through Catholic university

The following comes from a March 1 story published by the Catholic News Agency.

In a very uncommon partnership between state-run and Catholic universities, Arizona State University students will be able to take courses in Catholic theology or Catholic studies under a new agreement announced March 1.

“This is an astonishing opportunity to bring Catholic higher education to the state of Arizona,” University of Mary president Father James Shea said. “About 25 percent of the population is Catholic, but there is not a Catholic college or university here.”

The Arizona public university, with an enrollment of over 72,000, and the Bismarck, North Dakota-based Catholic university of about 3,100 students have been in talks about the endeavor for more than a year, Fr. Shea told Catholic News Agency Feb. 29.

The courses will be taught at the Newman Center in Tempe, which is adjacent to the Arizona State campus, and will begin in fall 2012. The effort means that students who wish to continue their Catholic education or who are interested in studying theology may do so without going out of state.

Students will be able to earn a major or a minor in theological studies or Catholic studies through the University of Mary.
“Students are deeply enriched, even if they are not Catholic, by the treasures of the Catholic faith and Catholic teaching. Theology is something that strives for an integrated approach to the most enduring questions of human life. Those are the types of discussions which should take place at every university,” Fr. Shea said….

Arizona State president Michael Crow said March 1 that the university is “dedicated to the inclusion of all” and that he has invited all faith-based groups to “plant their flags deep at the university.”

The state university said this approach has resulted in an expansion of the LDS Institute and new construction at the Catholic Newman Center.

The Newman Center itself has been part of the planning process. According to Fr. Shea, its priests predict that student interest will be “through the roof.” Feasibility studies have also found strong demand for Catholic higher education in the region.

At the same time, the University of Mary has had to be “very clear” that it is not engaged in “proselytism” at a state university.

“That’s important to them, because they’re a public university, and there are tricky issues of church and state. For Arizona State to stick out their neck like this, and for the enterprise of Catholic higher education, that’s really a courageous thing to do. We don’t want them to get burned along the way,” Fr. Shea remarked….

Click here to read entire story.


Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 12:16 AM By JUDITH
If the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” is not used as a required student text for this course, the Faith (as in many Catholic Colleges) will get twisted, and the truth will not be taught. “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (pg xiv)

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 4:11 AM By Henry
Always look up to Our Lord and God…He is the Way! Pray and Study the Word and He will guide us…along the right path….or else we will fail again and again…God Bless

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 6:45 AM By Dan
God bless Michael Crow, a true multiculturalist, in the best sense of the word.

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 1:16 PM By Abeca Christian
Sounds like good news to me. Refreshing, something positive.

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 5:08 PM By Dave N.
Hard to judge whether this is a positive or negative without knowing a bit more about the background of the faculty and the program. (Looks like the program doesn’t currently exist.) The school certainly doesn’t highlight their faculty on their website (unusual) but when you dig, you find out most of the theology faculty don’t have terminal degrees. Again, tough to say.

Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 5:34 PM By MacDonald
Hurray for something good in our country. Catholicism is a big deal in today’s world, so teaching should reflect that. It’s not like we’re some tiny American sect invented 5 years ago by a guy in a powder blue suit and a bouffant haircut.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:08 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Somehow I don’t remember Our Lord or any of His apostles agreeing to be “not engaged in “proselytism”! That needs a little more explaining! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 6:52 PM By John F. Maguire
Judith: You impose an ONLY-IF condition upon an academic course in theology. Only if the _Catechism of the Catholic Church_ is used in this course, you argue, will you sign off on the course. REPLY: As a general matter, there is a catechetical component in theology and there is a theological component in catechesis. At the same time however, these two enterprises — catechesis and theology — are not the same thing. The purpose of theology, as it comes recommended to us, is something SHORT OF the purpose of catechesis. Where the purpose of an academic course in theology is to introduce students to the scholarly study of theological truths, the primary purpose of catechesis, by contrast, is to help persons, by virtue of their introductory knowledge and personal adherence to the revealed truths vouchsafed by Holy Church, to integrate this knowledge and adherence into daily living. It is expectable then that this Arizona State University course in theology not, somewhere along the line, get confused with the work of catechesis.