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Catholic Studies Alumna Anne Morath teaches her Humane Letters class at Trinity School, St. Paul, MN.

Develop a mission driven classroom

Mission and Culture in Catholic Education

Mission and Culture in Catholic Education

The Catholic Studies Graduate Program’s Mission and Culture Study and Certificate provide Catholic school educators the principles to develop more mission-driven schools and classrooms.

The Mission and Culture Courses will help you:

Advance Excellence in Catholic Education

Apply your knowledge to address the modern challenges of Catholic education and develop concrete strategies for making your classroom and school more mission driven.

Engage the Catholic Tradition

Deepen your knowledge of Catholic approaches to education and learn how to ground your teaching in the unity of knowledge and the complementarity of faith and reason.

Cultivate Community

Build relationships with other area educators, and with staff from the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, within the rich and supportive learning environment of our blended online courses.

Earn Graduate Credit

Continue your studies by applying the credit you earn in our Two-Course Study or Six-Certificate to a Master of Arts in Catholic Studies.

Contact

Vincent Ruiz-Ponce

Graduate Program Coordinator
Image of Vincent Ruiz-Ponce
Phone Number
651-962-5713

Opportunities for Catholic School Educators

Two Ways To Participate

Teacher working one on one with a student.

Two-Course Study

Many educators start their graduate studies with our blended Two-Course Study which is offered in the summers. These two courses can stand alone or be a first step on the way towards the Mission and Culture graduate certificate. Both courses are designed to help teachers and administrators learn how to cultivate the Catholic identity and culture of their school.

View Two-Course Study Highlights Video
Catholic Studies Alum Ben Vasko teaches his sixth grade Latin class

Six-Course Certificate

The Certificate in Mission & Culture in Catholic Education offers educators a deep study of the Catholic tradition of reflection on education and helps educators bring the resources of that tradition into their schools and the lives of their students. The certificate allows educators to build on the Two-Course Study and go deeper into their study of Catholic identity and mission.

Current Course Offerings

Curriculum Details

  • Two-Course Study - The Heart of Culture
  • Two-Course Study - Challenges in Catholic PreK-12 Education
  • 4 Elective Courses
  • Capstone Project
  • Two-Course Study - The Heart of Culture

    The heart of any culture, as well as its continuity, can be found in its educational tradition, the distillation for the next generation of its highest ideals and most important truths. For the West this began with the Greeks, who set in place, some five centuries before Christ, the main aspects of a tradition that lasted, with significant developments, up until very recent times.

    This course will trace that tradition, using both primary and secondary source material, and will include: its origins in fifth- century BC Greece; its universalization during the Hellenistic period; its encounter with Christianity in the Patristic era; its Christian instantiation under the Carolingian Empire; the great Medieval educational synthesis and the rise of the University; the development of Renaissance humanism and the Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits; Newman's classic expression of the tradition in The Idea of a University; and the great challenge to that tradition and change that has taken place during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    This course is an online blended course offered in the summers.

    Two-Course Study - Challenges in Catholic PreK-12 Education

    This course explores the history, philosophy, and theology of PreK-12 Catholic education in the United States over the past 100 years. The course aims to help students understand the challenges PreK-12 Catholic schools face with respect to their mission and culture. Students will be exposed to the philosophical and theological foundations upon which Catholic schools have been built, the changes within church and society that have affected Catholic PreK-12 education, and the future of Catholic PreK-12 education. Discussions and assignments will focus on creative solutions to mission and culture challenges facing Catholic schools today.

    This course is an online blended course offered in the summers.

    4 Elective Courses

    In addition to the Two-Course Study, certificate students select 4 elective Catholic Studies graduate courses.

    Sample courses include:

    • Science and Catholicism
    • The Catholic Novel
    • Virtue
    • Nature and Grace in Shakespeare

    Capstone Project

    Students finish their Graduate Certificate with a Capstone Project in which they take what they have learned and present a plan to implement a project in their school.

    Two-Course Study - The Heart of Culture

    The heart of any culture, as well as its continuity, can be found in its educational tradition, the distillation for the next generation of its highest ideals and most important truths. For the West this began with the Greeks, who set in place, some five centuries before Christ, the main aspects of a tradition that lasted, with significant developments, up until very recent times.

    This course will trace that tradition, using both primary and secondary source material, and will include: its origins in fifth- century BC Greece; its universalization during the Hellenistic period; its encounter with Christianity in the Patristic era; its Christian instantiation under the Carolingian Empire; the great Medieval educational synthesis and the rise of the University; the development of Renaissance humanism and the Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits; Newman's classic expression of the tradition in The Idea of a University; and the great challenge to that tradition and change that has taken place during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    This course is an online blended course offered in the summers.

    Two-Course Study - Challenges in Catholic PreK-12 Education

    This course explores the history, philosophy, and theology of PreK-12 Catholic education in the United States over the past 100 years. The course aims to help students understand the challenges PreK-12 Catholic schools face with respect to their mission and culture. Students will be exposed to the philosophical and theological foundations upon which Catholic schools have been built, the changes within church and society that have affected Catholic PreK-12 education, and the future of Catholic PreK-12 education. Discussions and assignments will focus on creative solutions to mission and culture challenges facing Catholic schools today.

    This course is an online blended course offered in the summers.

    4 Elective Courses

    In addition to the Two-Course Study, certificate students select 4 elective Catholic Studies graduate courses.

    Sample courses include:

    • Science and Catholicism
    • The Catholic Novel
    • Virtue
    • Nature and Grace in Shakespeare

    Capstone Project

    Students finish their Graduate Certificate with a Capstone Project in which they take what they have learned and present a plan to implement a project in their school.

    The Heart of Culture course video excerpt with Dr. Michael Naughton

    The Heart of Culture: The Story of Catholic Education

    Course Excerpt

    Can understanding Newman help us pursue renewal in educational institutions? Dr. Naughton explains how.

    Catholic School Educator Testimonials

    “Catholic Studies was most influential in shaping my understanding of education, and more specifically, what a distinctly Catholic education looks like. It has well equipped me for teaching religion at a Catholic high school, as well as influenced in innumerable ways, my own views on how I seek to raise and educate my children.” – Kevin ‘10

    “Catholic Studies has given me a vision in which to live and work (teach) by. It also fosters daily discussion on family life. My husband also took a few Catholic studies classes. We keep up with daily discussion and reading on some of the great minds we met while at Sitzmann Hall: Newman, More, Dante, Mauriac, Greene, the Catechism, O’Connor, Aquinas, Benedict XVI, John Paul, Shakespeare…” – Laura ‘12

    “[Catholic Studies] was a wonderful, comprehensive program that artfully brought together all elements of the Catholic faith in a rigorous way. The quality of the professors was high, and the diversity of the student body was enriching. . . I learned a lot, grew in my faith, and feel qualified to serve in my current position as principal of a Catholic school.” – Alison ‘18