Catholic Studies

The Catholic Studies Program is an academically rigorous and interdisciplinary exploration of Catholicism. Courses engage with the Catholic intellectual tradition—the 2000 year-long dialogue between and within faith and culture. We approach the texts of the Catholic intellectual tradition with a view toward understanding the role that Catholicism has played in the human search for meaning and in the conviction that thinking is a critical part of belief. 

Catholic Studies enthusiastically welcomes students from any or no faith tradition. The program is dedicated to a critical and scholarly engagement with Catholicism, and is dispositionally nondogmatic. Courses are especially attentive to the ways in which the Catholic intellectual tradition can help students understand issues of social and economic justice and peace.

You are therefore given the freedom to explore perennial human questions and pressing contemporary concerns in a way that is open to the potential contributions of faith. You are also given the chance to study the Catholic Church itself, as a cultural and political, as well as a religious institution. You will also benefit from co- and extra-curricular events, service opportunities, scholarly activities, and community outreach sponsored by the St. John XXIII Centre for Catholic Studies.

  • You are interested in a challenging, interdisciplinary major which explores the meaning of Christian faith
  • You are interested in exploring human questions and contemporary concerns as potential contributions to faith

Students in Catholic Studies benefit from an interdisciplinary course of study which draws from many different academic disciplines. The interdisciplinary character of the program helps students become well-rounded thinkers, able to analyze problems and phenomena from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and using diverse analytical tools. The program’s emphasis on the Catholic intellectual tradition will help students develop the skills of thoughtful reading, clear writing, and verbal eloquence.

Catholic Studies provides students with well-rounded interdisciplinary liberal arts preparation for success in a wide variety of career paths. Catholic Studies graduates will be especially prepared for work in non-profit and government organizations, international development, education, and business. Catholic Studies also prepares students for graduate study and participation in various forms of religious ministry. Catholic Studies will enrich a student’s life by exposing them to the richness of the Catholic Church’s intellectual tradition, and the ways in which the faith can respond to human questions and concerns that are both ancient and new.

Courses in Catholic Studies are complemented with cross-listed offerings in a variety of academic departments at St. Thomas, including: English Language and Literature, Religious Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and the Fine Arts. Catholic Studies thus offers students a well-rounded, interdisciplinary undergraduate education. Students interested in Catholic Studies might also be interested in Great Books and Human Rights.