What is Catholic Studies?

The Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown is an interdisciplinary area of study.  It engages the richness of the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition with the various dimensions of human existence such as the arts, sciences, humanities, law, medicine, politics, business and economics. It seeks to vitalize the core maxim, faith seeking understanding, as the core principle of all intellectual pursuit.

Catholic Studies maintains that anything that awakens, enlivens and expands the imagination, opens the vision and enriches the sensitivity of any human being, is a religious act. Whatever deepens our humanity—makes us braver, wiser, more intelligent, more responsible, freer, loving and holy, makes us like God. Every aspect of learning, therefore, is integral to the sacramental life, beholding the grace-filled depth of reality. To know this depth is the beginning of wisdom.

Why Catholic Studies?

Ignatius of Antioch used the word the Greek word katholikos (καθολικός), meaning according to (kata-) the whole (holos), to identify the purpose of the early Christians. The word is related to the Greek kath’ holou, an adverb meaning “wholly.”

“Catholic,” then, can be understood as “according to the whole”; it connotes a movement toward universality or wholeness.  The Catholic Studies Program seeks to incorporate this universal and interdisciplinary approach into its curriculum and values.

For further information on the Catholic Studies Program, please contact Dr. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Haub Director of The Catholic Studies Program.

Upcoming Events

The sixth annual Jesuit Student Research Symposium will be held at the Jesuit Archives & Research Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Each year undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in Jesuit History are invited to present their work at a small, friendly conference that draws researchers from around the country. In previous years, there has been a focus on Jesuits and Race, Jesuits and the Sciences, and Jesuits and American culture.


This year the Symposium is calling for papers and presentations on Jesuits in the world. Papers could cover a wide range of topics, from the earliest Jesuit missions to the present day. Proposals should be no more than 250 words and will be accepted by the selection committee on a rolling basis. All proposals will receive a response within two weeks of submission. The final deadline is Friday, March 6, 2020.

Please contact Mr. Jacob Klusman for more information at jarcadmin@jesuits.org