Catholic Studies Minor
The Catholic Studies minor provides students with an academic understanding of Catholicism. ‘Catholicism’ here refers not just to a religious institution or a set of beliefs, but also to a culture. It includes all the ways in which the Roman Catholic Church and its members have interacted with the wider world: with the arts, history, politics, science, and philosophy. Because of the diversity of these interactions, no one field can understand Catholicism adequately. Catholic Studies is therefore an interdisciplinary pursuit. It is not a branch of religious studies or theology. It does not presuppose any commitment to Catholicism as a creed. Rather, it seeks to understand a complex culture that has had tremendous impact on the world over the past two thousand years. In doing that, the minor offers the students a focus around which to integrate their elective choices into a coherent path of study.
The Catholic Studies minor will appeal to students with a wide range of personal backgrounds and academic interests. Those with a background in history, philosophy, or religious studies will find a great deal that is of interest to them in the program. The minor will appeal to students for whom an understanding of Catholicism might be professionally valuable: for example, education students who would like to teach religion, or business and pre-professional students who would like to develop their expertise within a broader context of social, ethical and religious values.