Catholic Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies at St. Edward’s prepares you to contribute to the world in meaningful ways through in-depth study of Catholic thought and culture. This program leads you through a captivating examination of the role of Catholicism throughout the ages.

You’ll explore the numerous dimensions of Catholicism’s past and present and how this ideology has influenced Western civilization for centuries. And you’ll conduct a rigorous analysis of the Catholic faith from a philosophical, historical and sociological perspective.

Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies


As a BA in Catholic Studies major, you’ll explore the Catholic Intellectual Tradition through critical inquiry, research and in-depth discussions. You’ll study Catholicism’s great writers and thinkers, from Augustine and Thomas Aquinas to Dante and Flannery O’Connor. And you will investigate the historical, philosophical, theological and artistic aspects of the Catholic Tradition: What is the nature of God? What is the relationship between God and the world? What does this relationship say about human responsibility and action? How have these relationships been explored and expressed in art and literature?

Students of all faiths and traditions select this degree to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Catholicism’s rich and living heritage. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions and independent research projects — allows you to learn more about career options and the choice of undertaking graduate work.

With a BA in Catholic Studies, you’ll gain well-rounded knowledge and skills suited to many careers, including business, education, journalism, ministry or social work. For example, you could become a parish-based minister in adult religious formation or sacramental preparation, or a journalist reporting on the geopolitics of world religions. Students often pursue graduate studies in a variety of fields, such as religious or theological studies, medicine, and law. Our students have attended leading graduate schools such as Notre Dame, Fordham, Duke and Harvard.

Course Preview:

In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, a BA in Catholic Studies major takes courses from these groups:

Students who major in Catholic studies complete core courses, which could include Methods in Religious Studies, Introduction to the New Testament, Introduction to Catholicism, The Catholic Imagination and Catholic Social Teachings.

BA in Catholic Studies majors complete supporting courses, which could include Catholic Writers, Theories of Human Nature, Christian Spirituality, Dialogue of World Religions, Contemporary Theological Questions, Faith and Reason, Sacramental Theology and Justice, and Peace and Liberation.

In their senior year, students participate in a seminar class that culminates in a major research paper and presentation. Past topics include Mysticism, Faith in American Public Life and Apocalypse Then and Now. Students also compile a portfolio of materials from their time at St. Edward’s as evidence of their experience and research — which can give students an edge when applying for jobs or graduate school.

View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies.


All BA in Catholic Studies majors are encouraged to complete an internship. Students may be placed in ministerial or teaching positions, as an intern in museums or social service organizations, or as teaching assistants at St. Edward’s. Internships present an opportunity to explore your passion for a particular aspect of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, to engage in social justice and community service, and to boost your résumé or prepare for graduate school.


At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in research that’s often reserved for graduate students. You’ll work alongside professors to conduct academic research, as you build confidence and skills and prepare for graduate studies and your career.

BA in Catholic Studies majors present their work at professional forums such as these:

  • McNair Scholars Program Conferences
  • Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University

Students may also publish their research in Arete, the St. Edward’s University academic journal.

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