Informed by the Benedictine tradition and in accordance with the Magisterium, the Catholic Educators certificate program at the University of Mary provides the formation upon which to build a solid Catholic pedagogy and identity. Educators in this program will enrich their ethical decision making by integrating the intellectual, spiritual, sacramental, and physical aspects of life. Upon completion of the certificate program, each educator will fulfill their most important role as a teacher informing leaders in the service of truth.

The University of Mary is doing a tremendous service to Catholic education by offering this program. Educators who are deeply formed in Catholic understanding are an irreplaceable resource in forming their students with the gifts of leadership in the service of truth. They bring to their classrooms the light and beauty of an education based on the life and model of Christ and the traditions of the Catholic Church. Their most important and vital role is to guide young people to integrate learning and faith, to set them forth to become virtuous leaders in the world.”

 Reed Ruggles headshot image.
Reed Ruggles, Principal, St. Mary’s Central High School


Catholic Educator Certificate Highlights

  1. Faithful

    The courses in the Catholic Educators Certificate focus on the teachings of the Church. Catholic educators in this certificate program will be formed in a way consistent with the Church’s foundational teaching.

  2. Integrated

    Courses are offered sequentially and end with the capstone course. This capstone provides each Catholic educator with sound theoretical understanding and practical application to their respective Catholic school environment. Educators will be prepared to incorporate the Church’s teachings throughout all areas of their classroom, not only during religion classes.

  3. Flexible

    Classes cross over with the University of Mary’s Master’s in Catholic Studies program, allowing students greater flexibility and opportunities to collaborate with other students. Some courses are also available online, so students can study parts of the program from any location.


This course gives an overview of the western educational tradition beginning with the ancient Greeks up to the present. It looks at the Greek philosophical tradition, Jewish revelatory tradition, and the Christian synthesis of both, especially concerning those traditions’ reflection on happiness and the human person, which is the basis of the Western tradition. The course investigates the nature and causes of Western education, tracing its unfolding over time, including how it came to be challenged by modernism and its contemporary iterations. (2 credits)

This course looks at the historical development of a Catholic educational system in the United States at the nexus of missionary enterprise and social reform. By looking at how Catholic educators have drawn from the Catholic intellectual tradition, this course will explore how educators have adapted methodology and philosophy to form the whole person for a widely divergent student population, including, but not limited to, recent immigrants, urban poor, and Native Americans. (2 credits)

The principles of Catholic education are based on what is essential to fulfilling the fundamental human desire for happiness. This course examines these principles, their grounding in true happiness, and their application to all areas of education today. Catholic principles of education may be applied to issues including theories of the human person and his flourishing, diversity in educational philosophies and trends, use of technology, theories of instruction and assessment, the relationship between parochial and public education systems, etc. (2 credits)

In this course, students research and write on an issue in Catholic education in light of the end of education, namely human happiness or flourishing. The finished capstone product will bring principles of Catholic education to bear on the student’s practice as an educator or the operations and life of a Catholic institution so as to serve the end of education. (2 credits)


First and foremost, every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth."

Benedict XVI, 2008