University of Mary to Offer Catholic Studies Program

Bismarck, ND-Beginning in fall 2010, the University of Mary will be offering a Catholic studies program. In so doing, it will become one of fewer than 50 colleges and universities across the United States and the only institution of higher learning in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming with such a program.

"This new initiative is a wonderful way to carry forward our founding Benedictine Sisters' mission to serve the religious, academic and cultural needs of the people of our region," stated Father James Shea, university president. "We see this new program as an innovative way both to enhance the university's Catholic identity and to provide an avenue through which students of all faiths can deepen their knowledge of Catholicism's rich and living heritage. We hope Catholic studies will offer our students space for reflection on the crucial issues of our time and a deeper maturity of faith."

"A Catholic studies program explores the Catholic Church's contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of humanity. It engages students in the dynamic interaction of Catholic teaching with science, literature, the arts, social systems, history and other liberal arts," explained Dr. Diane Fladeland, vice president for Academic Affairs. "The University of Mary's Catholic Studies Program will provide an interdisciplinary opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of the Catholicism within the context of the liberal arts."

A minor (or certificate) in the program would require two core courses and three elective courses, such as The Catholic Literary Tradition, Sacred Music of the Catholic Heritage, The History of the American Church, or Science and Christian Theology.

"This new program is an exciting addition to our curriculum," Fladeland added. "Its interdisciplinary nature will build on the University's Christian, Catholic and Benedictine heritage, while promoting interaction between and among faculty and students."