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Photo of the Georgian Revival Summit Avenue Historic District building on the St. Thomas campus.

Exploring thought & culture in light of the Incarnation

Center for Catholic Studies

About the Center for Catholic Studies

The University of St. Thomas Center for Catholic Studies engages students, faculty and the universal Church in a Christ-centered exploration of 2,000 years of thought and culture to find deeper understanding of the common good in the contemporary world.

As part of the founding program of the Catholic studies movement in Catholic higher education, the Center, in collaboration with the Department of Catholic Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, is internationally recognized for its distinctly integrated, interdisciplinary approach to academic work.

Today, we are a trusted partner for national Catholic organizations, including Catholic dioceses, schools, and health care systems throughout the U.S., as well as our international partners such as the Holy See's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Catholic universities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Partnerships, Institutes and Academic Journal

The Center cultivates dialogue around various topics to promote the unity of knowledge and a deeper integration of the whole of life—all informed by the reality of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Habiger Institute

Offers a range of servant leadership and professional development that help St. Thomas students build the fortitude required to be a faithful, ethical leader in a complex world.

Habiger Institute

John A. Ryan Institute

Provides research, seminars and curriculum development, and other activities, to help business faculty, students and practitioners develop a deeper integration of Catholic social teaching and business—or, faith and work.

John A. Ryan Institute

Murphy Institute

Brings 2,000 years of Catholic cultural expression and intellectual dialogue to bear on law and public policy through graduate scholar opportunities, public forums, research and CLE programming.

Murphy Institute

Logos Journal

Presents subscribers with rigorous, interdisciplinary exploration of the beauty, truth and vitality of Catholicism.

Logos Journal

[The] perfection of the Intellect, which is the result of Education … is the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things, as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its place, and with its own characteristics upon it.

Idea of a University, St. John Henry Newman
Professor leading Catholic Studies lecture

Discovering Christ is all, and in all

Catholic intellectual exploration, real-world preparation

We believe that a Catholic life well-lived requires an integrated intellectual life. The Center works closely with our degree-granting department to create transformational interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate academic opportunities.

Department of Catholic Studies
One Billion Stories media missionaries video Don Briel: A Life of Purpose and Joy Catholic studies founder.

The Standard Bearer

St. Thomas Catholic Studies: A History

Influenced by St. John Henry Newman, Dr. Don Briel, founding Center of Catholic Studies director, began Catholic studies with faculty colleagues in 1993 to help address growing academic fragmentation in secular and Catholic universities.

Read more


Portrait of Karen Laird

Karen S. Laird

Associate Director of the Center for Catholic Studies

Portrait of Nancy Sannerud

Nancy Sannerud

Program Manager

Get in touch

Looking for a contact at the Center for Catholic Studies, our institutes or our journal?

Advisory Board

Emery Koenig, Board Chair
Ann Bares
John F. Boyle
Fr. Chris Collins
Andy Herring
Fr. Spencer Howe

Gene Jones
John Kelly
Justina Kopp
Paul Kuhrmeyer
Joseph Lahti
Katie Lahti

Stefanie Lenway
Fr. Ryan Lewis
Fr. Luke Meyer
Michael J. Naughton
Jonathan Reyes
Brian Sattler

Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell
Marcie Stokman
Rob Vischer
Kelley Warner
Thomas Winkels

St. Thomas university chapel Mass with Catholic studies college students

Come pray with us

Albertus Magnus Chapel in Sitzmann Hall

Visit our beautiful Albertus Magnus Chapel in Sitzmann Hall located at the corner of Summit and Cleveland avenues in St. Paul.

Academic Year Schedule

Mass – Monday through Thursday at 5:05 p.m.

Eucharistic Adoration – Monday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Current Campus Mass Schedule

Contact Information

Have a general question? Please feel free to reach out if you want to learn more about St. Thomas Catholic Studies.

Mailing Address

Department of Catholic Studies
Mail 55-S
2115 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096

Campus Location

2055 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN
On the corner of Summit and Cleveland avenues