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.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

• Methods in Religious Studies
• Catholic Intellectual Life
• Introduction to Catholicism
• Introduction to the New Testament
• Justice, Peace and Liberation
• The Documents of Vatican II
• Catholic Intellectual Heritage
• Faith and Reason
• Sacramental Theology
• Senior Seminar

Electives in the Major
9 hours of electives including 6 hours of upper division courses. Elective courses are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.
• Special Topics in Catholic Studies
• Special Issues in Catholic Studies
• Advanced Topics in Catholic Studies
• History of Philosophy I
• Philosophy of Religion
• Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
• New Testament Literature
• Christian Spirituality
• History of Christian Theology I
• History of Christian Theology II
• Dialogue of World Religions
• Contemporary Theological Questions


You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.


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.

Explore our 90+ Academic Programs

School of Management and Business