Catholic Studies Major

The Catholic Studies major is an interdisciplinary program devoted to the study of the Catholic tradition. In most cases, Catholic Studies is expected to be a second major, bringing the immense riches of our Catholic faith and Catholic culture into every discipline of the university.

The major is comprised of three elements:

  • 4 Required Courses (12 credits)
  • 5 Elective Courses (15 credits)
  • A Capstone Experience (3 credits)

Up to 15 credits may be transferred from another institution (subject to departmental review and approval).

Major Required Courses

Course NumberCourse TitleDetails
CATH 201

The Word of God in Human Words: Introduction to Scripture

Last Offered
Spring 2022

Next Offered
Fall 2022

The Bible is the most influential and studied book in human history, for it has been received as God’s Word to humanity by countless numbers of people for centuries. The Christian Bible has two major sections. There is a collection of writings from ancient Israel known as the Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, or, in Jewish tradition, the TaNaK. There is also a collection of 27 writings produced by the early Christians known as the New Testament. The course does not presume any previous familiarity with the Bible.

The Bible is a single book which is itself a collection of many smaller books. Our focus in this class will be on the overarching story that the Bible tells across its major compositions. We will be concerned with the major persons, events, topics, and theological themes found throughout the Bible. The biblical books, which mediate God’s revelation of Himself and His will to human beings, were composed over nearly 1,000 years by human beings living in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world. Therefore, we will bring our knowledge about the historical, literary, and social settings in which the biblical books were composed in order to grasp what the Bible teaches about God, His actions as Creator and Savior, and the response which God asks of human beings.

3 Credits

Bridges: Meets Theology Requirement

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH 205/205C

I Believe: Principles of the Catholic Faith

Last Offered
Spring 2022

Next Offered
TBD (205C Fall 2022)

The center of the Catholic faith is Jesus Christ, who as the eternal Son of God become human, reveals who God is and the meaning and goal of human existence. The Church's reception of his revelation is articulated in the ancient statements of faith known as the creeds. Using the Apostles' Creed as our guide, this course will explore the basic principles of the Catholic faith and explicate the thinking which they entail.

CATH 205C sections are for the Catholica Learning Community for freshmen in the College of Liberal Arts.

3 Credits

Bridges: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

CATH 301

The Human Drama: The Catholic Church through the Ages

Last Offered
N/A

Next Offered
Spring 2023

The story of Christian believers from the early centuries to the 21st century, with attention to its emergence as a persecuted marginal movement, toleration and establishment as the religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the struggles and challenges faced from late antiquity to the disruptions of the Black Death, the age of reforms and missionary outreach (15th through the 17th centuries), the challenges of rising secularity and the response of two councils. The course will balance institutional narrative with exploration of emerging spiritualities among religious and lay Catholics, and their impact in society.

3 Credits
CATH 395

Development in the Life of the Church Seminar

Last Offered
Spring 2022

Next Offered
Spring 2023

A project-based seminar experience that will mix joint and individual projects with guided reading focused on a theme established by the instructor.

For Spring 2022, the theme was "Conscience".

3 Credits

Major Electives

Choose five elective courses from at least two of these five areas:

  • Human Life and Community
  • History and Persons
  • Ideas and Doctrines
  • Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Catholicism and the Arts

At least three courses must be upper-division (300-400).

Capstone Experience

Determined in consultation with the Department Chair. Possibilities include:

  • Seminar
  • Independent study
  • Internship
  • Portfolio