Deepen your understanding of your own faith, or learn about the social, intellectual and spiritual impact of one of the world’s largest religions.

Student meeting with success coach

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

Catholic Studies Major Guide

There are no bad questions — or easy answers — here. As a Catholic Studies major, you’ll examine Catholicism from the perspectives of literature, history, philosophy and theology. Graduate ready to work in ministry, teaching, advocacy, or nonprofits that serve the community. Or continue your studies in graduate school and become a scholar who shares your knowledge with others.

What do our graduates do?

Catholic Studies majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.

  • Coordinator of Youth Ministry at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church
  • Campus minister at Rice University in Houston
  • Director at the Global Livingston Institute, a Denver-based non-governmental organization that focuses on development in East Africa
  • Teaching fellows with the Alliance for Catholic Education through the University of Notre Dame
  • Year-long volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • Peace Corps volunteers
  • Recipient of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship
  • Graduate students at the University of Notre Dame, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Harvard Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School

The Catholic Studies major is part of the Department of Religious and Theological Studies

Students attending the McCarthy Lecture Series

A New Bible Captivates Campus

A 21st-century illuminated Bible makes its sojourn to St. Edward’s this year.

The Classroom and Beyond

At St. Edward’s, you’ll be able to deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith through spiritual practice, service, discussing ideas with other students, and even studying abroad in predominantly Catholic environments.

Religious Life

Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel holds daily mass, and students serve as liturgical ministers and ministers of hospitality. Attending adoration in the chapel and praying the rosary at the Grotto are other ways to deepen your faith in solitude or alongside other students.

Student Organizations

Campus Ministry at St. Edward’s offers programs that enhance your spiritual life. Small-group Bible studies and retreats help you meet other students and set aside time to focus on prayer and scripture. The peer ministry program equips student leaders to help plan retreats, interfaith events and programs that support social justice advocacy.

St. Edward’s hosts two lecture series that are of particular interest to Catholic Studies majors. The Most Reverend John McCarthy Lecture Series on the Catholic Church in the 21st Century is named in honor of a former Diocese of Austin bishop and features religious and lay experts from around the country discussing issues facing modern and contemporary Catholicism. The Nostra Aetate Lecture explores the interreligious values reflected in the groundbreaking Vatican II (1965) document of the same name.

Service

You’ll have plenty of chances to learn about the Austin community – and beyond – while giving back:

  • S.E.R.V.E Austin is a weekly, semester-long volunteer commitment at a specific site where you’ll develop relationships with immigrants and refugees, children at an after-school program, young adults working on their GED, the elderly or the formerly homeless.
  • S.E.R.V.E. 1 Day events are Saturday-morning programs that include breakfast, transportation to the site, lunch and a reflection. These one-day projects often involve physical labor, like cleaning up a park, removing invasive species or painting a school.
  • The nonprofit fair at the beginning of the school year showcases other service opportunities off campus.
  • Service Break Experiences give you the chance to travel to another community, volunteer and learn about local life. SBEs are built on ongoing relationships between St. Edward’s and the service location and require students to prepare — educationally and spiritually — for several months beforehand. The trips incorporate structured reflections so you’ll integrate what you’ve learned and use it to fuel your charity and justice work going forward. A hallmark of SBEs is their emphasis on living simply – you’ll leave your phone and other luxuries behind.

You’ll also be encouraged to put your faith into practice through advocating for a more just world. St. Edward’s students can volunteer or intern with Catholic social justice organizations including Pax Christi, NETWORK and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

Internships

As an interdisciplinary major, Catholic Studies lends itself to internships in the arts, education, social services and many other fields. Students have also completed internships at these organizations:

  • Texas Catholic Conference
  • Life Teen Inc.
  • The Catholic Diocese of Austin
  • Local Catholic schools
  • Children’s and youth ministries at Catholic churches in the Austin area