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Franciscan University to offer graduate degree in Catholic Studies

Franciscan University of Steubenville
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Program, which will be completely online, will begin in Fall 2020.

Franciscan University of Steubenville is introducing an online graduate degree in Catholic Studies. The MA in Catholic Studies Program, due to begin in the fall, will draw from across the humanities and sciences to create an integrated curriculum deepening the student’s Catholic vision of the world.

The university says there is a need for a general liberal arts education imbued with a Catholic worldview. The program will aim to help students ground their professional pursuits—in law, education, business, the arts, or other careers—in a Catholic vision of reality “and ultimately bring them closer to Jesus Christ,” the Ohio-based institution says.

“Catholic Studies is a growing field,” says Andrew Jones, professor of philosophy and interim director of the MA in Catholic Studies Program. “There are millions of Catholics who have earned their undergraduate degree without having a Catholic education but would like to get one. This degree integrates all different fields and disciplines into one Catholic vision, to help people who want to see the world with Catholic eyes.”

With a slate of all-new courses created specifically for this program, the MA in Catholic Studies will require students to complete four core courses examining Catholic culture and thought from ancient times until today. To fulfill the remaining credit requirements, students will choose from an array of electives, including courses such as Philosophy of Religion, Natural Law and Natural Rights, Virtues and Morality, and more.

Several Franciscan University professors will serve as faculty for the new program, representing its multidisciplinary approach. They include Paul Symington, philosophy; Benjamin Wiker, political science; Michael Waldstein, theology; Daniel Kuebler, biology; Matthew Breuninger, psychology; John Holmes, English; and Linus Meldrum, fine arts.

“Our primary objective is mission,” Jones said. “We want to help people grow in their faith through growing in their intellectual ability and education.”

Courses will be completed in eight-week sessions, with two courses per semester and six per year, including the summer. The program can be completed in as little as two years.

Jones said that Franciscan University’s Catholic Studies MA program is the only one that is completely online.

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