Jun 08, 2023  
2020 - 2021 Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Catholic Studies, M.A.

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Program Director: Dr. W. Scott Cleveland

The Master of Arts in Catholic Studies develops the capacity of mind to form a connected view or grasp of things informed by the truths of the Catholic faith. The program strengthens a liberal arts education and provides a rich acquaintance with the Catholic tradition.  Students will know the nature, limits, practices and modes of inquiry of various disciplines; the unity of all disciplines by studying the mutual relations of each; and virtues of the mind germane to the disciplines.

In the Preface to his Idea of a University, St. John Henry Newman writes that the end of liberal education is the cultivation of what he will later call a “philosophical” habit of mind. Such cultivation of mind is the trained capacity to form “a connected view or grasp of things,” and such a capacity imparts “the force, the steadiness, the comprehensiveness and the versatility of intellect, the command over our own powers, the instinctive just estimate of things as they pass before us… the good sense, sobriety of thought, reasonableness, candor, self-command, and steadiness of view, which characterize it.” Such a capacity is imparted through an educational method that opens the human mind to the depth and riches of all facets of creation and its Creator.

The courses this program offers provide the vivid forum and deep formation needed to develop this cultivation of mind informed by the truths of faith.

Who is this for?

It is for University of Mary graduates, including participants in the Year-Round Campus program, and others who are seeking further graduate studies. It is for those who desire to work in a church, educational institution, or other non-profit organization where such a master’s degree is an asset. It is also for those who want to further their education for personal enrichment.

Students will:

  1. Analyze important texts and thinkers in the Catholic intellectual, spiritual, and cultural tradition to synthesize a coherent vision of this tradition.
  2. Assess challenges to liberal education and construct a vision of education that encourages the flourishing of human persons based on their understanding of the history of Western education cultivated through this program.
  3. Compare various disciplinary approaches to reality and their inherent contributions to a rich interdisciplinary understanding of God and creation, an understanding that will allow students to apply this tradition to contemporary professional, moral, or intellectual challenges.

Admissions Requirements

Students must meet the general university admissions requirements for graduate studies . Additionally, the applicant must provide at least two letters of recommendation, a cover letter explaining why they desire admission to the Program, and a writing sample. The GRE is not required.

Applications will be reviewed, and ultimately accepted or denied, by a faculty admissions committee appointed by the Program Director.

Program Requirements

Required Courses:

Electives: Emphasis Areas

Students must take four (totaling 12 credits) cross-disciplinary elective courses with different areas of emphasis. Students must take courses with a distinct emphasis in philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, and history.

Students cannot use one class to satisfy two areas. For example, a class in the disciplines of theology and history cannot satisfy both the theology and history emphasis requirement.  

General Electives: 6 Credits

Students must take an additional six (6) credits/two (2) courses of elective credits. These courses can be selected from the above interdisciplinary courses. Alternatively, the student and advisor may select alternative coursework that will fulfill this requirement.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Students must complete one high-quality paper judged according to the standards of the discipline the student chooses. A high-quality paper has the significant potential to be accepted at a conference presentation of the discipline or to be used as a writing sample for admission into a doctoral program. Faculty in the discipline must judge the paper adequate to satisfy this program requirement.
  2. Students must pass a proficiency exam in Latin, which is typically accomplished by passing the course LAT 520 .

Total: 30-33 Semester Credits

Program length: 2 academic years / 6 semesters / 96 weeks

Note: The program may be completed in less than two years. Please speak to your advisor about your options.

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