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.
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