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

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

A New Bible Captivates Campus

A New Bible Captivates Campus

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

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements: The BA in Catholic Studies requires 28 hours of Catholic Studies major courses, which includes coursework in Philosophy and Religious Studies. 

General Education Requirements: The degree requires 51 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.

View and download the full degree plan for the Catholic Studies major (PDF).

A few examples of courses students in this major take:             

Justice, Peace and Liberation. This course examines the issues of justice and peace within the context of the Gospel of Jesus. Grounded in the teachings of the Israelite prophets and the New Testament teachings of Jesus, and given theological form in the writings of the great theologians such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, this course examines current issues in light of modern Catholic social doctrine. 

Catholicism in Literature. This class explores timeless theological questions along with some of the greatest authors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Though some of the writers to be studied are not Catholic, all of the texts incorporate Catholic concepts and themes. As this is a literature course, students also learn strategies for analyzing fiction, drama and poetry. In doing so, superior analytical reading, writing and thinking skills are developed. 

Introduction to the New Testament. This course takes a multifaceted approach to the study of the gospels, the epistles and the Book of Revelation. The course emphasizes the methodology of historical criticism for the purpose of identifying the authors of each New Testament work, as well as their respective theologies and witness to Jesus Christ.

Our Faculty

 The faculty for the Catholic Studies major can also be found on the Religious and Theological Studies major website

Outside the Classroom

Students majoring in Catholic Studies can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships, organizations and interactions with the greater Austin community.

Nostra Aetate Lecture

The Nostra Aetate lectures are inspired by Nostra Aetate, a groundbreaking Catholic document issued more than 40 years ago at the close of the Second Vatican Council. The work the document called for continues in many parts of the Catholic Church, and this lecture series reflects the commitment to foster and promote interfaith dialogue by St. Edward's University. 

The Most Reverend John McCarthy Lecture Series on the Catholic Church in the 21st Century

Held on campus by the Center for Ethics and Leadership every spring and fall, the McCarthy Lecture Series brings Catholic religious and lay experts from around the country to discuss issues facing the Catholic Church in the 21st century. The lectures are free and open to the public. Learn more about the series.


Our internship program acquaints students with the practical experience. Our students have recently interned with organizations, such as:

  • Catholic Charities of Central Texas
  • Office of Worship for the Diocese of Austin
  • Campus Ministry at St. Michael's Catholic Academy

Campus Ministry

Students are encouraged to participate in the dynamic educational community that welcomes our diversity, values our different spiritual and faith traditions, promotes social justice, and encourages growth through service. Learn more about opportunities with Campus Ministry.