Discussions will focus on creative solutions to challenges facing Catholic schools today. Students will also research a current issue facing Catholic schools and prepare a paper/presentation based on that research.

Thomas More

Thomas More was the exemplary renaissance man: a scholar, lawyer, and statesman of wit and humor dedicated to his wife and children. He held political office second in power only to the king whom he served faithfully and at whose orders he was beheaded. The Catholic Church has declared him a martyr. His is certainly a remarkable life, and it has a substantial paper trail. We will read a number of his major works as well as study his life with the goal of determining if and how he achieved such a remarkable integration of thought and life. The readings include the following: More’s two great political works, the enigmatic "Utopia" and his "History of King Richard III", which so influenced Shakespeare’s play; his "Dialog concerning Heresies", in defense of the Catholic Church against the emerging protestant reformers; and, from his imprisonment in the Tower of London, the "Dialog of Comfort in Tribulation" and his prison letters.