Deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith

The Bachelor of Art in Catholic Studies at St. Edward’s engages you in the many paths of Catholic thought and culture.

The program challenges students with a rigorous examination of Catholicism from the perspectives of literature, history, philosophy and theology. In the process, you will study Catholicism's role in transforming every aspect of spiritual, social and intellectual life. In this major, you will …

  • Develop a profound and intellectually mature experience of faith
  • Experience and interpersonal approach in the classroom
  • Undertake numerous opportunities for sustained reflection and engagement in the life of the Catholic church

Students who graduate in Catholic Studies will be prepared for graduate school, nonprofit opportunities, teaching, ministry and other professional roles.

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

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.

Alumni Outcomes

Our graduates have entered the field in a wide range of professional roles that make a difference in the lives of others on a daily basis.

Our graduates are working in:

  • Teacher of Theology at Strake Jesuit, Houston
  • Assistant Case Manager at Annunciation Maternity Home, Georgetown
  • Match Grant Case Manager for Catholic Charities, Phoenix 

Read about our successful alumni. See what they have to say about life after St. Edward’s.