March 14, 2014
The national and international communities continue to sing the praises of the University of Mary partnership with the largest state school in the United States. Regarded as one of the premier Catholic universities in America, the University of Mary based in Bismarck, ND, began its Catholic Studies and Theological Studies programs at Arizona State University in 2012.
|The University of Mary is located at the All Saints Newman Center in Tempe, next to the Old St. Mary's Church adjacent to Arizona State University. Pictured here, it is referred to as "The Old Church," as it is a National Historical Landmark with it being the oldest in the valley. |
In a most recent article published by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Father Robert Spitzer, former president of Gonzaga, a leading author on Catholicism and one of the world's most respected theologians, gave the partnership high praise, saying it tears down old models that created an "artificial separation" between a public university and religious studies.
"I don't really see any drawbacks," Spitzer told reporter Kevin Jones of CNA. "But I do see that every Catholic student at Arizona State can benefit tremendously from it."
Spitzer, who is also founder and president of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith (www.magiscenter.com) and the Spitzer Center (www.spitzercenter.org), and has been a guest on national TV programs like Larry King Live, the Today Show, or featured on The History Channel and PBS, believes other universities could learn from this as "an experiment in the logic of complementarity. Theological studies enhance the entire liberal arts curriculum. They can't help but do so."
In 2012, the University of Mary became the only Catholic university in Arizona, as it's estimated that a quarter of the state's population is Catholic.
Arizona State students who take the Catholic religious studies courses pay tuition to the University of Mary. Class credit for many of the courses will transfer to Arizona State. The courses are open to non-ASU students and all students regardless of religion.
Coursework includes the study of Christology, church history, the Bible, faith and justice, Catholic Church architecture, and the role of St. Benedict and Benedictine monasticism. Other courses examine the search for happiness, the interaction between faith and reason, and the Catholic perspective on the human person.