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.

This Fall 2021, we are encouraging two unique courses with Father Drew Christiansen. The first is CATH 113, titles Agitators, Pastors, and Organizers. Feel free to view the prior Fall 2018 syllabus (new window), and look through the Fall 2021 schedule (new window). The second course is INAF 346, or CATH 346: Just War, Nonviolence, and Peacebuilding. Feel free to view the Fall 2021 course description, (new window) and Fall 2021 course schedule (new window).

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.