Degree type(s): Master's; Doctorate; Concentration
Degree field(s): Education
Location(s): Online; Bismarck, ND;
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Catholic Studies Concentration

The Catholic Studies Concentration is designed to complement University of Mary’s Master of Education and Doctorate of Education degrees. This concentration program, informed by the Benedictine tradition and in accordance with the Magisterium, 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. 

As the president of a Catholic school, I understand the challenges that face our teachers in their effort to provide an authentically Catholic education: Catholic in its culture, intellectual tradition, and educational practices. I am inspired by the work that has been done to meet these needs through the creation of the Catholic Studies Concentration. These newly designed courses will be a great benefit to anyone who desires to teach with the mind of the Church."

 Father Jadyn Nelson's Headshot
Fr. Jadyn Nelson, President, Bishop Ryan Catholic School


Catholic Studies Concentration Highlights

  1. Faithful

    The courses in the Catholic Studies concentration focus on the teachings of the Church. Catholic educators in this concentration 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.

Why Choose the Catholic Studies Concentration?

The Catholic Studies Concentration provides a foundational understanding of the spirit of Jesus Christ, revealing transforming love and truth. Adding this concentration to an educator’s Master of Education or Doctorate of Education degree will help the educator fulfill the most important role as a teacher in forming leaders in the service of truth.

Course Requirements

To earn the Catholic Studies Concentration, you will complete the following courses in addition to the curriculum in your graduate education degree program:

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 light of principles of Catholic education, this course develops in the teacher the capacity and prudence to foster the fruitful formation of the mind and character of the student in the classroom. Issues include but are not limited to student – teacher interaction, healthy relationships between students, and ordering of the classroom (including its décor, layout, etc.). (2 credits)

Blessed John Henry Newman born in 1801 and died in 1890 was one of the great churchmen and educators of the 19th century. He played an instrumental role in helping the faithful prepare for massive economic, political, cultural, and religious changes that embodied the rise of the movement called rationalist liberalism. This class will be on his life and times and its bearing on his work as an educator. It is meant to reveal how the unity of his character, dedication, and perseverance as brother, friend, scholar, tutor, professor, priest, and cardinal became the vehicle through which he helped countless individuals and communities find their faith while liberating their search for truth through the stormy rise of the modern world. The principles he discovered, promoted, and lived by are pillars for all ages. (2 credits)

This is a narrative examination of Catholic thought and culture in an integrated fashion through multiple disciplines across time. Students will appreciate the coherence, richness, and beauty of the Catholic tradition. (3 credits)