Duquesne University has established a new interdisciplinary Department of Catholic Studies in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. Proposals for the major and minor in Catholic studies are currently under review by the University Academic Council.

With an initial gift from an anonymous donor, the Department of Catholic Studies will draw on curricular resources from the nine schools at Duquesne University-especially the various departments of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts-to create a hub where the Catholic tradition can be explored in its rich breadth and depth. This initiative reflects Duquesne's rich Catholic Spiritan mission.

"Pittsburgh's historic Catholic heritage and Duquesne University's longstanding Spiritan charism-in accord with Catholic social teaching-promote dialogue on vital issues of our day through a distinctive Catholic lens," said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. "Launching this multidisciplinary Department of Catholic Studies is not only fitting for Duquesne, but for our region and nation. Catholicism is the faith tradition of more than a fifth of Americans and half of all Christians. This new department will fill a need that is more vital now than ever."

As a Universitywide initiative, the Catholic studies department will draw on the expertise and resources of Duquesne's nine schools to encourage research and organize conferences, symposia and other scholarly endeavors. Microcredentials, certificates and other post-bachelor degree programs are also being considered.

In addition, the department will help Duquesne strengthen partnerships with the diocese of Pittsburgh, the National Institute for Newman Studies, and other Catholic and ecumenical organizations in the region.

"The Department of Catholic Studies aligns with the College's mission-driven commitment to social justice and community engagement through interdisciplinary academic study on Catholic faith, history and culture," said McAnulty College Dean Dr. Kristine Blair. "The department will promote local and global collaborations not only among the arts, humanities and social sciences but also among other areas such as law and the health professions, including Duquesne's new College of Osteopathic Medicine."

"Duquesne has always been a leader in Catholic Higher Education. This department allows us to expand our footprint in Catholic Studies while also building upon the charisms of the Spiritans and the careful study of the Catholic intellectual tradition," added Dr. David Dausey, executive vice president and provost at Duquesne. "We are honored to have the anonymous donation that made the creation of this department possible, and we look forward to the new courses and faculty research that this department will lead and inspire."

The Department of Catholic Studies will drive these important conversations forward on campus, locally and globally.

The inaugural chair of the Department of Catholic Studies is Dr. Kenneth L. Parker, the Ryan Endowed Chair for Newman Studies and Professor of Historical Theology at Duquesne University. "This initiative is an exciting opportunity for the entire University to highlight the Catholic Spiritan mission of Duquesne University and to witness to the power of the gospel to transform lives, affirm the dignity of every human person, and challenge us to be faithful stewards of God's creation," said Parker.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

It's time for bigger goals
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September 23, 2020